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The National Trust Visitor Centre at Portstewart Strand is open from 10am to 6pm daily and is located at 118 Strand Road, Portstewart Londonderry BT55 7PG (off Strand Road, Portstewart, 4 miles NW of Coleraine, off A2); Tel: (028) 7083 6396; visit the National Trust website here. Read “The National Trust has Green Designs on Portstewart Strand” from Causeway, Coast and Glens here. Learn about the following companies in The Greenroof Directory: ZinCo, Alumasc and Sempergreen. See the profile from Donnelly O?Neill Architects here, where you can see more photos.

The National Trust is Northern Ireland?s largest conservation charity and the Strand, nestled amongst a two mile stretch of award winning beach and sand dunes, has been designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest and a proposed Special Area of Conservation. Welcoming over 175,000 visitors annually, Portstewart Strand is one of the most visited open spaces cared for by The National Trust in Northern Ireland.

Meeting the highest environmental standards, the new National Trust Visitor Centre facilities here are designed to maximise energy from natural light. The structure was constructed with cedar panels from renewable sources and includes a greenroof; the vegetation and the timber will weather naturally to blend in with the landscape. Sustainability is also key and in accordance with the Trust?s policy of managed coastline retreat, the facility, which is built on sand, is demountable, so it can be relocated with minimal impact. As a result, its usable life will be longer than normal. A ZinCo green roof system from sustainable roofing specialists Alumasc was chosen for the new National Trust Visitor Centre at Portstewart Strand in County Londonderry.

Donnelly O?Neill Architects of Belfast were challenged with a design brief that was strict in its requirement. The roof needed to be sympathetic to its surroundings and in keeping with the environmental ethos upheld by the National Trust, whilst the exposed location of the centre also presented the problem of wind erosion. Alumasc was able to provide a complete waterproofing and green roof package that not only met the technical specification of the brief, but which has also provided a valuable resource for local wildlife that will continue to flourish over time.

400 square metres of Derbigum high performance waterproofing membrane were installed with extensive sedum plug plant cover. It is expected that the grasses that cover the sand dunes will eventually propagate the sedum roof; this green roof can fully support the rich community of plants and insects found in the open sand, dunes and damp hollows of the Strand. The problem of erosion was overcome by the inclusion of an anti-erosion mat in the affected areas. Alumasc green roofs vary from Extensive and Biodiverse types, which require no irrigation and minimum maintenance, to Intensive green roofs which require regular irrigation and maintenance. The main Contractor for the project were David Patton and Sons and the Approved Installer was Willart Roofing, both of County Antrim.

Hilary McGrady, The National Trust?s Director for Northern Ireland, commented, ?The National Trust, in looking after special places, for ever for everyone, invests in places like Portstewart Strand to ensure members and visitors have amazing experiences and the opportunity to enjoy our special places.?


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