Learn more about Sky Garden's green roof project at Ebbw Vale in Wales.
The Learning Zone lies at the heart of the regeneration and redevelopment of the former steelworks site at Ebbw Vale, the largest regeneration project in Wales. The main project brief was to achieve BREEAM excellence which involved utilising advanced techniques to greatly increase air tightness, natural ventilation, rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic cells help and an intensive landscaped roof.
This building is part of the wider masterplan, known as the Works, in which the following has also been commissioned; a leisure centre, a 3-16 school in two phases, a special school, a 500 space multi-storey car park and an energy centre. The new education facilities will sit alongside an arts centre, low carbon housing, general offices and a wetland park in the £350m scheme which BDP will design. Sky-garden worked in consultation with the project architect and contractors to produce a viable hard and soft landscaping scheme, in line with desired aesthetics and also suitable for a rooftop environment. The installation involved supplying and installing all materials consisting of walls, paving, kerbing, planting, irrigation, benches and various furniture elements.
The paved areas had to be sufficient to replicate ground level durability but also designed to allow rainfall to exit effectively. We advised a build-up consisting of the following; installation of a fleece layer to protect the waterproof membrane. Following this we installed a 40mm deep HDPE cuspate drainage layer, filled with MOT* type ballast. This was then laid over with a 50mm layer of 2-5mm grit providing a level screed for paving. Finally, the paving was a specialist product called hydopave selected for it permeability.
*The MOT was a specialist mix with minimal no dust or fines preventing too greater compaction density which would consequently cause insufficient water runoff which would result in ponding issues.
As can be seen, the surface finish had an intricate design with a striking blue glass block carving through the hydropave block areas.