Rooftops allow cities more room to grow

We may be a long way behind Europe when it comes to green roofs, but there is now a growing movement across the UK to install green roofs on new build developments wherever possible. And it was no surprise as we attempted to adapt to and mitigate the ever more obvious effects of climate change.

But green roofs offer more than just a natural combatant to climate change. They provide an exciting opportunity for ambitious designers to introduce high quality and attractive living spaces where you wouldn’t expect.

With space at a premium and so many new developments in London, vegetated roofs, terraces and gardens help to breathe new life into previously underused sites. For example, at 20 Fenchurch Street (known as the Walkie Talkie), green roof systems have been used to create a truly unique Sky Garden that spans three floors and offers uninterrupted views across the City of London.

In 2002, it was London mayor Ken Livingstone who outlined his intention to force developers to put grass and trees on the roofs of all new office developments – setting the precedent for the current growth. And despite the new Mayor and his new ideas, living roofs and walls are still set to play a key role in increasing green cover in central London by 5% before 2030 – in line with ambitious roofs

The environmental benefits of green roofs are clear to see. They can help developers to meet standards such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM, and the insulation they provide can considerably lower heating/cooling bills. Benefiting the building and its occupants, green roofs also contribute to healthier cities and reduce Urban Heat Islands.

Stormwater and surface water run-off has also become a huge problem in cities. As developments reduce the amount of permeable surfaces, this leads to overloading of drainage systems and increases the risk of flooding. With the ability to retain high levels of precipitation – between 50 and 90%– green roofs can help to control and slow the water run-off.

So, the UK green roof industry is certainly growing, but with no specific government funding or incentives, progress has been far from spectacular. London still represents the largest single market in the UK, but it is important that over the next few years our other major cities follow this lead and don’t let the grass grow under their feet


Keep your Roof Watertight

If the area you live in is prone to heavy rainfall, especially after long periods of drought and extreme heat, you could find yourself with roofing that does not quite accomplish everything that it is supposed to; namely, keeping the interior of your home, garage, or office building nice and dry while protecting those valuable items you have stored underneath it.

Waterproofing under your shingles is probably the most obvious way that your home’s roofing can be waterproofed. It is sometimes assumed that the shingles themselves are the only waterproofing that is needed for a home, but for maximum protection when replacing a roof or working on new construction, the contractor that is installing the roofing material should add a waterproofing layer under the shingles. This can be in the form of waterproof tar paper, roofing felt, or a newer material called thermoplastic polyolefin. These materials typically roll out under the shingles and add extra protection to your home’s roof in case water seeps through nail holes or cracks that develop in your shingles.

If you are not quite ready to replace your roofing entirely, there are many other options available for you. The most common are oil or water based compounds that spread over your roof similarly to the way that paints spreads over the wall. These compounds will form a waterproofing barrier between your shingles and the rainfall, and restore to waterproof nature of your shingles. Oil based compounds typically last a great deal longer than the water based compounds. However, if the environmental impact is a factor, water based compounds are what you are going to use.

Remember that, as with all home maintenance, regular inspection is the key to minimizing damage. Check around your home’s flashing and fascia frequently and take action at the first sight of water damage or leaking. Inspect your home’s attic or crawl space several times a year, looking visually for water damage, discoloration, and visible signs of mold or mildew which all indicate that your roofing’s waterproofing may need maintenance. Be aware of the smell of standing water in your attic or crawl space as this is often the first indicator of damage. If you are seeing water damage on your ceilings inside the top level of your home, there may already be damage that will need to be repaired.

Proteus Waterproofing has joined forces with Building and Land Guarantees Ltd to provide a 10 or 12 year insurance warranty to protect clients against defective design, materials and workmanship – all backed by a Financial Services Authority (FSA) ‘A’ Rated insurer to give clients complete peace of mind in Proteus’ waterproofing solutions.

Proteus’ Managing Director, Justin Pitman, said, “At Proteus, we always strive to be at the cutting edge of the waterproofing industry with our products and services. Our new 10 and 12 year Latent Defects Insurance reflects the confidence we have in the quality and durability of our products.”

For total peace of mind, the 10 or 12 year guarantee insures the client against any latent defects in the original installation of the waterproofing system – in addition to Proteus products and systems already being tested to the most rigorous international standards.

