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Award winning project delivers on so many levels

by james@pluggedin.media

Bridgman & Bridgman worked with Bauder to design and install the green roof and roof garden element for the IKEA store, Greenwich – one of only 320 buildings to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating – which won the Green Roof category at the prestigious NFRC UK Roofing Awards 2020…

The NFRC UK Roofing Awards shine a light on and celebrate the fantastic work, commitment to detail and best practice, and high standard of workmanship that is carried out on roofing projects throughout the UK.

Celebrating all roof types and systems, the recently announced 2020 Green Roof award went to GRO member Bridgman & Bridgman Living Roof Services, alongside manufacturer Bauder, for their work on the green roof project at the IKEA store, Greenwich, London.

IKEA Greenwich is described as the greenest and most sustainable store ever built, and the goal was to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, but with the enhanced green roof and roof garden features installed on this project, it managed to achieve BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, making it one of only 320 buildings in the world to be awarded this highest grade.

To achieve the green roof and associated features, Bridgman & Bridgman were approached by main contractor McLaughlin & Harvey to work with their appointed roofing contractor, to deliver the elements for the 3,500 square metre rooftop garden. Utilising Bauder roof and green roof systems, the green roof and roof garden consist of segregated biodiverse and sedum covered areas, a wildflower meadow, raised urban farming beds for school, community and co-worker use, planters, paving and synthetic turf for community activities.

All these areas surround a purpose-built rooftop pavilion which is accessible all-year round during store opening hours, and the roof is said to be London’s largest accessible rooftop for people and nature. A spokesperson for Bridgman & Bridgman explained: “It is unusual for the general public to be able to access a roof garden in London, at any time, for free, especially one that offers so many secure and protected areas for local birds, bees and insects, but this is what this project has achieved.

“This is a fantastic example of urban greening and utilising roof space. This was an exciting project to be involved in and one that the team is proud to have delivered on time and within budget.”

Introducing bugs and flowers

The team at Bridgman & Bridgman worked with local groups, including environmentalists from Buglife, to encourage new insects and invertebrates – such as a local beetle native to the Greenwich area – to the roof at IKEA. Likewise, a working partnership was formed with Dusty Gedge and ecologist Gary Grant to introduce the Viper’s Bugloss flower which will encourage rare bees to the new roof at IKEA. 


Bauder worked with the specifier to amend the original spec and advised that RBM was a more suitable material for trafficked areas and for the type of vegetation and landscaping finish to the roof. This, however, created challenging details where two systems joined, but this was overcome by using Bauder LiquiTEC, the cold applied waterproofing system, behind cladding to ensure waterproofing integrity.

The extensive green roof is constructed using the Bauder green roof drainage layers; substrate and vegetation blankets; raised planters constructed using solid oak sleepers that are filled with substrate above the Bauder intensive roof build-up; and Zoontjens rooftop paving pedestals. 

The spokesperson from Bridgman & Bridgman explained that the team went above and beyond contract requirements by growing the fruit and vegetables from seed, ready to use and plant with a local school and community groups after the main store opening. Likewise, relationships have also been formed between Bridgman & Bridgman and the store co-workers to encourage them to grow and harvest produce on the roof, highlighting how this project has really become an active area with ongoing benefits.

Whilst the team at Bridgman & Bridgman have described the project as “one of the most challenging to date in our 11-year history of building green roofs and roof gardens”, with multiple challenges such as operating cranes and moving materials to site on a busy retail park with a live London Bus lane, no accidents or incidents were recorded and an excellent health and safety record was recorded throughout the whole project, highlighting the importance of good planning and collaboration on such projects.

The judges of the UK Roofing Awards said of the project: “this is a fantastic example of urban greening and utilising roof space and a testament to the team at Bridgman & Bridgman Living Roof Services.”

On receiving the award, Bridgman & Bridgman acknowledged the collaborative effort that went into achieving such a unique roof that will provide both an environmental benefit in a busy, built-up area, as well as an aesthetically pleasing and relaxing area for the public to enjoy for many years to come: “Thank you to everybody that was, and continues to be, part of this amazing project. A huge team effort, recognised with this amazing award.”


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