Our Innovation Precinct green roof not only looks great but brings exciting sustainability benefits to the wider community.
A green roof is part of a building's roof that is either redesigned or built for the purpose of supporting living vegetation. This increases the amount of greenery in the area and acts as a heat sink to improve a building's energy efficiency.
Just take a look at the green roof on top of our Innovative Precinct. It has been strategically layered with quality soil and landscaped with a range of beautiful water-wise native plants. To support the success of this project, the roof was fully waterproofed for smart water use and to keep the building dry below.
Succulents including Crassula, Sedum and the native 'Pig Face' are planted among hardy native shrubs, Ruby Saltbush and Knobby Club Rush. This mix will grow into a diverse, layered expression as plants continue to mature.
We chose these plants because they are low maintenance and tolerant to both drought and frost. In other words, they will thrive across all seasons with little help from us, even up on the rooftop.
These plants grow to create a beautiful green view from the top floor of our SLA Sales and Information Centre. They'll softening the lines between the building and its surrounds and attract pollinators and add another level of sustainability to the precinct. Check out the building process in the video below.
The benefits of green roofs
While green roofs look wonderful, that's only part of the picture as they provide all kinds of sustainability benefits.
Homes for local fauna
Green roofs can provide urban refuge for birds, butterflies, bees and other pest-controlling animals, while also supporting the movement of these animals through our suburbs by way of creating 'corridors' of greenery. By creating a habitat for these animals and insects, green roofs can play an important role in connecting natural environments to one another within an urban context.
Green roofs can cool both the building they're planted on and the surrounding area, with research showing that the construction of green roofs can effectively decrease the surface temperature on rooftops.
The hotter the climate, the greater the cooling effect. This makes them an excellent choice for Canberra's conditions.
The science is simple: soil and plants absorb the direct heat of the sun, and provide a bonus element of 'ceiling insulation' for the building. This reduces the need for air-conditioning during warmer months and saves on energy usage.
Improved air quality
Plants improve air quality by removing carbon dioxide from the air, producing oxygen and filtering out fine airborne particles. Studies show that green roofs can also trap up to 95% of heavy metals from the local atmosphere.
Reducing stormwater runoff
Green roofs can help to retain stormwater and slow rainfall runoff. This plays an important role in protecting the community and existing developments. Research from the University of Queensland has shown that just 100mm of soil planted on a green roof can reduce stormwater runoff by up to 42%.
Decreasing urban heat island effects
Urban heat islands are areas that experience far warmer temperatures than the surrounding areas due to human activity. Green roofs can reduce this effect thanks to their insulating and low thermal absorption properties.
Increase in solar panel efficiency
Solar panels installed over green roofs operate more efficiently. This makes them a great choice for communities that want to enjoy better energy output and more long-term sustainability.