Last Updated on June 19, 2015 by admin
Many holiday cottages across the country have taken a greener approach to tourism in recent times, adopting new technologies such as solar and biomass to power and heat their holiday homes.
One approach that has perhaps gleaned less of the media spotlight than it’s renewable energy counterparts is the humble green roof. Popular for more than 50 years in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, could the UK soon be awash with the floral patterns of sedum? Destinations where eco holiday home new builds are sprouting green roofs include The Village – Watergate Bay.
What is a green roof?
A green roof is an alternative to conventional roofing and consists of living plants (usually sedum) that grow in a layer of material (known as a substrate) above the roof’s waterproof membrane.
They have actually been around for years, but are now becoming more and more popular with the increased focus on being green and carbon friendly.
The Benefits of Green Roofs
- Because the roof consists of living plant life they are able to create microclimates for insects, wildlife and some rare species. Your visitors will be able to enjoy the new abundance of wildlife and the changing colours of your roof throughout the year.
- One of the most common causes of storm damage is the inability of drain systems to cope with the sudden increases of rainwater travelling through them. Sedum roofs absorb large amounts of rainwater and reduce runoff.
- Green roofs can help with temperature regulation in your holiday home, providing cooling in the summer and a degree of insulation in the colder winter months.
- These roofs have been shown to significantly increase the lifespan of waterproofing membranes lying at the base of the roof, meaning you could enjoy some financial benefits over the longer term.
- The World Tourism Organisation recently found that one in three people now consider the environmental credentials of their potential destination, with 40% willing to pay a premium to stay in such accommodation. Having a green roof will not only appease this growing marketplace, but also give you more weight when you enter the increasing number of sustainable tourism awards.
How much maintenance is required?
Once installed, the maintenance of a sedum roof is minimal, with only a few visits in the first year required to ensure your system is effective and performing correctly.
It is then recommended that your roof is checked once a year, and trimmed whenever necessary (usually every couple of years). The trimmings will be left and allowed to root again, thickening mattings and ensuring no wastage.
Things to make sure you get right
Ensure that your green roof is installed be a specialist manufacturer or installer with a proven track record. If necessary, ask for client references for a selection of systems that have been in place for some time.
- Commission an integrity test of the waterproofing layer on your roof prior to building up the green roof strata. Any damage or leaks to this layer could be potentially costly and disruptive to repair.
- Ensure annual servicing of the roofs drainage outlets is undertaken and the roof is stalled in accordance with the installers recommendations.
- Use a specialist holiday home insurance provider and fully disclose the construction of your holiday letting property to ensure adequate cover
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.