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UK’s green roof market experiences year on year growth

On Wednesday, July 26, the First Assessment of the UK Green Roof Market was launched at London City Hall at an event hosted by the deputy mayor for environment and energy, Shirley Rodrigues. Guests were also treated to speeches from James Talman, CEO of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), Mark Harris, chair of the Green Roof Organisation, Dusty Gedge, director of Livingroofs.org and Kelly Bream, operations director of Berkeley Homes.

Currently, our cities are said to face urgent challenges in the 21st Century. The impacts of climate change are increasingly being felt with heatwaves, storms and flooding, air pollution and more. Therefore, green roofs are said to be an essential tool in combatting climate impacts in cities, while providing much-needed space for nature. The authors of the Green Roof Market Report say the UK needs a healthy green roof market if it is to deliver the adaptation necessary for the health, well-being and prosperity of our towns and cities.

With this in mind, this is the first time that data is being published on the size, value and growth of the UK’s home-grown green roof market. The report shows that the UK green roof market is delivering a 17% increase in growth year on year.

“Roofing is sometimes viewed in a narrow context,” said James Talman.

“But the continued expansion of the green roof market plays an essential role in highlighting the diversity of the industry. Apart from the ecological, environmental and social benefits green roofs provide, they also are important in creating rewarding careers for multi-skilled professionals.

“We are pleased to support the green roof industry in its quest to see other large urban conurbations in the UK following the GLA’s lead on ‘greening’ our cities.”

The report also demonstrates that there is a green roof market focus in London, partly due to its specific planning policy.

Shirley Rodrigues said: “In London our planning policies support green infrastructure which has led to an impressive array of green roofs that boost air quality, help the environment and make the city more attractive. From roofs that prevent flooding by capturing rainwater to providing wildlife habitats or high-rise gardens, Londoners are using their space creatively. In the future, to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and achieve the Mayor’s ambition of making the city 50% green, we will need even more green roofs, green walls and street trees. I hope other cities follow our lead and realise the huge environmental benefits of urban greening.”

The report shows market growth of 17% year on year – both nationally and in London, where 42% of the market currently is focused.

But as the report also points out, there is huge potential to grow the market not just in London but in urban areas across the UK.

The growth of UK green roofs is helping to make the construction industry greener – and our cities healthier, more prosperous and resilient to climate impacts. The report predicts that this growth will continue next year as well but that the focus will shift away from London with other areas of the UK reaping the benefits of green roofs.

View the report here.

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