The Proteus 12 year warranty may offer exceptional benefits, but the best solution for the client still remains the same. Get a properly designed and installed roof in the first place and maintain it like any other asset in the building – and your roof will outlast any warranty.

The Many Benefits of Green Roofing

green roofing systemWhen the time comes to install a new roof on the home, consider green roofing rather than traditional materials. Green roofs, often referred to as eco-roofs, are roofs which grow vegetation. A Flat Roof of this type tends to be a park or landscaped garden and is referred to as an intensive green roof. Extensive green roofs feature drought-resistant vegetation and grasses and tend to be sloped between 5 and 20 degrees. Roofs of this type are very beneficial in urban areas when parks, gardens and things of that nature are limited significantly.

The major advantage of a green roof installed on Flat roofing is the expansion of green space in an area. The amount of things which can be grown here will astound many. In addition, it provide a natural habitat for animals, those who have lost their homes due to building developments. An environment is provided which encourages wildlife development and increase biodiversity. Green space also helps to remove greenhouse gas emissions.

Many turn to a green roofs as the roof provides thermal and sound insulation. The building will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and yet carbon emissions won’t rise and energy bills will go down. Conventional hard roofs tend to reflect sound, but a green roof absorbs it which is especially helpful for those buildings in urban environments.

A roof of this type helps to protect the roofing membrane. This means the roof won’t need to be replaced as frequently. This saves the property owner money on roofing costs and helps to protect the environment as fewer roofing materials will need to be manufactured.

A green roof minimizes storm runoff and alleviates flooding. The roof retains more rain than conventional roofs do which reduces the heavy runoff typically see with rains. This runoff is what leads to localized flooding and is also responsible for placing an added burden on a sewage system. The green roof drains this water at a slower rate so more stays in the natural water cycle, rather than in the sewage system.

Consider the above when determining if a green roof is the right choice for you. The initial cost is higher, but many find it to be a money saver over the long run. It’s one roofing option which should not be overlooked.

Green Roofs

Watch the latest video here: The benefits of Green Roofs

Green Roofs – Are They Worth The Money?

The Truth About Green Roofs:

  1. They can help beautify the built environment

Urban greening has long been promoted as an easy and effective strategy for beautifying the built environment and increasing investment opportunity.

  1. It can prolong the life of waterproofing membranes

The life of the underlying roof waterproofing membranes can be extended by using garden roofs to shield the roof from the effects of ultraviolet radiation, temperature extremes and mechanical damage.

  1. You can grow your own vegetables

Growing your own fruit and vegetables on your living roof can be beneficial to our pockets as well as our carbon footprints: it avoids the need to go to the shop when running out of fresh fruit and vegetables which will in turn reduce the need to travel in your car.

  1. It can absorb rainwater

By capturing and temporarily storing water, green roofs can reduce excessive volumes to reduce drain overflow. By reducing peak flows, living roofs also can minimize flooding and erosion damage to buildings.

  1. It can absorb sunlight

In built up urban areas, the hard surfaces reflect the sunglight which contributes to smog and airborne particles in the atmosphere. Green roofs absorb the sunlight , therefore they play an important role in reducing urban temperatures, and subsequent improvements in air pollutions/smog.

  1. It keeps the heat inside

Green roofs can provide cost savings on heating and cooling. Results vary according to size of the building, the climate and the type of living roof. Typically a 6 inch extensive roof reduced heat gains by 95% and heat losses by 26% in comparison to a conventional roof.

  1. It reduces noise pollution

The combination of soil, plants and trapped layers of air within green roofs can act as a sound insulation barrier and reduce noise pollution with both substrate and plants making a contribution.

The substrate blocks lower sound frequencies and the vegetation blocks the higher ones. A green roof can reduce noise pollution from machinery, traffic and aeroplanes.

  1. It improves air quality

Green roofs can improve local air quality through reducing the urban heat island effect. Having a living roof can also help to remove airborne particles, heavy metals and volatile organic compounds from the local atmosphere. These contaminants are retained by the green roof itself.

