The installation last year of a unique green roof brings breath of fresh air to Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre and is now bearing fruit in an area surrounded by one of London’s busiest road and rail networks.
Following a routine maintenance visit this summer by The Urban Greening Company (TUGC), who installed the roof last year, they felt compelled to share the results.
When TUGC took the project on the challenge was to convert an inert stone ballast roof in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea into a wildlife area to provide much needed green space on a roof sandwiched between the busy A40 flyover and the Great Western Mainline rail route to Paddington.
The next challenge was how to get the 110 sq.m of green roof onto the top of a four storey building quickly, economically and without disrupting the day-to-day activities of a busy community centre. Combined with this, a lightweight solution was critical to ensure there were no weight issues.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Groundwork London, commissioned Dusty Gedge of Green Inrastructure Consultancy Ltd to design a scheme.
The clear solution was a portable green roof – Aquaten LiteTM. The cushion like structure containing a mix of seed, substrate, recycled natural fibres and Aquaten’s unique water absorbent fabric weighs 9kg, which enabled a team to install the roof in less than a day without disturbing the natural order at the centre. The Aquaten LiteTM locks in rainfall and moisture to create positive growing conditions for the vegetation to develop.
As Mike Cottage of TUGC pointed out, “We’ve converted an ugly river stone area into a natural habitat and when we revisited the roof this summer the transformation was spectacular; the variety of species and plant growth were phenomenal as the simple video will show.”
Furthermore, the roof saw the first use of a fabric which absorbs and neutralises pollutants from the atmosphere – Aquaten CleanAirTM – a much needed boost in a congested area.
Bulent Kazim, project manager for The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said: “We are trying to create wildlife habitats across the borough as well as sustainable urban drainage to combat the effects of urbanisation and the living roof at the Centre qualifies on both of those counts.”
Abdurahaman Sayed CEO at the Centre commented “We had been looking at ways to create a more user friendly habitat on the roof of the centre and the Aquaten solution can now be seen to be reaping rewards.”