The GRO Green Roof Code

Green roof vegetation

The GRO Green Roof Code

Previously green roof designers have had to rely heavily on European or North American technical guidance when devising the structure and specification of green roofs. Although a wealth of information is available from outside the UK, none relates directly to recognised British Standards. The recently published Green Roof Code is a UK-specific document which fills this gap and provides a best practice guide. It will provide a useful reference document for all those involved in the design and installation of green roofs.

The Code has been developed in partnership with the industry experts, including The Green Roof Centre at the University of Sheffield, Living, GRO (Green Roof Organisation) members, Environment Agency, Homes and Communities Agency, and Groundwork Sheffield, and has drawn on the well-established German FLL Guidelines which date from 2001.

The code discusses the specification, design, installation and maintenance of green roofs, for example, including details on recommended substrate depths and factors which influence the selection of plants for a roof.

Philippa Harvey, Principal Ecologist, who has recently been involved with the design and specification of two flagship green roof projects (Derbyshire Ecocentre and Woolwich Arsenal), says of the guidance “the code provides easy access to a wealth of information and answers some of the difficult questions that often crop up in the design stages. I hope it will encourage more developers to take on green roofs projects.” In addition to providing sustainable drainage and improving a building’s environmental performance, green roofs present a great opportunity to create wildlife habitats and provide ecological mitigation.

The Code is available online to download as a PDF from Living Roofs

The GRO Green Roof Code (Green Roof Code of Best Practice for the UK 2011), Groundwork Sheffield (2001).

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