  1. It Resists Fire

Since it retains water in the soil, it is significantly better at resisting fires

  1. Can Provide provisions for wildlife

Although they are not intended to be replacements for true natural areas, some green roofs can provide provisions for wildlife. They can be part of a system to complement wildlife habitats within an urban setting. In highly populated areas, green roofs could represent island habitats or, better yet, steppingstones for wildlife movement. Even in densely populated areas, green roofs can attract birds and beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies.

These are just a few of the benefits associated with green roofs, however there are many more to discover.

For more information please visit Roof infographic

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Eco living: turn your roof into a green garden

green roofs

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Islington, north London, is a green oasis of wild-flower meadows, hazel coppice and hawthorn thicket. Although still early in the season, a few hardy bees are buzzing around the meadow and native birds – tits and blackbirds – are rustling in the hedgerows. Hives supporting thriving colonies of the now endangered honey bee are scattered around the meadow where in high summer poppies, cornflower and other wild flowers will paint this urban landscape with vibrant colour.

The odd thing about this garden is that from street level, you have to look up to see it. The plants – flowers, shrubs and trees – are all planted on the roof of architect Justin Bere’s house, a 21st-century home that tries to redefine the relationship between buildings and the natural environment. Read More…

Roof coatings improve energy efficiency

white roof
Reflective roof coatings are the fastest-growing product segment in the fluid-applied roofing market. Cool roof coatings lower energy consumption as well as meet more stringent cool roof performance requirements in the building codes. They also do a lot more: they restore, protect and beautify most waterproofing systems and prolong the life of almost any low-slope roof (including metal).
As legislators, architects and property owners embrace the idea that building design has a large impact on energy consumption and sustainability, they are also recognizing that white coatings offer big benefits with few draw-backs. Energy efficiency initiatives are promoting the use of cool roofs, and some building codes are now requiring the use of reflective roofs. Read More…

How flat roofs are created

flat roof - tar paper

A Flat Roof is a type of roofing that, instead of being pitched or sloped like those found on many buildings, is instead completely flat. Flat roofing is generally made of many different types of materials, from sheet metal to clay. The traditional pitched or sloped roofs provide water runoff, unlike flat roofs. For this reason, a flat roof is often very slightly inclined and has some sort of gutter system that allows rain water to drain off of the roof. This prevents rain water from standing still and damaging the underlying roof structure. Different materials are often used to create flat roofs, largely depending on the area and climate. For example, Flat roofing products in warmer climates that do not experience much rain fall are often made of concrete or masonry. Read More…

Solar Panels Made From Cellulose?

solar panels

solar panels Solar power is brilliant for the environment, but solar panels are not particularly environment friendly.  The whole manufacturing process is jam-packed with chemicals and waste products, and the panels themselves will inevitably sit around in a pile once they are no longer producing electricity. However researchers are working now on making better solar panels — and one group has made solar cells partially out of cellulose.

Essentially, this is at the peak of green tech: solar panels made from trees. Even better, these solar cells are able to convert sunlight into energy at a respectable level of efficiency.

Once the lifetime of the solar panels is over, you can then just place them in water and the cellulose part will eventually dissolve. Although in essence it is a fantastic idea, the researchers are yet to come up with a solution for protecting them from the rain.

For more information on solar panels made from trees please click here

Save Money While the Sun Shines

How To Save Money On Energy Bills

saving money

Its anticipated that more and more people will end up environment concerned as time goes on. Are you wondering how to become more environmentally aware? Read on if you would like to learn how to be able to lower your bills and cut down your carbon footprint inside your own property.

First and foremost it’s good to walk all around your home. What you want to accomplish with this is try to find any changes you could make or at least identify problems that do not look like they’re good for your heating bill or the planet. This could be small things like older kitchen appliances, leaky house windows and plumbing, gaps in insulation, ancient bulbs or bigger things such as putting in solar power panels or green roofing. Read More…

Things to Consider When Repairing Flat Roofs

flat roof repair

Do you have a flat top? How frequently do you really look at it for any kind of holes or defects? If you’re the type of person who likes to wait until a drip appears within your bedroom you might want to change your mind because you could possibly be losing cash

The main reason why is if you leave a smallish leak or a hole then the time in addition to costs to mend it can increase rapidly, if it becomes worse. In addition there’s a chance you’re lowering the life span of your flat roof by nearly 50% Read More…