March '16 - The results are in...
When it comes to testing our materials, we believe in using the best and most experienced laboratories.
When it comes to green roofs, living walls and eco friendly planting schemes, the UK have been slow to join the party. The Scandanavians were installing green roofs or 'sod roofs' for centuries, however it was the Germans in the 1960's who really adopted the concept of managing heat and rain water through the concept of 'living' roofs and walls. From shepherds huts to corporate sky scrapers, the governments in Germay and Switzerland mandate that any new build with a flat roof, has to allow for a green roof of some variety within the plans.
We are seeing a promising upsurge of green roof concepts creeping into UK build designs, and campaigners such as Dusty Gedge (www.dustygedge.co.uk) have been advocating for a much greater coverage of living roof systems to cope with changes in our climate, and the problem of rain water managment within the confines of the urban environment.
As a supplier of various green roof substrates (and members of the GRO think tank), we have been blending and testing various lightweight substrates for the past few years. However, unlike topsoil and subsoil which follow a British Standard for compliance, the only guildlines we have to work with, come from the German Landscape Research, Development and Construction Society (FLL). They introduced a set of guidlines in 2008 to cover the construction of green roofs, highlighting the key performance criteria for the various substrates.
We have been unable to find a UK based laboratotry to convert the FLL guidlines into a British format, and have therefore employed a German expert to carry out the testing. Dr Martin Upmeier has carried out the first round of testing and we are happy to report his findings on our Lightweight Soils page. We will continue to test our various intensive and extensive blends and will update our techincal data as the results come in.