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From Urban Greening to Climate Change
Green roofs offer a clever solution to help to mitigate the increasing problem of climate change. Global warming is caused by a combination of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and reduced ability to absorb these greenhouse gasses. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and convert it into glucose through photosynthesis. As carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the increase of its abundance in the atmosphere will contribute to global warming. Green roofs allow humans to develop and increase urban land use without compromising the area that used to be covered in photosynthetic plants. By adding green roofs to houses and buildings, the amount of green land lost to development is reduced which helps to decrease the effect of global warming.

Climate change related FAQs

  • Can I still have solar panels?
    Yes. Green roofs can be designed to fit around solar panels or the panels can fit on top of the roof. This can not only increase the efficiency of the solar panels, but the shade created by the solar panels can increase biodiversity of the underlying green roof. Special care must be taken when selecting plants to be installed in the shaded areas to ensure they grow well in low light conditions.
  • Green Roofs as Ecosystems
    Green roofs - what?
    Environmentally friendly, wildlife-friendly, attractive and sustainable. That’s what. Sky Garden aims to tick all of those boxes right from the original consultation, through to design, installation and maintenance.
    Leading in our field (excuse the pun), we work on modern, attractive projects that are kind to the world around us. You could be an environmentally conscious business owner or simply someone who is keen to be green- we welcome everyone.
    How do green roofs work?
    This is the science-y bit. Non geeks, look away now. It’s pretty simple really.
    A drainage board is laid (nature’s bed rock) followed by a growing medium (soil, in short), which is tailored to your choice of vegetation. That could be wildflower, for those who want a beautifully colourful finish, or a sedum roof, for an instant green dream, right above your head.
    All our vegetation is grown and maintained in our very own nurseries, using regionally sourced materials, ready to adorn and embellish roofs all over the country.
    Why opt for a green roof?
    • We work closely with Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) to tailor our roofs to the needs to endangered wildlife. That way, we ensure local wildlife have a tranquil habitat to enjoy (and you have a magnificent roof!)
    • Our roofs aren’t just to be admired- why not create a space to chill out and relax in those warm summer months? This is hugely beneficial to those with smaller spaces- you could create somewhere for friends and family to come when the weather is too lovely for you to be indoors. Not to mention the value it could add to your property.
    • Especially in the Cotswolds, a landscape so beautiful must be preserved. A green roof will ensure the stunning setting in which we live is only added to.
    • The run-off of water that a green roof provides can help in preventing flooding that the UK so often suffers with. Unlike its counterparts- slate and concrete, a green roof reduces the amount of rainwater run-off, helping us to stay dry and safe.
    • A green roof can also absorb noise pollution by up to 8db- something a standard roof cannot. This is most useful in built-up areas with high noise pollution.
    Why Sky Garden?
    We’re a team that knows our stuff. Ecologists, botanists, hydrologists… you name it, we know it. Which is why we’re the UK’s leading experts in green roofing, and we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and the highest quality of installation there is. We only use regionally sourced materials, which we grow and nurture ourselves, and we care.
    In a world full of pollution, we aim to provide a sanctuary for wildlife, and beautiful spaces for all to enjoy.
  • Wildflower and the drop in pollinating insect numbers.
    As cities such as London grow, houses, offices and new developments take the place of green space because the land is more profitable after it has been developed. This does, however, pose a number of problems. By removing vegetation, air quality can reduce and pollution can become worse; water runoff becomes faster which puts more pressure on drain and sewer networks and can ultimately lead to flooding. Studies show that stress can increase just by removing green space. A person’s heart beats an average on 5 beats per minute less if there is just more vegetation around them. So although there are financial benefits to developing green space, is it really good for us? Despite the health implications nearly every city is continuing to renovate what’s left of its green spaces in favour of more places to live and work. To try and combat this, green roofs are sometimes specified to replace what greenery was lost by the new build. This helps to combat the problems of pollution and storm water runoff as well as aiding with insulation and reducing energy bills, but is it enough? Unfortunately, not all buildings have green roofs specified, so not enough is being done to replace the green space lost. Not only is this an issue for our own health and wellbeing, but it poses a great problem for the local wildlife. Without a pathway of vegetation through urban areas, many animals and insects cannot survive. Are we doing enough to replace the wildflower we are losing through development? A seven-mile long "bee corridor" is being planted in a bid to boost the number of pollinating insects. The wildflower meadows will be put in place in 22 of Brent Council's parks in north London. A recent study blamed the decline of wildflowers as a factor behind the drop in pollinating insect numbers in the UK since the 1980s. Councillor Krupa Sheth said bees were "so important for pollinating the crops that provide the food that we eat". She added: "We must do all we can to help them to thrive."
  • Integrating Nature Into Urban Spaces With Biophilic Design
    Biophilia- the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of ultimate human nature” –E.O. Wilson Urban spaces can often leave us longing for fresh air, green countryside and rolling hill views. Busy offices can leave us clock-watching and daydreaming of exotic holidays. But how can we lessen our longing and better our mindsets so we don’t detach ourselves from the wonders of the natural world completely? Biophilic design could be the answer. The practice of bringing nature back to our everyday lives and spaces brings a more positive attitude to us at home, in the workplace and when we’re out and about. We have become so inherently used to urbanised spaces, skyscrapers, and dull workspaces that we forget how life was before these concepts existed. Where we lived amongst nature, where we grew our own food and lived on it entirely, and where we didn’t call a trip to the countryside a “retreat”. Biophilic design aims to reconnect humankind with nature and sustain the relationship to improve mental and physical health, attitudes and aesthetics.  

