Are blue and green roofs the future for East Anglia?
The logistics of most engineering issues goes over the average person’s head, and we generally take it for granted that engineers are busy solving problems for us and our society. However, JMS are currently addressing issues such as increased urbanisation and climate change by doing just that… going over our heads.
More than aesthetic
We’re talking about roof gardens, and what’s known as blue roofs, which have the ability to collect and retain water, and they’re something that’s going to become a greater part of our urban landscapes as our needs change. Especially as there’s more roof space than roads in most towns and cities these days. JMS engineer Ben recently designed a blue roof scheme in Whetstone where a basement car park took up most of the site. “The client asked us the question… where can we place the storage? The answer was simple – in the roof. This kind of thing is going to hold the key to efficient draining in our future urban environments.”
Green roofs are crucial to our future
The JMS team recently enjoyed a recent presentation on blue and green roofs by drainage system specialist Polypipe. “It feels like the direction urban planners will be pushing future surface drainage designs in the future,” says Ben.
“It’s all about improving strategies to mitigate flooding if cities are to survive in a changing climate. And it’s also about using water more effectively. That means managing and controlling rain water where it falls instead of channelling it underground. Which means dealing with it at roof level.”
Blue and green roofs improve the local atmosphere
These roofs bring plenty of benefits to the local environment, such as cleaner air quality, more habitats for animals and insect, temperature regulation and even providing recreational facilities. “In one case Polypipe told us of a fruit and veg shop that was looking to grow its own produce on the roof!” Says Ben. “At JMS we’ve already been asked to consider roof attenuation during the planning process of a project, indicating that roof/podium storage is becoming a necessity rather than an option wherever possible.”
It’s inspiring to know that JMS are looking to a greener – and bluer – future for East Anglia’s urban landscapes, so we’ll see you upstairs, in the garden! Visit jmsengineers.co.uk to find out more.