Social housing green roof opportunities

Apr 22, 2015

Social housing provides plenty of opportunities for small-scale green roofs. Our last post focussed on electricity stations. There are normally a few of these on most council estates across the UK. In fact the picture posted yesterday was from an estate in Southwark, London.

Social housing green infrastructure

Small Green Roof – Social Housing

Social Housing – Pram Sheds

Many social housing estates have pram sheds. These were built in the fifties and sixties. They were probably well used then. However most are now empty. The concrete roof decks of the sheds are perfect structures for a small scale green roof. As the buildings are not even single storey in height, they can be viewed from the surrounding flats. This adds a touch of colour and nature for resident’s to see form their windows.

Social Housing – Bin Sheds

Many estates have bin sheds and even coal sheds. These too were constructed in a similar fashion to pram sheds and are relatively easy to retrofit.

Social Housing – Garages

Garages on Social Housing units can be too lightweight for a green roof. It depends on when they were built. A lot of estates built in the 70s used very lightweight concrete for the roof deck. However, those built earlier tend to be stronger. We would always recommend a structural assessment of garages to make sure they can take the weight of a good green roof.

Social housing green infrastructure

Newly installed green roofs on bin sheds

Social Housing – Climate Change and Resilience.

An EU funded project in the London of Hammersmith and Fulham is in the process of implementing several small scale green roofs. These are on a variety of structures including bin and pram sheds. Other green infrastructure features – a large green roof, a green wall and a series of rain gardens will also be installed.  The project covers three estates across the borough. The project aims is to demonstrate how social housing can be adapted to the vagaries of climate change.

Greening social housing units offers residents resilience against climate change and a touch of biodiversity on their doorsteps.