    Benefits of Biophilic Design


    Biophilic design means you’re never far from nature, no matter where you are.

    Find yourself in the middle of a city? Pollution, litter, a mass of queuing people all a bit too much? A calming green space could make all the difference to your mood and mental health.  

    Workers can feel the benefits

    Bringing the outside in to the workplace can have amazing effects on workers. The management theorist Maslow found that when studying the aesthetics of a workplace, the quality of design had a knock-on effect on workers, improving energy levels and positivity.  


    It is thought that a view of nature (water, trees, etc) could boost productivity no matter where you are. That could be in the workplace, at university, or even in the home. The human need to be near nature means that when we are, we feel calmer, more relaxed and ready to face the day’s challenges.  

    It looks fantastic

    Let’s not ignore the obvious pro to biophilic design. Who doesn’t like a tall houseplant, a bouquet of handpicked flowers or a collection of cacti in their home? Especially in built-up areas, small touches can be great ways to feel like you aren’t a million miles away from nature (because let’s face it, we can’t all live by the sea). It’s not just greenery we’re talking about here though- high quality, hand-crafted timber planters and beautifully finished decking means that one of our latest projects in Salford was a roaring success.Residents can now feel close to nature slap bang in the middle of Manchester, and it’s all down to artificial turf, stylish planters and a bit of good old graft!  

    Urban life can be improved

    Not everyone’s dream is to move to a big city. It can be a loved one or a career move that means upping to the Big Smoke (or the Big Apple!). Having a green space in a city could make urban life more desirable to country bumpkins and rural residents.  

    Improvement in illness

    Research shows that nature can aid recovery from illness, reduce stress, and even moderate the effects of ADHD and autism. This means hospitals, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges could benefit from greener spaces, too.  

    It could boost the economy

    Research also suggests humans are more generous in natural environments, meaning the closer to nature shoppers are, the more likely they are to part with their cash!  


