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Biodiverse roofs

Biodiverse / brown roofs

Biodiverse roofs are designed to create a habitat for a specific requirement for flora and / or fauna. This may be to replicate or enhance the pre-development surroundings. For instance particular plant species may be required to attract a specific type of bird, butterfly or insect. Biodiverse would include brown roofs which in their most extreme scenario are left without vegetation with the growing medium selected to allow, over time, the indigenous plant species to colonise the area. Brownfield sites, usually disused industrial areas, are some of the most biologically diverse localities in Britain today, harbouring in many cases unique and often rare species of plants and insects. For instance some slag heaps left over from coal mining and electricity generation in the North of England are home to many rare species of terrestrial orchids.

Biodiverse roofs are therefore very variable in their design and could include any of the following:-

  • Landscaped areas with different contour levels
  • Habitat for invertebrates such as logs
  • Wetland areas or pools
  • Seeding or plug planting of species indigenous to the area
  • Reclaimed or recycled materials from the building site itself

In order to create multiple roof top environments the roof could be divided into areas containing different substrates or growing medium (i.e. sand, gravel, crushed concrete, soil, etc.). Different areas will then be created each supporting a different species thus maximising biodiversity.

The waterproofing for biodiverse and brown roofs can either be of a warm (ALPAFLORE) or inverted (WILOTEKT-PLUS) construction.

For the vegetation areas consult the Axter biodiverse NBS specification.

Download the Axter HYDROBROWN information sheet.

Axter brown roof
Biodiverse green roofs
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