A network of closed loop “green roofs” is being piloted in central London.
Four buildings in Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles will have vegetables grown on the roof to be used in the canteens of businesses, with the resulting food waste used to fertilise the plants.
The initial £35,000 cost of the six month pilot has been jointly funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and business improvement district (BID) ‘inmidtown’.
The pilot, initiated by inmidtown, will measure how much each building saves on heating and ventilation costs due to the layer of roof-top vegetation, with a view to rolling out the scheme to 570 businesses in the area.
Green roofs could save around £160m in energy costs, while also improving air quality and biodiversity within the city, estimates inmidtown BID, which encompasses Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles.
The roofs will be covered in vegetation through a modular vegetation system in which plants are encased in a ‘pocket’ of recycled material for protection, irrigation and portability purposes.
The project aims to copy the success of green roof projects in Manhatten and Chicago in the US.