Green Roof Substation

Apr 20, 2020

Green Roof Substation – Green roof of the day 5

What if all the electricity substations in a city were greened? Now that would add a bit of biodiversity to a city.

green roof on electricity substation

Electricity Substation Green Roof

Green Roof on a Substation – Southwark

John Little installed a green roof down in the Southwark a few years ago. He even planted an Olive Tree! Of course the roof is covered in wildflowers. A little haven on biodiversity in a relatively impoverished area for nature. This in the Better Bankside area, which has been working to install green infrastructure.

Natural Green Roof Substation – Greenwich

I walk past this one at least three times a day when I am at home. About six years ago it was completed hidden by ivy. The ivy was all removed, However the leaf litter build up transformed the roof into a natural green roof.

Green roof on electrical substation in Greenwich

Spontaneous Green roof sub station

Climate Change and Green Roofs

Back in 2006 I had a meeting with EDF. The plan was to try and get the company to considered putting green roofs up on this structures. It was during the very long heat wave in London. The conversation didn’t get very far. Electricity companies quite rightly have a bit of problem with vegetation around transformer. So they were a little negative to the idea. However they did bring up the fact that they were having a major problem keeping their substations COOL – in the heat wave! In fact they were having to put air-conditioning fans in some sub stations. When I raised the fact that a green roof could help cool the interior, it kind of went over their heads.

Fortunately things have moved on. The recognition that green roofs can cool buildings is mainstream. So maybe EDF would be more amenable.

There a thousands of substations across London and other cities in the UK. Green roof substations could deliver small pockets of vegetation across cities. For wildlife, climate change adaptation and help keep the substations cool through the increasing heat waves we are getting. It would also quickly increase the green roof area in London. A simple good idea.

Is EDF up for the challenge?