Green roofs can be designed to provide a wide range of benefits that enhance the ecological, financial and technical performance of the roof.

Ecological & Environmental Benefits

With beneficial impacts on biodiversity, energy consumption, climate change mitigation, reduction of Albedo / Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE), air and water quality, society derives significant short- and longer-term ecological benefits.

Habitat Provision

Green roofs can provide food, habitat, nesting opportunities or resting places for creatures displaced by urban development, such as spiders, beetles, butterflies, birds and other invertebrates - replacing lost habitat and potentially aiding planning applications.


The vast array of planting species that Blackdown are able to accommodate in the green roof design enables the green roof to blend into the surrounding natural environment, replacing the building's footprint.

Water Quality

Runoff quality is improved by reducing the velocity of runoff - mitigating erosion and restricting collected pollution - and by filtration of pollutants by the substrate, reducing pollutant seepage into ground waters.

Offsetting Carbon Emissions & Improving Air Quality

As vegetation consumes carbon during photosynthesis, green roofs positively remove emissions, helping arrest climate change. Air pollution levels are also reduced by the green roof's ability to trap particulates and capture gases.

Urban Heat Island Effect

Temperatures are known to be higher in urban areas relative to surrounding rural areas, due to the higher quantity of impermeable, reflective surfaces and increased density of population. Green roofs reverse this effect by returning moisture to the environment through evapotranspiration, reducing solar gain and improving air quality.

Recycled Materials Usage

Blackdown's substrate recipes are engineered to provide the requisite air, water and nutrient balance. Recycled crushed brick is used within the typical recipes. Indeed, Blackdown can develop substrate solutions to minimise site waste on redevelopment sites.


The wide range of benefits that green roofs provide can support Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education in a variety of subjects; including science, art, technology, geography etc. With safe access and use provision included, a green roof can provide an outdoor classroom that reduces the need for off-site trips.

Financial Benefits

The building owner benefits financially from the whole life cost savings associated with the extended life of the roof membrane, reduced energy bills and avoided costs of acoustic products and SUDS solutions. Further value is added by the additional recreational space and ensuing health & wellbeing benefits.

Offsetting construction costs

Green roofs can accommodate zero falls, without the need for costly screeds. Acoustic and stormwater attenuation benefits can also allow cost reductions elsewhere in the construction process.

Aiding planning process

Incorporating a green roof in the design often appeals to local authorities' planning departments, improving the chances of avoiding delays at early stages.

Life cycle cost benefits

Roof membranes: Vegetation cover lowers thermal stresses induced by UV rays, extending membrane durability by as much as double.

Reduced energy costs: Insulation afforded by the substrate, planting & drainage layer can reduce energy required for winter heating and summer cooling.

Stormwater attenuation: Predicted changes to the water billing system should supplement savings attributable to potential downsizing of parallel SUDS components.

Amenity space enhancing property value

Green roofs, notably intensive systems, can benefit businesses or families by providing valuable additional outdoor recreational areas, for a variety of possible uses.

Health, Wellbeing & Productivity

Research into green roofing has highlighted that the addition of such green space into a development brings health and wellbeing benefits that can improve the productivity of the workforce.

Studies have highlighted how hospital patients' convalescence times were reduced when rooms overlooked a green, rather than a standard, roof.

Building Performance Benefits

Green roofs permit designers to incorporate additional technical benefits into the project design that would not otherwise feature at roof level. Affording stormwater, thermal and acoustic performance benefits, green roofs are increasingly specified for functional, rather than simply aesthetic, reasons.

Stormwater Management

Green roofs reduce rainwater run-off through interception and evaporation at plant level and infiltration and transpiration within the substrate.

Peak flows are delayed by the time of infiltration and concentration (i.e. tracking to the outlet) and attenuated through the matric storage of water within the substrate.

Thermal performance

Green roofs, through the insulating effect of substrate or polystyrene drainage layers, have been shown to reduce the requirements for heating in the winter and, more importantly in the UK, for air conditioning in the summer.

Sound attenuation

Sound insulation is provided by a combination of the substrate, vegetation and trapped air. The substrate reduces the level of low frequency sounds and plants the higher frequencies, resulting in weighted reductions of approximately 8dB.