Roof Terraces in London are increasingly incorporated into new developments. But what value do they offer and why are they so popular?

There’s no doubt that we are seeing a rise in the popularity of roof terraces across the UK. Particularly in London where space is at a premium and limited room to manoeuvre. The trend started as early as 2016, according to reports, so why is it still in demand today? Below, we look at the benefits of roof terraces for developers.

Roof Terraces help push the pounds in London

Added value is the most precious commodity in the building game right now. Even residential property owners are desperate to boost their equity. There’s an abundance of information available on how to increase a home’s listing price by as much as £50,000. However, developers are just as interested in their bottom lines. Which is why roof terraces in London play a massive part in the growth of new-build space.

Recent reports have the value-adding properties of roof terraces at anywhere between a 10% and 30% premium. The x-factor the addition brings to the table is sometimes powerful enough to contribute up to 50% of the internal value per square foot. It’s little wonder roof spaces in London have doubled year-on-year since 2013. Especially when the value of ground space in London is at £1,750 per square metre.

‘Roots in the Sky’, shown below, is a current scheme led by investment manager and developer Fabrix. It describes itself an ‘urban forest’. It features a 1.1 acre rooftop forest of over 100 established trees, 10,000 plants and over 1300 tonnes of soil. Designed by award-winning architects Studio RHE, and granted planning by London Borough of Southwark. Image credit to Studio RHE.

Legislation forcing efficient green spaces

London residents have long had to put up with the myth that green space can’t be had in a built-up city. For years this was true. Yet London’s green push and Urban Greening Factor requirements have seen landscaped features such as roof terraces provide green solutions in otherwise unused areas. What may have been an unused space a few years ago, now is an opportunity for a terrace or landscaped corner. The rise of Landscaped Podiums is a similar example of this.

The numbers surrounding the boom are astounding. In 2019, the Standard reported that roof spaces added 371 acres to London’s sprawling greenery. This means London has more high-rise gardens than nations renowned for their green-fingered ingenuity, including Japan and Singapore. In fact, London is the self-proclaimed National Park City. These figures make it clear that green spaces are a benefit by property owners in London. And this is why architects and developers are adding to this trend.

The Millennium Bridge House scheme is another current development in London. It features an extensive roof terrace, designed by landscape architect Andy Sturgeon. Image credit to WOMO Architects.

Roof Terraces supported by new eco-friendly schemes

Before, developers would ignore the value roof terraces add. Whether from a financial or lifestyle viewpoint, this was due to a lack of opportunities. The need for older buildings to take energy-efficiency into account negated the opportunities that did exist.

Thankfully, a new BREEAM scheme, run by the Building Research Establishment, aims to make it easier for developers to gain BREEAM accreditation. A roof terrace is a good way to boost a BREEAM score. Incorporating green spaces is among the approval criteria for this scheme.

Here at Valley Provincial, we commit to helping our customers and clients find creative ways to enhance available space. To find out more, contact us now.

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