    This one is obvious but astoundingly important. A child brought up in an urban area is less likely to recognise different trees, plants and animals, or to know the difference between rivers and lakes. If there was more nature incorporated into their surroundings, this may not be the case. The same goes for stressed-out university students, which is why we brought back the green for the students at Liverpool University with the all new Crown Place garden. Amongst impressive architecture now lies a beautiful green space where students and residents of this bustling city can chill out and have a think.
  • Start to make that change by choosing a Green Roof
    In the 1970s, British chemist James Lovelock and American biologist Lynn Margulis developed the Gaia hypothesis, which suggests every living thing on Earth exists within and contributes to a self-regulating system that allows habitable conditions to exist and has done since life first emerged 3.8 billion years ago. This idea that the world is taking care of us and allowing us to survive is both rooted in science and is intuitively appealing, however, the evidence does not stack up. Lovelock made three arguments when proposing the idea of Gaia: (1) that Earth is an extremely favourable habitat for life; (2) that Earth’s environment has remained fairly stable over geological time (3) that life has greatly altered the planetary environment, including the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the sea[1]; and A major review of the evidence around Gaia has shown that often, these arguments are flawed. Earth is an extremely favourable habitat for life. As you look back through the geological record, there are plenty of times where conditions were not favourable for life- think of the ice ages, which are controlled not by the biosphere, but by the Milinkovic cycles, changes in how the Earth orbits the sun. Earth’s environment has remained fairly stable over geological time. Evidence for major variability in temperature, sea level, ion concentration in the sea and atmosphere and numerous others all contradict this argument. Life has greatly altered the planetary environment. Whilst this cannot be denied, life often influences conditions in a negative way. Positive feedback loops, the bad kind where adverse changes in turn cause more adverse changes. Take the albedo effect at the poles. This is where light coloured ice reflects sunlight and reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the Earth. However, as global warming increases surface temperatures, ice melts and dark green vegetation replaces it. This dark vegetation absorbs far more heat than the ice it replaced, causing further warming. It is this third point that has become a talking point recently. Timothy Lenton and Bruno Latour believe that as humans have become aware of our actions and implications on the planet, we are creating a fundamental new state of Gaia; Gaia 2.0. Cock van Oosterhout, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at the U.K.’s University of East Anglia said  “If you take the human perspective into it you realise that the regulation of biogeochemical cycles and nutrient cycles can be manipulated and managed by humans,”[2]. For this to occur however, humans need to be prepared to make positive changes, no matter how small, as each will contribute to maintenance of the kind of environment we want to live in. One way to start to make that change is by choosing a green roof. Not only do they contribute to removing carbon dioxide from the environment, they also reduce storm water run-off, increase insulation to houses leading to lower heating requirements and can actually increase your quality of life. Studies have shown that green space increases recovery after surgery, promotes mental wellbeing and boosts productivity in the workplace, so why not consider a green roof in your house or office? If this is something you are interested in then get hold of our expert team on 01242 620905 or contact us by email at [1] [2]  
  • Join the Green Revolution
    We at Sky Garden are multi-award winners with over 20 years’ experience in the green roof industry, having become founding members of the Green Roof Organisation (GRO) in 1996. Through this time we have grown with the industry and have installed some of the biggest and most innovative green roof systems in the world. We are reaching out to you to help you realise your green infrastructure goals. With climate change now top of the agenda, development proposals are including ever more green credentials. Sky Garden are great advocates of the environmental benefits of green roof systems and are becoming more and more involved with blue roof infrastructure to help manage urban drainage issues in built up areas. Vegetation surfaces naturally retain water via infiltration for growth and processes within the plant, the soil also absorbs and keeps water for a period. This significantly reduces surface runoff rates from a green roof system compared to traditional roofs, subsequently reducing the amount of water reaching the already pressured drainage systems in the UK. There are many more benefits to a green roof system compared to the traditional roof used. One driver for green roof systems is the reduction of the urban heat island effect. The reason behind the reduction of the UHI is that green roofs have lower solar insolation rates compared to urban surfaces. This creates lower surface temperatures that will generate a cooler localised climate within the vicinity of the green roof. In addition, green roof systems improve biodiversity in an area because the system is reintroducing or creating a habitat which urban areas had previously destroyed. Furthermore, they form natural ecological corridors for various animals to travel from one green space to another, or even a nearby protected area. Here at Sky Garden we also grow all of our own living material. Our sedum blanket, which contains 13 species of sedum to maximise biodiversity, is grown at our production facility in the Cotswolds. We also produce our own Wildflower blanket which contains 30 species of native wildflowers. We are the largest independent grower of sedum in the UK. By Ben Howkins - Contracts Manager


Years of Green Roof Experience


Grown & Sourced

210 +

acres of green roof planted

Award Winning

Proud to be members of

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Climate Change

20 m2 of green roof space can on average absorb 100kg of carbon per year that’s equivalent to:

  • 4.1

    Gas cylinders used for home barbeques

  • 111

    Pounds of coal burned

  • 251

    Miles driven in a car

  • 12,164

    Number of smartphones charged