For green roof installations

Green Roof

Green roofs perform a vital role in helping cities adapt to the effects of climate change by reducing the need for artificial cooling in hot weather and reducing rainwater run-off, as well as providing a range of habitats for wildlife.

However, green roofs can only provide these environmental benefits if they are properly designed and installed. NFRC has a growing number of trained green roof installers and manufacturers.

What is a green roof?

A living or green roof is a roof, deck or other structure onto which vegetation is intentionally grown or habitats for wildlife are established.

Types of green roof

Traditionally there have been three broad classifications for green roofs - extensive, semi-intensive and intensive. However, whilst biodiverse roofs share many of the characteristics of an extensive roof, their increased specification merits a distinctly separate category.

Semi-Intensive Green Roof

GRO Semi-intensive ECO Green Roofs - Richmond Park GC

Can include characteristics of both Extensive and Biodiverse roofs. Typically requiring a deeper level of substrate, a wider range of plants can be included such as shrubs and woody plants. Irrigation and maintenance requirements are dependent on the plants chosen.

Intensive Green Roof

GRO City Roofs - an intensive rooftop car park in Birmingham

Often referred to as a roof garden that provide similar benefits to a small parks or domestic garden. Designed predominately for recreational use, intensive roofs often require regular maintenance and irrigation.


GRO Eco Green Roofs - Brown Roof Hackney - Brown Biodiverse

Is similar in composition to an extensive roof, but is designed specifically to create a habitat that will attract a particular plant species, insects and birds, by replicating or creating a habitat. This type includes a brown roof, which is a low-vegetated version. The growing medium is purposely-selected to allow plant species to inhabit the roof over time.

Extensive Green Roof

GRO City Roofs - Extensive Sedum Roof

Serve as an ecological covering that provides society with environmental benefits and the building owner with life cycle cost benefits.

A lightweight, low-maintenance roof system, typically with sedums or other hardy plant species planted into a substrate/growing medium that is low in nutrients. Irrigation is not normally required once the green roof has established.

The Green Roof Organisation

Green Roof Organisation Logo

NFRC provides the secretariat for The Green Roof Organisation (GRO), which is the independent UK body representing the industry trade associations, manufacturers and key players within the green roofing sector. GRO sets out to promote the green roof concept provide suitable guidelines to both manufacturers and installers and to recognise and promote correctly trained green roofing companies.

In February 2011 GRO produced the first edition of the Green Roof Code for the UK. The code, which was the result of technical cooperation across the UK green roof industry, was intended to be recognised as the code of best practice and guide behaviour relating to green roof design, specification, installation and maintenance. In October 2014, the latest edition of the Code was published.

The GRO Green Roof Code

Click on the image below, to download a free copy:

GRO Code 2014 Publication

The code will help anyone who is designing, specifying, installing or maintaining a green roof.

How to become a GRO member

If you are a member of a trade association such as NFRC, LRWA or SPRA then you can join GRO for free. All you need to do is complete and sign a Compliance Form to say that you will comply with the GRO Code of Practice and then email this to

Even if you are not a member of a trade association linked with GRO, you can still become a member. You would need to complete a Non-Member Compliance Form and pay a joining fee of £500 for a contractor or £1200 for a manufacturer or supplier, send your form Lauren Omand to the email listed above.

Green Roof Qualification

GRO has been working with LANTRA to design a Level 2 Diploma for Green Roof Installers endorsed by the European Federation of Green Roof Associations. The qualification will cover topics such as establishing and maintaining plants on a green roof, preparing a green roof ready for planting, conducting a report on a field survey, communicating information in the workplace and constructing water features.

The course is aimed at individuals who are experienced in roofing, in particular flat roofing, who wish to expand their Green Roof knowledge with additional LANTRA endorsed units to enhance their qualification base.


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