Today’s Friday Film features a green roof in Islington, London designed by Bere Architects, Kim Wilkie and Dusty Gedge. It’s been a great success in attracting wildlife including goldfinches, house sparrows, butterflies and a variety of bees. The video features photos of a variety of plants from the roof and many of the insects which make use of those plants. The green roof was also highlighted in Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living which was featured in a past book review.
The Muse, home and the office of Bere Architects – http://www.bere.co.uk/ – is one of London’s exemplar green roofs. The combination of intensive, semi-intensive and extensive green roof on one building shows how amenity, enjoyment and biodiversity can designed into one building to provide as wide a range of environmental and ecosystem service benefits.
The building is also exemplar as it combines both Solar thermal and photovoltaic panels with green roofs. All too often developers and designers consider solar power and green roofs incompatible. This is not the case and the arrays at The Muse show how the green roof can increase the efficiency of the PVs and the panels themselve can actually help the wildflowers, herbs and other plants to flourish.
The roof is also home to beehive. Although there are many examples of beehives on roofs there are very few that are actually on green roofs. As urban areas are awash with roofs that could converted to green roofs this means that if habitat for bees is provided, the green roof can help increase honey production.
In 2012 the roof is being monitored by the University of East London for invertebrate biodiversity. This is part of a continuing project on biodiversity and green roofs that started in London in 2002.