Problem Addressed

This solution was sourced in response to UKGBC’s Innovation Challenge: “How can existing buildings be made more resilient to climate change, with as little disruption to their occupants as possible, by 2030?”

The Green Roof Project seeks to address a variety of negative impacts associated with the climate and ecological crises including flooding, carbon emissions, loss of biodiversity, overheating and poor air quality.

Green roofs are an established solution, but this project seeks to overcome some of the issues of tangibly demonstrating and raising awareness of their benefits. It also highlights an approach to green roofing that considers social as well as environmental benefits to maximise co-benefits. There is also a lack of skilled workers to keep up with demand for green roofing, so the project creates meaningful green jobs and gives opportunity to train a local skilled workforce, as the demand for green roofing continues to grow.

Solution Overview

To see how the Green Roof Project works in just 4 minutes watch this video!

The Green Roof Project is, in effect, a takeover of rooftops for people and nature by creating green spaces to support community cohesion, raise awareness and demonstrate the benefits of green roofing.

The Green Roof Project combines both product (green roof, roof garden and growing spaces) and service (installation, training and outreach) to pioneer the retrofit potential of green and blue roofs in towns and cities. In a time of climate emergency and biodiversity loss, it is essential that towns and cities look at green infrastructure opportunities to mitigate the effects of climate change. These are opportunities that can recreate lost wildlife habitats and improve the natural environment.

By retrofitting green roofs it can result in multiple indirect benefits including reduced heating costs, extending the life span of the roof, health and wellbeing, food growing opportunities and biodiversity net gain, plus building internal capability for long-term stewardship of the roof. The Green Roof Project has been tested and proved that can be translated to any appropriate roof, any size, anywhere.

Cost depends on the size of the roof, logistics and access. Retrofit green roofs cost between £100 and £200 per m2 to install and establish. The Milton Keynes Green Roof Project value is £80,000 which covers an area of 550m2. This includes a 6-month programme of ongoing maintenance and development and training for the end user.

Verification & Case Study

Although the technology has been around for a long time, the ability to measure its impact is still relatively new. The Green Roof Project took steps to demonstrate the impact of green roofs by collaborating with the local tech community via a “Hackathon”. Over one weekend, the team developed an application that produces real-time data showing the positive effects of the green roof on the temperature of the building, i.e., it remained relatively constant while the temperature of the existing roof surface fluctuated heavily throughout the day and night.

The Green Roof Project has also been raising awareness of green roofs to local councils, businesses and the general public of Milton Keynes. Over 400 people attended one of the roof tours/open days, which enabled them to experience first hand the potential of green infrastructure. The impact of the “live lab” approach has resulted in The Green Roof Project working with numerous organisations and individuals to retrofit green roofs to their properties and estates, which will help increase usable green space and support the fight against climate change.

Case study

Bridgman & Bridgman worked with creative agency, Pooleyville to plan a meanwhile activation programme on the roof of Saxon Court, the former Milton Keynes Council civic offices which were being sold to developer, First Base. From these discussions, the Green Roof Project was formed.

The Project has created several green jobs and training placements, who went on to grow food that was distributed to four local Community Fridges. The green roof systems include intensive and extensive modular, biosolar, blue and green roof systems including sedum and wildflower vegetation. The 300,000 strong Buckfast Bee community have helped create honey and lip balm. The Green Roof Project aspires to make Milton Keynes the Green Roof Capital of the world. This Project has created greater awareness of green roofs, enabled the creation of new green jobs within the town, and pioneered the first green roof training scheme in the UK and Europe, which led trainees to become accredited green roof installers.

Facts and Figures


This page presents data, evidence, and solutions that are provided by our partners and members and should therefore not be attributed to UKGBC. While we showcase these solutions for inspiration, to build consensus, and create momentum for climate action, UKGBC does not offer commercial endorsement of individual solutions. If you would like to quote something from this page, or more information, please contact our Communications team at