Four incredible green roof designs< Back to Blog

Last summer, we took stock of how much flat-roofing Sheriff Construction had completed and came up with an approximate 53,000 square metres. Having secured several large contracts over the last year, we’ve run the math again and now estimate that figure has risen to a whopping 80,000 square metres!

While we’re undertaking a wide variety of roofing projects for contractors at developments across London and the South East of England, green and biodiverse roofing is proving increasingly popular. Being a cost efficient, versatile option that’s easy to maintain, looks great and offers fantastic environmental benefits, it’s not really hard to see why!

For many of today’s architects and designers, including a green roof installation as part of their project represents a real opportunity to get creative.

Looking across our globe, there are now countless examples of incredible green roof installations which are giving the buildings they’re part of an iconic status. Here’s four we’ve come across today:

Brooklyn Steel Concert Venue, United States

(Building design: HLW)

Combining old materials like exposed brick, steel and corrugated metal with new elements like glass, tile and stone, this former steel fabrication warehouse has been transformed into a concert venue that can accommodate approximately 2000 people.

What most of them will never see, however, is the green roof which, alongside all the other benefits of this type of roofing system, in this case acts as the ideal acoustic lid for the building (helping to prevent sound escaping the building). It’s also home to Brooklyn’s only urban bee farming cooperative!

Hangzhou Cloud Town Exhibition Centre (new hall), China

(Building design: Approach Design)

A large lattice structure forms the original part of this exhibition centre (designed in 2015) but, when asked to come up with a second adjacent building to meet increased demand, the architects took a different stance.

Instead of extending the original building or going for an even larger iconic building, they decided to dig down, creating a new hall that’s sunk three metres underground so as to minimise its profile in the landscape. Best of all, the whole thing is concealed under a green roof that’s designed to function as a park, complete with sandpit, community vegetable gardens, sports courts and even a 760-metre running track!

With Google planning to put an outdoor running track on top of its London headquarters, expect to see more designs like this soon.

Macallan Distillery, Scotland

(Building design: Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners)

Another partially submerged structure is the Macallan distillery which has been cut into the hills of Speyside in a manner that ensures the design is sensitive to the surrounding environment – a designated Area of Great Landscape Value.

Matching the naturally sloping land, the building is topped with an undulating green roof that’s formed of 380,000 individual components  and covered with Scottish wildflowers.

Akademeia High School, Poland

(Building design: Medusa Group)

When you think of a High school environment, the chances are you won’t be imagining anything like this one!

Designed to create an atmosphere that encourages students to stay in school outside of class hours, its system of flexible rooms creates multifunctional and inspiring spaces. The canteen, for instance, is designed like a fashionable restaurant but can shift its use from a restaurant to a café, reading room or performance space at different times of the day.

Outside is where our interest lays though, particularly the central courtyard which is surrounded by a series of stepped sections, providing amphitheatre-style seating and access to the roof.

Some of the stairs have been replaced to create a terrace of concrete planters and the roof itself houses beehives and a herb garden that’s used by the canteen.

Sheriff’s view

Green and biodiverse roofing is a fantastic option which is equally suitable for commercial and domestic applications. Offering practical, aesthetic and environmental benefits, these systems can be used to create natural ‘back to nature’ spaces that help reduce the heat island effect in modern towns and cities and also can create useful, recreational space for roof gardens or terraces.

It’s really hard to find any negative side to a green/ biodiverse roof and we think the four examples above demonstrate brilliantly how this system can be used creatively in very different contexts.

Find out more about Sheriff’s green/biodiverse roofing service here.

Have you seen any interesting green roofs on buildings near you or on your travels? Share them with us over on Facebook or LinkedIn.