Lee joined Dan Lobb on Channel 5 show Cowboy Builders this week to talk about how green roofs can do so much more than simply keep the rain out. Most of the filming took place against a back drop of the Velo Cafe on Brighton’s Level. Dan described green roofs as a ‘smarter roofing investment’ and the discussion revolved around the
We were contacted by the programme to showcase a positive alternative to the traditional methods of roofing found in Brighton and London where we do most of our work. Because we were meeting in front of the Velo Cafe with its double pitched green roofs, the comparison was made with familiar tiled roofs but almost all impermeable roofs on residential or commercial buildings would benefit from a layer of vegetation.
Some of the multiple benefits Lee explained included the greatly extended lifespan of the waterproofing, the improved internal climate of the building and reductions in energy used for heating/cooling that the thermal mass of the substrate achieves, the opportunity green roof maintenance affords for checking on the rest of the building fabric which is not usually monitored, and of course the biodiversity benefits.
The multiple benefits of integration green roofs and solar PV (BioSolar) were discussed – unfortunately the Velo has the two separated – and the magical figure of cost. Overall the message was that everyone can do their bit, and the upfront investment is more than balanced by the life cycle savings.
Lee also got in a mention for the Green Infrastructure Audit that we worked on with The Ecology Consultancy and www.building-green.org.uk. And we were really happy that the last filmed section on the roof of Infinity Foods Cooperative shop in the North Laine was shown.
This triple green roof features beautifully restored sedum and wildflower planting in the heart of the City that we took over and rejuvenated using the lightweight meadow alternative to sedum that we have been developing with support from Regional Growth Fund and University of Brighton KTP Centre. Infinity Foods have really embraced the green roof since its been made over and we’re looking forward to working together to promote the concept in the coming months.
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