Blackdown Green Roof chosen for England’s first “Passivhaus/BREEAM Excellent” Building

An extensive green roof system from specialists Blackdown Horticultural Consultants of Somerset, has been installed at the new Centre for Disability Studies in Essex, helping the pioneering eco-building to become England’s first ever construction to achieve both Passivhaus and BREEAM ‘Excellent’ ratings.

Designed by Simmonds Mills Architects, the new £1.3million facility forms the headquarters of the charity Disability Essex, which was established in 1947 to invest in the future for local people with disabilities. The Main Contractor at the Centre for Disabilities was DCH Construction.

720m2 of Blackdown’s Extensive Nature Mat Green Roof System was specified as part of a sustainable building package designed to meet the rigorous demands of AECB’s CarbonLite Step2 which is based on the German Passivhaus Standard. The exceptional energy performance of the new building uses only 5% of the energy of an equivalent traditional UK building.

The Nature Mat system was installed to 5 individual roofs with pitches varying from 0 to 30 degrees. Nature Mat is grown exclusively by Blackdown at their Somerset facility and offers a guaranteed 95% ‘instant’ green coverage on installation, requiring minimal maintenance.

The sustainable design of the Centre was a strategic decision designed to benefit the environment and the welfare of the thousands of people using the facility. Green roofs offer a number of key benefits to building users, including noise reduction and improved thermal performance to help maintain comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the year.

Blackdown Horticultural Consultants are specialists in the design, supply and installation of green roof systems, bringing more than 40 years experience in horticulture and plant knowledge to the construction industry. They offer a range of roofing options and can also provide design, supply and installation input for ground-based planting schemes.

For more information or to request literature, please contact Blackdown Horticultural Consultants on 01460 234582, email or visit the website at

There are currently no comments for this article.

Login to comment. slider