Extensive Green Roofs in London

by Gary Grant

EcoSchemes Ltd, Unit 1, Coombe Lane, Axminster, EX13 5AS, U.K.


This paper gives an overview of extensive green roofs in London and considers their potential to benefit the conservation of biodiversity. Categories of green roofs described include grass roofs of the early 1990s; mass-produced Sedum roofs, first installed in the late 1990s; and recently installed roofs made from crushed concrete and brick designed to provide habitat for the rare black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros). The role that green roofs potentially play in conserving rare invertebrates associated with derelict sites is discussed, as are possible future directions for biodiverse green roofs. Green roofs are acknowledged as a premier example of multifunctional urban design.

Key words: Green roofs; living roofs; urban nature conservation; urban biodiversity; building-integrated vegetation; black redstart; green facades; multifunctional urban design