Our New Green Roof

News, Friday 22nd April, by HSSCU


We are delighted to announce that HSSCU has installed a Green Roof!


During the renovation of our High Street Offices the decision was taken to improve the buildings sustainability and positive environmental impact. One aspect of this was to install a green roof and a sedum roof was selected. The green and living roof is a layer of plants placed on top and brings a whole host of benefits to the building and the environment. On this type of roof, the majority of the plants are low growing succulents from the sedum family.


The extra layers of a green roof serve as insulation helping to keep the office warmer and reduce it’s energy consumption. The amazing thing about using sedums on green roofs is that they are very shallow rooted and don’t need a lot of growing materials. These plants appear to sit on top of the thin, often rocky soils that they grow in, which is perfect for a green roof.


The benefits of green roofs include improved health benefits due to reduced pollution because of CO2 capture, and energy savings. Adding plants and trees to the urban landscape in turn increases photosynthesis, reducing carbon dioxide levels produced by vehicles, industrial facilities, and mechanical systems. It also increases oxygen production.


It provides a green space for wildlife in an otherwise very urban setting and while it’s not a large area it is an effective one. This is due to the roof being away from street level and the changes to green spaces that accompany that. Birds and insects including bees will have a green space in Christchurch to use.


The roof is difficult to access and naturally it’s impractical to climb up there two or three times a week to water the plants during dry periods and do a bit of pruning and weeding. Whereas this type of green roof is low maintenance but high impact. It doesn’t need watering, but it also doesn’t need deadheading or mowing. All HSSCU must do is feed the plants once a year.


The temperature in cities is often higher than surrounding rural areas known as ‘urban heat island effect.’. Caused by large amounts of paved surfaces that absorb heat from the sun and retain it. This in turn which increases the local air temperature. Green roofs not only help reduce the urban heat island effect because the plants absorb less heat, but they also use the sun to evaporate water from the absorption of water through a plant roots and release of it through its leaves as a vapor.


Marie McBryan, HSSCU Chairperson had this to say “This is a great addition to the building and as one of our biggest offices it will have the greatest positive environmental impact. It was a key part of the overall renovation of the building that has brought the office to a higher energy rating. It’s not often you get to say this but we’re looking forward to seeing our roof grow!”

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