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Raising the roof!

Here’s a view of the new development most residents won’t see!

Following on from last month’s frequently asked questions asking how eco-friendly the new development will be, we thought we’d tell you a little more about how we are making the new homes even greener with the design of our new roofs.

At Catalyst we are actively looking at ways to lower carbon emissions and promote higher standards of sustainable design – design that will reduce building running costs and help protect residents against future energy price increases and adapt to changing climate. Two ways in which we are doing this in the new development is investing in green roofs and solar photovoltaics (PV).

Green roofs and solar PVs

Green roofs can have a longer lifespan than a normal flat roof, reducing maintenance and repair costs. They’re stocked with a range of naturally occurring grasses, plants and abundant meadow flowers that grow well in these environments. We are also installing solar PV on the main roofs. These provide electricity from a free resource – the sun – so that over time energy cost increases can be kept low.

There are other benefits too:

  • The green roof will help prevent local flooding by absorbing rainwater and releasing it more slowly into the drainage system.
  • Rainwater is collected and filtered by the green roofs, putting cleaner water back into the drainage network.
  • The green roof can help both with insulation during colder months and provide a cooling effect during hotter periods – the roof membrane immediately underneath a green roof installation can be up to 53% cooler in hotter periods therefore saving on air conditioning costs.
  • The green roof will increase biodiversity by attracting wildlife including insects and birds – especially important in London where certain wildlife, such as bees, experience pressure on their natural habitats.
  • Pollutants in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide, will be filtered by the green roofs thereby lowering the carbon footprint of the development and contributing to improving air quality in London.
  • The green roof creates a cooling effect, which benefits the solar PV keeping them at the optimum temperature for efficient operation. Solar PV installations combined with a green roof can increase solar PV performance by around 15%.

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