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IKO PLC Modern New Secondary School ‘Goes Green’ On Its Rooftop

IKO PLC has provided an aesthetic wildflower turf roof for a South East London secondary school.

The newly built Elmgreen School on Elmcourt Road, London, is part of the Lambeth Building Schools for the Future program. The new school now boasts a stunning wildflower turf roof garden which will help to attract the local / indigenous natural wildlife, including birds, bees and insects direct to the rooftop.

The turf was specially developed and supplied by Ashe Warren Farm in Hampshire. James Hewetson-Brown developed this turf on the farm, and meticulously tested and experimented with seeds and techniques until the mixture was just right. As a result, this unique product is now in great demand, mainly due to the fact that it offers low maintenance and speedy establishment . Ashe Warren Farm is one of the few suppliers of this specialist turf in the UK, serving both commercial and domestic customers. In addition, it has also recently won the Innovation and Technology section of the Hampshire Sustainability Awards.

This kind of wildflower turf offers architects an attractive alternative to traditional sedum mat roofs, providing greater bio-diversity and colour, and just as importantly, using UK provenance seed, incorporating nectar rich species for bees and butterflies as well as providing seeds for birdlife. It really does provide the ‘ultimate’ in environmentally friendly roofs, exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen through photosynthesis, and also absorbing 80% of rain water run off to reduce the danger of flooding. These kinds of additional benefits can also help buildings incorporating the turf to achieve a higher BREAM rating.

Topek Ltd, a national approved roofing contractor, approached IKO to refine the specification which was proposed to main contractor, Carillion. The concrete deck of the roof was firstly waterproofed with IKO’s PermaTEC Hot Melt, a versatile and durable waterproofing system. Two coats of PermaTEC were applied at a nominal thickness of 3mm. XPS Insulation was loose laid, followed by Plasfeed ND5+1 Drainage Layer, 150mm of IKOgreen Intensive Growing Medium and finally IKO Wildflower Turf Blanket (Coronet Turf).

Commenting on the project, Andrew Copeland, Contracts Manager of Topek Ltd, said, “The IKO team were fully supportive on technical, quality control and delivery co-ordination. Written reports recording the site inspections were issued which went a long way in giving both the client and ourselves confidence in IKO and their ability to deliver a quality product.”

IKO’s green roofs offer multiple benefits for both the environment and the building occupants, including improved air quality and aesthetic appearance, better thermal and acoustic performance and increased roof life expectancy. The intensive systems provide accessible garden space, which can include bushes, lawns, ornate plants and even water features, and can be installed on a wide range of buildings, including schools, houses and commercial offices.


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Arundel Jones Associates Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 07334149
Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
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