Green Roofing

Read our guide to discover how green roofing could bring a range of benefits to your home or project including reduced bills, better insulation and a host of other environmental factors.

What is a Green Roof?

What is a Green Roof?

Also known as a ‘Living Roof’ the green roof provides a wide range of environmental, economic and ecological benefits. The green roof dates back to prehistoric times however the modern movement really gathered pace in Germany during the 1970’s. Nowadays the green roof movement has spread across the globe with a particular concentration in Northern Europe. A typical green roof will usually consist of a substrate which sits on a waterproof surface. The substrate is usually held in place by a turf, quite often Sedum.

Benefits of Green Roofing

Sound Insulation

The green roof can have a significantly positive impact on sound insulation. On a green roof sound can be absorbed, reflected and deflected much more by the plants and growing medium used. This in turn can have a beneficial impact on the neighbouring community.

Energy Conservation

Where buildings have poor levels of insulation and ventilation the green roof can help improve these conditions leading to a reduction in energy costs. The use of a green roof leads to a much more moderate temperature level throughout the year which may fluctuate far less than a conventional roof.

Urban Heat Island Mitigation

Urban areas have higher temperatures than rural locations as a result of lower green space and an increased reliance on hard surfaces providing high thermal mass. The processes of evaporation and transpiration from green roofs help to cool the air in the atmosphere and in summer time reduce the need for air conditioning.

Ecological Support

Green roofs have long been proven to help support the ecology of an area, providing unique habitats for various plants and animals. At the London Olympics 2012 the green roofs used were highlighted as being essential in the re-establishment of the rare black redstart bird.

Support of PV Panels

Solar/Photovoltaic panels are proven to work more effectively on a green roof rather than a conventional roof. The green roof supports the PV panel by reducing the fluctuations in temperature at roof level ensuring a more stable microclimate around the PV panel, making them more efficient.

Storm water Runoff

On a conventional roof with a drainage system you will typically find harmful bacteria created by faecal matter, heavy metals and oils. Storm water runoff often carries such potentially harmful material from the roof into the drainage and sewer systems for onward transmission to the sea where it can infect and pollute. The green roof prevents this by allowing more water to be held in the roof eventually disappearing through evaporation and transpiration.

Flood Control

In the event of flash floods and heavy rainfall the green roof micro system absorbs higher levels of excess rainwater which eventually dissipate as a result of evaporation and transpiration as opposed to drainage. This directly reduces the potential impact of flooding.


In an age of corporate social responsibility and business ethics greenwashing is a way in which companies can appear to show concern for the wider environment in which they operate by implementing cost effective strategies such as green roofing.

How Wraxalls can help

Wraxalls bring the type of expertise to the table which was used to provide the substrate for green roofing at the London 2012 Olympic Games. With our established model we are able to:

  • Deliver anywhere direct to site from our operations in Kent and East Anglia.
  • Provide expert advice on materials, sourcing and logistics.
  • Deliver loads from single 25kg bags to 4000 tonne loads. No job is too big or too small.
  • Supply clients across the world with high quality Wraxalls products.

Case Study – Westfield White City

  • Wraxalls delivered 4000 tonnes of washed rounded pebbles to site.
  • Managing crane slots and lift times was critically important.
  • During optimal weeks 300 tonnes were lifted on to the roof from our transport.

How our Service Works

How our Service Works

We are always happy to hear about the requirements of any job you have so come and speak to us about your project and material requirements. We offer a range of bespoke services from selection and screening of stone-grades to mixing specific substrates so we’d be happy to sit down and discuss your needs.

Stay informed

Stay informed