Another week, and another trip down to London for an event. This time we were checking out the First European Biosolar Roof Conference in the fantastic venue that is London City Hall (some incredible views!). It was a very informative day hearing the different perspectives of people from the industry and their predictions for the future of Biosolar roofs. 

 

green-roof-solar-panels.jpg

 

Source: greenroofers.co.uk

Biosolar Roofs are the combination of PV Solar panels with Green Roof technology. The current method is to treat these as individual systems, but there is increasing evidence that both systems can work better when used in combination. Green roofs prevent the build up of heat from the sun on traditional roofs; when PV panels are fitted on top of this they can take advantage of the cooler temperatures to work more efficiently. Additionally the PV panels create shading on the green roof, which with the right detailing, allows the creation of the variety of habitats bringing ecological benefits. 

 

Source: http://biosolarroof.eu/

Whilst there were lots of great talks, we were most intrigued by the Ecologist perspective. Gary Grant, spoke about how varying the micro-topograhpy through different depths of substrate can increase invertebrate species diversity, which will definitely have an effect on the way we design some of our up-coming projects. What we really took from the event was the required integration of all the parties involved to create a successful Biosolar Roof. Collaboration amongst designers, ecologists, manufacturers and the guys who build it is essential to maximise the benefits of implementing the system. 

Here are some useful links that we picked up from the day:

Buglife: https://www.buglife.org.uk/about-us

Bumblebee Conservation Trust: http://bumblebeeconservation.org

SolarIvy: http://solarivy.com