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One of the largest green roofs in Europe features turf grown by Spearhead Turf from Barenbrug grass seed specially chosen to blend in with the project's surroundings.
Southern Water is undertaking a massive £300 million environmental improvement scheme to bring cleaner seas to Sussex and meet European wastewater treatment standards. The project includes the construction of a new treatment works in Peacehaven, which will treat the 95 million litres of wastewater generated daily by the area's residents.
Crucially, to minimise the environmental and aesthetic impact, Southern Water was committed to blending the works in with the wider rolling chalk downland setting. Therefore, a 18,000sq m green roof - equivalent to nearly three professional football pitches - was designed to help maintain the views from a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the north.
Spearhead was chosen to grow the roof by landscaping contractor, Frosts Landscape Construction, due to its ability to grow the turf on a light and nutritious material that could be harvested at any time. It was also able to work with Barenbrug to create a unique blend of Barkoel crested hairgrass, crested dogstail and quaking grass to match the original natural landscape.
Commenting on the project, Spearhead Turf's Tim Cannon says: "The roof Spearhead Turf and Barenbrug supplied is ideal because it doesn't require much mowing and produces minimum thatch. It also suited the weight capacities of the steel frame as it's much lighter than a soil and seed roof."
Tim says he and the Spearhead Turf team were delighted to contribute to such an important project. "It's great to have been involved in a project like this - not least because I'm very interested in conservation myself," he adds. "It was also satisfying to overcome the challenges of the job, such as working with the construction team to provide the right material and technical spec, and lifting the turf on pallets of 40 one-square-metre sections by crane.
"It's amazing to think that a roof laid in just 12 working days by Frosts Landscape Construction will help blend the wastewater treatment works in with the surrounding environment in less than nine months."
Barenbrug UK headquarters is based at Rougham Industrial Estate, Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP30 9ND. Telephone 01359 272000, fax 01359 272001, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.barenbrug.co.uk.