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For many years now, much of the green solutions being promoted in the construction sector have been at times rather questionable as to their green credentials. Take the living or green roof industry for example. Green roofs or living roofs as they are often referred to are frequently quoted as the saviour of our urban environment, but when faced with the reality of the broader environmental impact of the plastic trays, felt bases, and granular linings that are used in the installation process, it does give way to some eye brow raising questions. Yet, once installed there are many benefits to be gained including increased bio-diversity and aesthetic improvements, but at what cost? As well-intentioned as they set out to be, traditional green roofing remains flawed. The good news is that greener alternatives do exist that actually meet the expectations and ideals of the customer.
One such alternative that has stepped away from the traditional or standard methods often employed in green roofing is Riefa Green Roofing Solutions. Riefa has been steadily staging a revolution in the UK with a lighter, less expensive system that comprises of an organic and sustainable fibreboard. The fibreboard is made of rye flour, tree bark and a number of other commercially sensitive ingredients that are all organically grown from sustainable natural resources. They are then mixed in dough bins to a specific ratio and eventually baked in ‘second- life’ biscuit ovens.
The Riefa board or substrate can be laid over existing roofs ranging from the humble shed to much larger domestic or commercial properties. Once the roof has been covered with a waterproof membrane, the Riefa board can then be simply overlain with a pre-grown vegetation blanket, thereby providing immediate and striking results. The fibreboards are compatible with many types of vegetation and typically include sedum, wildflower and herbs. Contractors do not need any kind of special training or skills to install the Riefa green roof as it has been designed to fit smoothly on to sloping, pitched or even shaped roofs. In fact it is so straight forward, it is ideal for the DIY enthusiast. It is a very flexible product and can be fitted to any pitch of roof. These green roof systems also takes away the need for expensive alterations to the existing roof where as many of the current green roof systems require the roof and wall structure to be reinforced. Additionally, due to its low-depth profile (only 75mm), it can be seamlessly installed over worn out or tired roof covers. This in turn removes the need to deal with the hazardous disposal of any oil-based system that is currently in-situ. Request a brochure to find out more.
Due to the lightness of the system (36kg per m 2), it is extremely quick to install, transport and distribute across the roof making it possible for a single person to install. It also dispenses with the need for heavy drainage layers and granular fill which means that it doesn’t need any kind of special support structure. Even when saturated, the roof system is considerably lighter than many other standard systems on the market, which are typically 10 times heavier when wet. Testing has shown that the saturated weight of the Riefa system is 36kg per square metre and without a shadow of a doubt remains the most lightweight solution available.
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Common to many green roof systems, the Riefa system also retains rainwater, but in Riefa’s case, it reduces rainwater run off by up to 50%, thereby contributing considerably to storm water management and decreasing the burden on our drainage systems by delaying the speed of any run off. There is also a natural filtration effect on run off water which will please those that seek additional environmental bonuses. The system is also satisfyingly low maintenance and at most only requires a single annual inspection. More so, it will actually extend the life of the underlying roofing material by sheltering the roof from the elements.
Despite the hi-tech nature of the fibreboard, the system is remarkably affordable. When you incorporate this important factor with its lightweight specifications, low profile, speed and ease of fitting and the fact that no remedial work is required prior to fitting, well, one can only conclude that this system has become highly marketable and will indeed continue to revolutionise the green roof industry in the UK with its unique solutions and at last, genuine green credentials.
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Friday 30th of September 2016
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Riefa® Board is a unique ultra light weight roof greening product. The first and only green roofing system suitable for both new build and legacy roof projects. Ideal for sedum roof or bespoke planting.