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Ecobuild set to raise the living roof

London’s widespread adoption of living roofs will come a step closer at this year’s Ecobuild.
Design for London (DfL) will launch a document at the conference, which runs from 26-28 February at Earls Court, which could lead to the ‘expectation’ that all major developments in the capital will include living roofs or living walls ‘where feasible’.
DfL’s Living Roofs: Technical Report in Support of the Further Alterations to the London Plan underlines the proposals outlined above, which are almost certain to be adopted as an amendment to the London Plan in March.
DfL has been instrumental in the development of the term ‘living roof ’, which refers to all types of roofs with vegetation, whether heavily planted amenity roofs, sedum roofs, allotments or rubble roofs providing habitats for animals, birds and insects.
DfL’s promotion of living roofs has a number of aims: creating accessible roof space; adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change; contributing to sustainable urban drainage; enhancing biodiversity; and improving appearance. The research, which was sponsored by Alumasc Exterior Building Products, looks at benefits of living roofs and the current barriers to implementation and
also features case studies from around the world.
London is not the only British city to take living roofs seriously. Manchester Council has introduced a series of environmental standards in its Guide to Development in Manchester and is encouraging developers in the city to look at innovative ways to meet them in new and existing buildings. Living roofs form part of Manchester’s aspiration to become the ‘greenest city in Britain’. The first living roof in its city centre will be the brown roof of BDP’s new office at Piccadilly Basin, currently under construction.

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