New industry supported code is set to raise the bar for green roofs in the UK, thanks to European funding. Green roofs have become more common features in our towns and cities over the last five years, but maximum environmental benefits have not always been realised, due to a lack of UK specific guidance.
Published on January 18, 2011, The GRO Green Roof Code provides clear and practical guidance on green roof best practice in the UK. Funded by the European Commission LIFE+ fund and Groundwork Sheffield, The GRO Code is also financially supported by the Homes and Communities Agency, The Green Roof Centre, Livingroofs.org, and is facilitated by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC).
GRO is an industry forum facilitated by the NRFC, and GRO also acts as the technical arm of Livingroofs.org, founded by Dusty Gedge. Members include industry providers, government bodies, researchers and awareness raising organisations. GRO’s remit is to establish guidelines for all parts of the green roof design, specification, installation and maintenance process.
Groundwork Sheffield is a federation of local trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which help people and organisations make changes in order to create better neighbourhoods, build skills and job prospects and to live and work in a greener way. Groundwork Sheffield gained 914,213 pounds in funding from LIFE+ to develop the UK code of best practice.
The LIFE+ programme is the European Union’s funding instrument for the environment. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value. LIFE began in 1992 and since then, LIFE has co-financed some 3,104 projects across the EU, contributing approximately billion pounds to the protection of the environment.
NFRC’s Chief Executive, Ray Horwood CBE, says:
“A UK specific code of best practice is long overdue, and the launch of The GRO Green Roof Code is welcome news for everyone involved in the green roof industry. By adhering to best practice, the numerous benefits of green roofs can be maximised, and the long term sustainability of green roofs ensured. The GRO Green Roof Code will set the benchmark for the industry.”
As with other green roof guidance around the world, The GRO Green Roof Code has its foundations firmly set in the German FLL Guidelines. However, only the most technical of data needs to be traced back to the FLL – Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landschaftbau (Landscape Research, Development and Construction Society). The GRO Code aims to provide the vast majority of the information required by most designers, specifiers, installers and maintenance providers.
~ Jeff Sorrill
The Green Roof Centre is the National Centre of Excellence for green roofs. Based in Sheffield, The Green Roof Centre was founded by the University of Sheffield, Groundwork Sheffield, and the four surrounding local authorities (Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham). Our primary aim is to promote green roof development and implementation through research, education, demonstration, information and technology transfer.
The University of Sheffield is the leading research establishment in this field in the UK, with an unrivaled range of expertise in the green roof arena. It has developed an international reputation for excellence in green roof studies. The Green Roof Centre operates with partners nationally to demonstrate the potential of green roof uptake in the UK.