What Do You Need to Know About Green Roofs?

Published on Wednesday, 27th April 2016

What are green roofs?

Green roofs - or living roofs - are roofed or terraced areas that have vegetation, such as sedum or wildflowers. The lush vegetation is grown in a nutrient rich, deep substrate in the form of living roof tiles.

The living roof tiles are installed on top of the roof's waterproof membrane. GrufeKit living roof kits, for example, can be laid on single ply, GRP fibreglass, EPDM rubber, felt and concrete roofs.

Bere Architects green roof project
Islington energy efficient home via bere:architects

Do I need planning permission for a green roof?

In general, no. A replacement roof or retrofit doesn't need planning permission. However, it's always a good idea to check with your local council (and neighbours!) before you go ahead with any major external renovation.

Did you know...? If you're building a new office block or planning a self-build, including a green roof in your plans could actually help you get planning permission. Some London boroughs and areas of natural beauty specify its desirability in their regulations. Living roofs can also get your BREEAM credits.

"The City Corporation actively encourages the installation of green roofs and green walls for their many environmental benefits. Green roofs and walls enhance biodiversity, reduce rainwater run-off, improve insulation, moderate the local climate and make buildings more attractive." The City of London

A New York green roof
Image via Terrapin Bright Green

What are the benefits of a green roof?

There are a range of pros for having a living roof installed - apart from a much better view over your kitchen extension, more green space to life your mood and a stunning feature that will add value to your property.

A Portsmouth green roofs by Onyx Roof Works
Image via Onyx Roofworks

The GrufeKit living roof system have the following pros:

  • Instant living roofs that will look great for years to come
  • Easy installation and very little maintenance needed
  • Improved thermal and noise insulation for the living space below
  • Cooler living spaces in hotter months
  • Filtration of air pollutants providing better air quality in built up areas
  • The local wildlife new habitats and regular food source
  • Help balance urban humidity and CO2 levels, helping your town or city adapt to climate change
  • Enhance property values - whether you rent or sell your house, a green roof is a feature people will be happy to pay for