Construction managers overseeing domestic and commercial projects incorporating green roofs are being reminded to plan especially carefully over the coming months to best manage supply chain issues created by Brexit.
Many of the roll-out green roof systems popular in the UK are European imports of sedum and wildflower blankets and rely upon delivery within a set timeframe to ensure the sedum arrives in a suitable condition for the roof to establish successfully. However high levels of freight traffic in ports, compliance with new import regulations and border disruption could delay deliveries, creating issues in the supply chain and potential delays on-site.
“Maintaining close contact with your green roof supplier or manufacturer will be critical over the coming months for two reasons,” said Julian Thurbin, Director of UK grower and system supplier Wallbarn. “Firstly, the sedum element of roll-out green roofs is usually delivered to site on a ‘just in time’ basis because the plants are delicate and should not, we believe, be left rolled up for longer than 72 hours. If the blankets are held up at borders it could impact their long-term performance and create delays on-site. Clients therefore need to know how their supplier is managing the situation and the plans in place to ensure on-time deliveries.
“Secondly, many British producers such as ourselves are already seeing higher than normal levels of enquiries from specifiers and purchasing departments looking to secure a home-grown green roof supply through the first quarter of 2021 and onwards. We don’t foresee demand outstripping supply but we are advising customers to plan well ahead. They should also keep dialogue open and frequent with their chosen supplier especially for larger projects or where timescales are particularly critical,” added Julian.
Green roofs are a buoyant sector of the construction industry and bring huge benefits to environments they are installed into, encouraging and supporting pollinators and wildlife, controlling stormwater run-off, regulating city centre temperatures, improving air quality and being great to look at. Research has confirmed they also prolong the life of flat roofs, making them an environmentally friendly, long-lasting roofing solution.
Wallbarn pioneered the M-Tray modular green roof system which contains all elements of a roll-out green roof within a portable tray that can be hand lifted into position on-site. M-Tray sedum and wildflower plants are grown in Hampshire and Wallbarn endeavours to source all elements of the system as locally as possible to maintain a low environmental footprint.