Roof Gardens and terraces are featuring more and more on new developments. We look into how they have grown to become a defining aspect of London’s buildings.

Review recent major developments in London and you will notice they vary hugely in design. But you will also notice a common trait that features predominantly in most of them – roof gardens and terraces.

Here we investigate why roof gardens and terraces have grown to become the defining feature of so many new development proposals.

Roof gardens are visually distinctive

With space at such a premium in London, new buildings require huge financial backing. Wit this in mind, investors are keen that their buildings are striking, unique and distinctive. Elaborate roof terraces and podium decks, as well as meeting green requirements, are a way to bring this exclusivity to a building and distinguish it from others. Whilst a comparatively low-cost part of a development scheme, landscaping has a huge visual impact.

Of course, with this distinctiveness comes desirability. Tenants, both residential and commercial, are attracted to these impressive schemes as a result.

Green terraces help our mental health and wellbeing

There has been a recent awakening to the impact greenspace can have on our mental health and wellbeing. Also, with its limited availability in the capital, incorporating podium and rooftop gardens into a building design is highly likely to attract people to the property and enable premium prices. These areas allow private space for tenants to relax and unwind among natural, green surroundings.

Being in green environments has been proved to reduce stress levels and boost various aspects of thinking. As well as improving attention, memory and creativity.

105 Victoria Street, which features roof gardens and terraces on several levels, is a development that will soon be starting in London. Render credit DBOX.

Roof terraces help achieve requirements

Initiatives such as the Biodiversity Net Gain and the Urban Greening Factor (UGF) are requirements that have enforced buildings to become greener. Biodiversity Net Gain is an approach to development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. Whereas the Urban Greening Factor allocates a factor based on the various benefits of each surface cover. A proposal’s green credentials are now an important aspect of the development securing planning permission.

Additionally, systems such as BREEAM, the leading global sustainability assessment method for buildings which is adopted across more than 3,000 buildings in London, have also been effective in making the whole construction process greener.

Green buildings add value

Businesses keen to promote their green credentials are willing to pay a premium for such spaces. London office buildings that achieve the highest standards in sustainability can achieve up to a 12.3% premium in rents, according to a new analysis from global property advisor Knight Frank. Kate Horton, Partner, London Capital Markets at Knight Frank, said: “These results are very compelling from a capital markets standpoint. Identifying a clear rental premium for high-end BREEAM ratings is a big factor for investors who are looking to differentiate their buildings from the rest of the market.”

Attractive green spaces can open up alternative income streams too – substantial roof gardens and terraces can be open to the public, pulling in tourists for city views and featuring bars and restaurants. Crossrail Place is an example of this, as is 20 Fenchurch Street.

Installing roof gardens and terraces in London

Valley Provincial have been creating roof gardens and terraces across London for over 40 years. If you are looking to work alongside an established, experienced landscaping contractor please contact our team of experts today.

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