Could 2022 be the year to install green roofs or living wall?
We couldn’t help but notice that the word ‘biophilia’ – once an exclusive catchphrase of design led sustainability gang – even popped up in Waitrose Magazine last week. Encouraging all of us to incorporate plants into our homes and offices to boost productivity and well-being. Its great news that the understanding of the power of nature and plants is now so mainstream that incorporating nature indoors or in the built-environment is a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘would like’. There are a myriad of options for both private homes and commercial businesses to stimulate the biophilic pressure points – from embracing interior plants to purify the air – to incorporating lush living walls and creating biodiverse green roofs and roof gardens. There is no shortage of space on our walls or roofs to specify green and receive both a healthy kick-back of feel-good endorphins and the deep satisfaction of knowing you are doing something that is good for planet earth.
Why ‘green’ is good for business
For commercial businesses specifying green is good for staff, planet and reputation. Showing meaningful investment into improving biodiversity, ecosystems & reduction of CO2 – demonstrates responsibility and stewardship, legislation is demanding that business behave responsibly as are customers. Creating space for staff to feel well, inspired and productive demands the incorporation of nature – even a view of nature is shown to improve productivity.
In the Economics of Biophilia – penned by the environmental consultancy Terrapin Bright Green – evidence is cited which underpins these productivity claims:
‘In the last twenty years, studies examining the human attraction to nature have yielded convincing evidence that link interactions with nature with positive gains in productivity, increased healing rates, and even enhanced learning comprehension, in a wide range of sectors. These investments in health and productivity may affect more sectors than initially anticipated. The monetary gains from providing people access to biophilic design elements produces results ranging from remarkable sales boosts in retail stores, to taxpayer savings stemming from improved student test scores, to safer urban communities.’
What is good for business is also good for the homeowner – the same principles apply.
Which green option would suit your home?
If you are building an extension or garden room, taking the leap to retro-green your existing roof, or simply reinvigorating the garden shed or building a bike shelter – you can incorporate green roofing. Cost wise green roofs are on average around 15% more than traditional slate roofs. But the return of investment is tangibly higher.
Did you know that green roofs improve the energy performance of a building? The substrate layer of a green roof provides a thermal benefit – by absorbing heat the thermal mass of a green roof regulates the temperature of a building keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Green Roofs also bring an acoustic benefit, reducing sound resonance by 3 dB and provide sound insulation of up to 8 dB.
Enhance air quality
Mitigate storm water run-off,
Reduce the Urban Heat Island effect
Dampen harsh acoustics
Boost wellbeing and community (when specified as shared amenity spaces)
Who wouldn’t want a green roof with all of these benefits on offer?
Living Walls attract similar benefits claims to green roofs. On a residential scale, in space poor gardens, living walls offer the opportunity to incorporate an abundant array of plants which boost localised biodiversity and habitats. They deliver a great wow factor and can range in size from the compact to the large and grandiose! Tailored to fit bespoke façade features like windows, doors and stairs living walls are a great solution to bringing in the green to otherwise barren urban gardens, courtyards and lightwells.
Quick and easy to install – this is an instant tonic to revive space limited gardens.
How can Pritchard and Pritchard help?
We are a team of dedicated landscapers with specialist experience in green roofs, blue roofs, living walls, installation of podiums and roof gardens and traditional landscape construction. We work with private customers, property developers and commercial businesses throughout the UK from our base in London.
If your New Years resolutions include greening up your home or business – get in touch for impartial advice and accredited installations: firstname.lastname@example.org