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Ecology Ecoretrofit Encouraging wildlife and nature Green roofs

Thriving green roof in Welwyn Garden City

This green roof on an extension in Welwyn Garden City is nearly 10 years old and has been thriving. This was the first green roof I made so I was a little cautious about the loading, the middle are is sedum on a foam drainage mat with very little soil. The edges have more soil and substrate so they are able to support wildflowers, grasses and self seeded local plants. Nowadays I would add a lot more substrate but it is still going strong and the recent rain and sunshine combination has got it growing beautifully.

The sedums are quite persistent and even managed to self seed and create a little patch of growth on the gravel driveway which looks great and offsets the potted plants.

This one was retrofitted which encourages caution, you don’t want the roof to fall down but you can find a combination of plants and sedums that will work on almost any flat or gently sloping roof. Even better if you are building a new extension you can specify the roof to take any depth of soil you want for a really fabulous roof with the plants of your dreams. Drop me a line if you want to know more alex@ecoalex.com

Categories
Design Ecology Encouraging wildlife and nature Green roofs

Bike shed green roof in Dulwich

I like making green roofs but one problem with them is that I nearly always build on extensions and garden buildings at the back of houses so no one but the home owner gets to see it. Bike sheds are usually at the front of the house so they are on show to the world.

This one I built in Dulwich, London is for a client I built a sedum roof for last year. I persuaded them that this one would look nicer with a wider range of plants. I put in a selection of sedums including Sempervivum for long term coverage and then added herbs: creeping thyme, chamomile and rosemary. Then I added some saxifraga and a selection of plants that are flowering now for cover.

I think you will agree it looks fantastic now. If you want one for your bike shed get in touch. alex@ecoalex.com

Categories
Ecology Green roofs Projects Uncategorized Using less water

Marlow roof update

Some gorgeous pictures from the roof I built in Marlow last year including some priapic sedums!

Categories
Ecology Encouraging wildlife and nature Green roofs Projects sustainability

‘Spectacular’ green roof in Dulwich

I built this one last week on a garden office in Dulwich. I don’t do so many sedum roofs but this did come up looking really nice and is instantly green.

The roof build up was using the Optigreen lightweight roof system. A protection fleece over the waterproofing, drainage layer, lightweight substrate and pregrown sedum on top. This was ideal for this garden office and really helped it blend in to the trees and plants at the bottom of the garden. The roof will drain into a gutter when complete (not that there will be a lot of runoff). I used aluminium edge trim all the way round to give it a nice defined edge.

The substrate was incredibly dry when it arrived, I initially thought it was just sand! This made it really easy to get up on to the roof, the bags weighed even less than usual. Luckily it has had a good soaking with the rain since to get it nice and wet.

Getting the sedum up on the roof was a little trickier, we left it out overnight and the client enthuisiastically watered it making it very heavy. After struggling with a couple of rolls I realised it was better to cut the mats in half to make them easier to handle.

Once it was all up it looked really good. I spoke to the client again the week after to check on it and he said ‘It looks absolutely stunning. The wife and my nearest neighbours really like it – so a big thankyou. I have been diligently watering it and it is looking good. Many thanks‘ very pleased with the feedback.

Categories
Ecology Encouraging wildlife and nature Green roofs Projects Shabbihaus retrofit

Lockdown green roof

This is one that’s growing right now. I built it with the kids using leftover materials from other jobs and an old pallet to stand in for the roof. The rocks in gabion cages look great and it is super green but lacking in the wildflowers that we seeded it with.

Categories
Ecology Encouraging wildlife and nature Green roofs

Muswell hill roof

Another one on a new extension this one was specified with a sedum mat. Ever keen to increase biodiversity I also sowed it with wildflower seeds. I quite like it as a way to put the roof together, very simple and also quick, if a bit heavy getting the mat up to the roof. The sedum roofs often die out quickly but this one has a good layer of substrate underneath for it to grow into which should retain water and increase resilience.

Categories
Construction Ecology Ecoretrofit Encouraging wildlife and nature Green roofs Uncategorized

SYdenham hill green roof

This is a small green roof on a modern house in Sydenham Hill. It uses white painted railway sleepers for a frame to match the fascia boards on the house and I think fits in very well.

Categories
Ecoretrofit Green roofs Projects sustainability

East dulwich green roof

This was a green roof on a new extension built from reclaimed bricks. The roof had a slope on it meaning we used a different drainage system that also helped retain the soil in place. It also had a watering system added at the top of the slope for the dryer months.

Categories
Construction Ecology Ecoretrofit Green roofs sustainability Using less energy

Hackney retrofit green roof

This was a really cool extension using reclaimed materials in Hackney. The green roof was a bit tricky to photograph but you can see the effect of the plants blowing in the wind above the skylight.

Categories
Ecology Ecoretrofit Encouraging wildlife and nature Green roofs Using less water

Highgate green roof

A 2 section green roof installed in Highgate as part of an Eco retrofit being carried out at the property. We incorporated reclaimed york stone paving slabs to create a path which was lined with lemon thyme that should grow over it and release a fragrance when trodden on. Some of the existing planters were retained and we used lots of grasses and some saffron crocuses.