Building greener: guidance on the use of green roofs, green walls and complmentary features on buildings

This CIRIA book gives detailed guidance on how to build and use green roofs and green walls.

Ensuring new buildings are 'greener' is of huge importance
Ensuring new buildings are 'greener' is of huge importance

Who wrote this?

CIRIA commissioned:

  • John Newton BSc MSc CEnv MIEEM, Ecology Consultancy
  • Dusty Gedge,
  • Paul Early BEng MSc AMImechE, 
  • Steve Wilson BEng MSc CEng CEnv CSci MICE MCIWEM FGS, EPG

This guidance is the outcome of CIRIA Research Project 714 Biodiversity and buildings and was jointly prepared by Ecology Consultancy Ltd., and EPG.

The research project was guided by a Steering Group:

  • Jean Venables, Crane Environmental Limited (Chair)
  • Alan Bamforth, ABG Environmental Limited
  • Nick Cooper, Alderburgh Limited
  • Ian Johnston/Nick Ridout, Alumasc Exterior Building Products Limited
  • Paul Hinds, East of England Development Agency
  • David Knight/Peter Massini, Natural England
  • Steve Ball, English Partnerships
  • James Farrell/Sue Wolff, Greater London Authority
  • Mike Cottage, Greenfix Limited
  • Jon Atkinson, KBR
  • Mark Thompson, Knauf Insulation Limited
  • Sule Nisancioglu, London Borough of Haringey
  • Bronwen Fletcher, London Development Agency
  • Chris Mills, NHBC
  • Mathew Frith, Peabody Trust
  • Andrew Shuttleworth, SEL Environmental
  • Martin Bolton/Peter Wain, South East England Development Agency

CIRIA’s project managers for the guidance were Mark Bentley and Paul Shaffer, with support from Jo Facer.

The project was funded by the following organisations:

  • ABG Environmental Limited
  • Aldeburgh Limited
  • Alumasc Exterior Building Products Limited
  • East of England Development Agency
  • Natural England
  • English Partnerships
  • Environmental Protection Group Limited
  • Greater London Authority
  • Greenfix Limited
  • Kellogg Brown and Root
  • Knauf Insulation Limited
  • London Development Agency
  • NHBC
  • SEL Environmental
  • South East England Development Agency


It was first published in August 2007.


To give professionals independent information and guidance on the design, construction and maintenance of green roofs and green walls.

Who should read this?

Anyone who is interested in the benefits and downsides of green roofs and green walls so clients, planners, contractors or consultants that are interested in sustainable development and environmental improvement.


This 213 page book explains the contribution that green roofs and walls can make to biodiversity, stormwater management and climate change mitigation, and adaptation in detail. It covers legislative and policy drivers, guidance on specification and construction of green roofs and how "quick wins” for biodiversity can be achieved.

Appendices provide detailed information and technical background to the issues covered in the guidance and a glossary defines the terms used in the publication. A full list of references is provided too.

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