Boningale GreenSky has grown from a green roof knowledge transfer partnership with the University of Sheffield which developed a new way of growing plants for roofs. We have been closely involved in the development of green roof planting guidelines with GRO as the industry develops.
Green roofing looks at the environmental performance and survival qualities of plants individually and as communities. Many of these qualities are overlooked by purely aesthetic traditional planting, but are very necessary to enable our cities to adapt to climate change. There are many circumstances where resilient planting designs with high aesthetic appeal and environmental performance are needed – which led us to create Floratopia. We provide CPDs and design guides and tools to help designers get the best from their planting schemes.
Our PhD, with Michael Livingstone and Professor James Hitchmough at the University of Sheffield Department of Landscape, has developed a new ultra-low maintenance planting technique to bring brilliant aesthetics and environmental benefits to open spaces.
By studying the physiology of stress tolerant plant communities from around the world, we have selected a high-performance range of species that will thrive and develop in a deep gravel substrate to minimise weed invasion.
Following our 3-year knowledge transfer project with the University of Sheffield Green Roof Centre, we have had a variety of demonstration and test rigs on our site to test the performance of green roof plants including alpines, wildflowers, herbs, perennials and bulbs.
In order to fully understand how to grow plants for green roofs and achieve overall best performance we had to understand the substrates into which they are planted.
On extensive roofs these are over 80% aggregate which is very different from normal topsoils.
Dr Tom Young’s PhD helped us determine the performance implications for our plants and the whole green roof system.
Full PHD paper can be found here: Importance of different components of green roof substrate on plant growth and physiological performance