SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Project: SSE Hydro, Glasgow

A striking Blackdown Green Roof has boosted the green credentials and provided an attractive feature, at Glasgow’s newest landmark venue.


The SSE Hydro is a £125million entertainment and sporting venue, which, since its opening in late 2013, has already achieved “Most stylish Entertainment Venue” at the 2013 Scottish Style Awards and the ‘Architectural Excellence Award (Public Building)” at the Scottish Property Awards.


The Blackdown Intensive Green Roof system was specified by architects Foster and Partners, who were looking for a sustainable solution to complement the strong design features of the building’s main entrance. The system comprised of 37,000 Lonicera Nitida ‘Maygreen’ shrubs, planted to form a thick, hardy green mat over the low level ‘skirt’ above the entrance of the arena.


The installation at the SSE Hydro presented a number of challenges, due to the varying pitch of the roof and the requirement for the planting system to be fed on a regular basis.


Paul Otway, Head of Contracts at Blackdown Green Roofs, explains:


“Due to the undulating profile of the roof, varying in pitch between 8 and 52 degrees, we had to devise an innovative green roof solution; not least for the delivery and application of 1,020m3 of substrate.  The methodology that we employed maximised efficiency, minimising manual handling of materials and ensuring completion of the installation within the timescales agreed.


Blackdown also supplied an automatic irrigation system to ensure that the shrubs are permanently fed and watered with minimal manpower requirements.”