A business and academic partnership has piloted green roofs on two key sites in Birmingham city centre to trial sustainable development and provide wildlife habitats.
The project was funded by SITA Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund and is managed by Groundwork Birmingham and Solihull. There are twelve other partners, including Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham City Council, Livingroofs.org and Birmingham University. The roofs have been established on the ICC in Birmingham’s Broad Street and the BVSC building in Digbeth.
The project follows a grant of £175,000 from the SITA Trust and will be studied for sustainability projects and to train developers and investors involved in city redevelopment.
Green roofs can help reduce local flood risks and keep buildings cool in the summer, reducing the amount of power required for cooling. The roofs will also form a suitable habitat for rare black redstart birds, a breed that settled in Birmingham after the second world war.
The EU -funded SWITCH (sustainable water management improves tomorrow’s cities’ health) integrated project is providing resources to support the construction of the demonstration roofs as well as the monitoring effort of the Birmingham University staff. It also funded a complementary research facility to investigate alternative green roof materials on the university campus.
Part of the ICC and BVSC green roof installation included testing structural loading capacity, replacing all the waterproofing layers for buildings, and investigating sources of recycled aggregate.