Brighton and Hove Wastewater treatment
Client: Southern Water Services Our multi-disciplinary team secured planning permission for this £300 million scheme which included a 18,000m2 green roof, the largest of its kind in the UK at the time.
Biodiversity Net Gain and Living Roofs
Biodiversity Net Gain doesn’t have to be an obstacle in the pursuit of planning success. And with so many benefits to be gained, it makes sense for developers to embrace it and design it into their development plans from the early stages.
What are green and brown roofs?
A green roof is a flat or pitched roof covered with plants (which can be as simple as mats of mosses, Sedum and a range of grasses and flowering herbs). It creates habitat for flora and fauna and can therefore play an important part in conservation or enhancing biodiversity, particularly in urban locations.
A brown roof is where space is left on the substrate surface to allow colonisation from windblown seeds or seeds brought in by birds. RPS has designed and successfully installed ‘Biodiverse brown roofs’ which have a mix of substrate, topdressing with translocated seedbank, dead wood, dew ponds and bee mini-banks to maximise botanical and invertebrate species richness. Brown roofs provide opportunities for different species to green roofs, and therefore a combination of both can increase the habitat diversity of a site.
What are the benefits of green and brown roofs?
- They help deliver BNG in urban environments where space is limited
- They can help to balance surface water but retaining and slowing run-off which helps to reduce the risk of flooding
- They can be a striking design statement, aesthetically pleasing and help blend a building into its surroundings
- They improve air quality, trapping pollution and absorbing gases
- Reduce the urban heat island effect through absorption of heat and the natural cooling effects of water evaporation from plants and soil
- They can improve the thermal efficiency of a building, reducing its carbon footprint
- Developers can enjoy cost savings by delivering their BNG requirements onsite
- Their sustainability credentials help deliver BREEAM and make them popular with planning departments in local authorities
“It’s important to make your green space work hard and deliver as many credits as possible” concludes Matthew. “The inclusion of green/brown roofs can help to achieve net gain onsite and therefore avoid the need to seek a potentially complicated and expensive offsite solution”.
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