Roofing has a significant role in helping the construction sector reduce its impact on the planet


The challenges

Climate change is already having an impact on the built environment and construction is one of biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

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Government and industry response

International policy and regulation feed through to national and even local levels, which influences the buying decisions among customers and clients.

More about government and industry response >>

Roofing and sustainability

The industry is already improving its sustainability but NFRC is committed to further reducing roofing's environmental impact on the planet.

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GN57 Encouraging Roof Nesting Birds

NFRC is working proactively with roofing contractors, suppliers and conservation groups, such as RSPB, Swifts Local Network and Action for Swifts, to try to reverse the decline in the bird population in the UK by raising awareness amongst the roofing industry and encouraging the installation of nest boxes.

House Sparrow 

Many formerly common species such as house sparrows, starlings, house martins and swifts are now ‘red listed’, as the number of breeding birds has declined by over 50 per cent in the last 20 years. Renovation and repair work to the roofs of our homes and buildings is severely affecting the birds that need small cavities in the eaves to build nests and raise their young. Without somewhere to breed, numbers of these birds will continue to decline.

NFRC has produced guidance to encourage contractors on site to influence homeowners and clients into installing nest boxes and sharing their homes with nature. There is a wide range of bespoke nest boxes available that fit within the eaves or directly under the eaves or gable or even within a roof tile. The guidance contains case studies, showcasing what can be achieved when working collaboratively with conservation groups. The guidance is now available to view and we encourage contractors to share their success stories with NFRC. (Alternatively you can right click to 'save as'/download the pdf.)


Case studies

What does good look like? We've included a included a selection of case studies from NFRC trade and supplier members demonstrating what they are doing to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste.

Resource Efficiency and Waste Reduction

Sussex Asphalte—St Paul's Cathedral
Sussex Asphalte recycled 100-year-old asphalt salvaged from a previous project to renew the North Courtyard, which had started leaking water into the Cathedral’s workshops and storage facilities below. By recycling the 100-year-old asphalt, the team also saved St Paul’s Cathedral, over £11,000.

IKO—Appley Bridge Head Office
Before 2016 all waste material from IKO's Apply Bridge site was sent to landfill, including most paper, plastic wrap, hard plastic and wood pallets. However, following investment in two bailer units the site can now segregate all material and create bailed waste, minimising emissions by reducing transport to the recycling centres. Non-recyclable waste was used to create greener 'refuse-derived fuel.

Energy Efficiency and Biodiversity

Prater—Bloomberg London Building
Prater’s remit on this high-profile project, included green/bio-diverse roofing and the installation of riverstone cobble margins and natural paving slabs. The building, opened in 2017, received a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating, with a 98.5 per cent score—the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development.

H. McLarnon & Son Ltd—Head Office
The Northern Ireland-based contractor installed a range of energy saving and resource efficiency measures, including motion sensor LED lights throughout its new offices and stores, solar panels for under-floor heating, and water-efficient toilets. The company has also reduced waste to landfill, planted over 2,000 trees around its site, and replaced all old vehicles to improve fuel consumption.

Bauder—Clapham Park
The planning authority required a green roof integrated with renewable energy system in a relatively small area of this council block. Bauder's BioSOLAR system was used because it uses green roof substrate and vegetation to provide a ballast, removing the need to penetrate the waterproofing to secure the PV installation.