Why now is the right time to legislate for eco roofing – in all new buildings

Why now is the right time to legislate for eco roofing – in all new buildings

With drier summers and wetter, milder winters, environmental changes are already affecting the UK’s climate in visible and measurable ways. Met Office figures show that since 1998 we have experienced six of the ten wettest years on record. Moreover, according to analysis by the University of East Anglia, UK rainfall will continue to increase in intensity for years to come. 

This is why Langley’s recently appointed new build lead, Simon Griffiths, is calling on the government to urgently legislate for all new developments to feature at least one green or sustainable element. 

Simon’s call follows an Autumn Statement, which saw the government pledge to invest in the country’s energy efficiency and make a renewed commitment to a 68% reduction in UK emissions by 2030 as agreed at COP26.

“The number of empty roofs currently in development in the UK is frankly a wasted opportunity for our planet and our wellbeing, which is why we’re working to support our customers to provide a range of solutions that can improve the sustainability – and appeal – of any new build whatever its function.  

We’re calling for all new roofs, wherever possible, to be fitted with at least one of the following: a green or wild roof to enhance an area’s biodiversity, a blue roof to manage rainfall, or a solar or bio-solar green roof to generate clean energy.

As of June 2022, the government mandated for all new builds with the requirement of associated parking to have electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed during construction. However, there is currently no obligation to choose an alternative eco element if parking is not required.

For example, designers and owners can reduce the need for artificial cooling in hot weather and reduce the energy requirements for the building’s lifetime by factoring even just a single green roof into a development. So the question is, how quickly can we get to a future where every new building has at least one sustainable element incorporated into its design?”

Langley’s calls, if acted upon, would see the UK fall more closely in line with other European countries which have already introduced new laws to ensure future building becomes an eco-orientated opportunity. 

Germany has already mandated that from 2023 onwards, solar panels must be installed on all new buildings and recently, France created a new law to ensure every car park would see a solar roof added.

The appetite for these changes has well and truly arrived and with continued take-up and innovation, we will continue to see lower price points and greater accessibility.

Meet the Langley New Build Expert, Simon Griffiths

The opportunity to join the Langley team followed over two decades in the construction industry. During this time, I was exposed to numerous roles and experiences which introduced me to roofing specialisms ranging from roof glazing to roof waterproofing and the exciting world of offsite construction (MMC).

Working with experts in your field is what everyone wants. I found that here. I also knew Langley was an organisation that would enable me to lean into my interest in the technical detail of roofing whilst developing solid and long-lasting relationships with various key stakeholders in the construction industry. All this is possible by offering a full suite of the latest, high-quality, sustainable solutions supplied by The Langley Group.

I’m now responsible for managing the new build team nationally to deliver new build roofing projects at Langley. I will work closely with clients, housing associations, local authorities, specifiers, main contractors and roofing sub-contractors in various market sectors. Our work covers everything from waterproofing solutions, green and blue roofs, biosolar and rooftop development, all delivered working closely with our in-house Eco-Solutions and Langley Structures teams.

Langley New Build Expert, Simon Griffiths

Langley’s corporate culture and desire to do good in the world are the key to their success. It’s an approach which makes for an incredibly open, collaborative, and innovative atmosphere.

Our ambition is to continue building our team and delivering incredible results for our new build clients as they tackle the decade’s economic and Net Zero challenges.

Simon will apply his vast experience and passion for technical detail to guide and drive the delivery of new build roofing projects at Langley.

For more information please visit our website: www.langley.co.uk