Green roofs represent future of urban green infrastructure

Green roofs represent future of urban green infrastructure

Research by has created the first national picture of the market for green roofs in the United Kingdom. 

Green infrastructure is becoming increasingly important in designing the urban realm for climate resilience, reports Planning & Building Control Today. Green roofs are one element of the green infrastructure story, and the market for green roofs has been increasing for several years.

The exact nature of the market has not been formally assessed. The recent publication of’s UK Green Roof Market report aimed to do so.

Using metrics decided upon with the green roof industry, data from 2015 and 2016 were analyzed to provide a figure on the increase in the market over a year. The headline figure showed an increase of 17 percent. That figure also equates to the increase in the area of green roofs in central London between 2014 and 2015. Research also showed that nearly 42 percent of the market is focused on the Greater London Authority area. The reason is that London has a distinct policy for green roofs within the London Plan.

Since 2008, green roofs have been an “expectation” in the London Plan but are not mandatory.

However, this expectation has had a significant impact. In effect, the policy has resulted in a majority of developments in the capital having significant areas of green roofs. has mapped all the green roofs in the UK, which to 2016 stands at an estimated 1.3 million square meters. This puts London on a par with many cities outside of the core markets of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Policy is the key to driving the market across the globe, researchers say. Although green roofs are focused in the London area, the report shows that there is a spine of activity in the industry, from Southampton to Scotland. The report includes several of the finalists in the green roof award in the National Roofing Awards. These three projects were all delivered outside of London. One of the projects, in Southampton, was a result of the green area factor used by the city planners to deliver a greener central area of the city.

The full report can be downloaded here.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Engineering Firms, Environmental Firms, Exteriors, Green Roofs / Garden Roofs, Roofing, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design

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