RICS unveils guide to green roofs and walls
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a new guide that aims to make the development of green roofs and walls easier by providing advice about developing urban canopy on commercial and residential buildings.
According to RICS, research shows that green roofs and walls provide buildings with sustainable benefits ranging from reducing urban heat island effects and better air quality to green spaces for the enjoyment of building tenants and urban food production.
The RICS ‘guidance note’ looks at green walls and roofs from the surveyor’s perspective, encompassing technical factors, value and community impacts.
University of Technology Sydney researcher and report co-author, Sara Wilkinson, says efficient use of urban space is essential to meet increasingly complex population, energy, climate, sustainability and quality-of-life challenges in our built environment.
“With roofs making up around 32 percent of horizontal surfaces in urban areas, there is great scope to utilise these areas in ways that benefit the community and environment, in particular in minimising rising urban temperatures and better capturing rainfall,” Wilkinson says.
“We have observed other less expected benefits too, such as these structures bringing biodiversity back to otherwise barren urban areas, including bees, birds and small mammals. They have significantly improved air quality around buildings and can soak up rainfall that would otherwise be lost down drains or cause flooding.”
Wilkinson says the guide presents a practical and tangible solution to the built environment’s mitigation of climate change.
“The guidance note offers the world’s first template for owners to adopt when licensing rooftops for commercial uses. Rooftops can be incomegenerating spaces for owners, and the note proposes an approach to valuation of these spaces,” Wilkinson concludes.
View the guide, Green roofs and walls