WORK IS NOW complete on the installation of a ground-breaking climate resilience and blue research roof in Manchester.
Sited on the roof of a city centre tower called Bloc, the smart blue-green roof from Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation will help to develop understanding of how storing and re-using rainwater at roof level can reduce the volume of surface run-off entering the sewer network.
It’s hoped the study will reduce the flood risks of high-intensity storms that are becoming increasingly frequent as the climate changes.
Unlike conventional green roofs, which use a drainage layer to simply remove rainwater, the 525m2 blue roof construction, retrofitted to Bloc’s flat roof, stores rainwater beneath the planted surface where it lands. Passive irrigation in the attenuation layer draws water up through the structure to the underside of the green roof substrate and provides water to plants on the roof.
The blue roof technology protects plants in droughts, reduces drinking water demand during hot weather and enhances biodiversity by maintaining plants in optimum growing conditions. In the case of Bloc, planting has been specially selected from local varieties to help attract pollinators and a particularly rare butterfly, the Manchester Argus.
Blue roofs contribute to green urbanisation and are commonly seen as the next generation of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).
Nicholas Wright, Specification Business Development Director at Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation, said: “The two-year roof research programme at Bloc will demonstrate the full creative and multifunctional potential of green urbanisation, which represents the next generation of sustainable drainage systems.
“By introducing integrated natural habitats across the urban landscape, we create healthier, more resilient communities that are highly carbon and energy efficient.”