Moorgate Crofts Business Centre, which opened in 2005, was the first new building in the 25 year Rotherham Renaissance programme. The inclusion of the borough’s first major green roof reflects the requirements of the client, Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO), to consider sustainability as an integral part of the design, and to provide a demonstration site. The building design uses a mix of traditional and modern materials, with an emphasis on environmentally economic technologies such as geothermal heating and cooling together with the use of recycled building materials.

The green roof was designed by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s Design Team to deliver high-impact greening. The Team were particularly interested in semi-extensive green roofs, which afford greater visual and biodiversity benefits than the more commonly used sedum roofs. Dr Nigel Dunnett of Sheffield University’s Department of helped with the development of the planting mixes and species selection, based on his research into green roofs.

The scheme is significant for green roof promotion and development within the UK due to its pioneering use of semi-extensive roof planting. Its performance is being studied by Sheffield University to add to the growing body of knowledge on the subject of green roofs. The green roof has raised the profile of the Centre and proved to be a valuable marketing tool. It has also added immensely to the Centre’s attraction as an incubator for start-up businesses.

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