Living roof joins the Wynyard Quarter party

Living roof joins the Wynyard Quarter party

Wynyard Quarter's visitor kiosk at Karanga Plaza got a new addition this week in the form of a roof garden.

The living roof will filter stormwater, much of which will be soaked up by native plants including silver tussock (poa cita), fescue tussock (fescue novae-zelandiae), leather leaf sedge grass (carex_buchananii), coprosma, rengarenga lilly (anthropodium cirrhatum) and gossamer grass (anemanthele lessonia).

Waterfront Auckland media advisor Luke Henshall says it is looking to cultivate a strong focus on sustainability in Wynyard Quarter.

"With a large area covered with impermeable surface it is important we properly manage stormwater and we have already made excellent use of LID features such as rain gardens in Jellicoe Street and an urban wetland around Silo Park. This is complemented by a number of eco friendly features present in nearby buildings on North Wharf and the Viaduct Events Centre."

Installation took three days, and included laying down a waterproof membrane on the kiosk roof then positioning 300 modules each containing pre-grown plants in 100mm of soil onto the roof’s surface.

Stormwater 360, a supplier of low impact stormwater management devices, was awarded a Low Impact Design innovation grant by Auckland Council to carry out the installation.

The new green roof will work to reduce stormwater runoff; provide an extra layer of insulation; and potentially act as a predator-free haven for birds and insects. Researchers from Unitec will be monitoring the site for the presence of native fauna.

In Europe living roofs are increasingly being applied to commercial buildings under construction and in the US, financial incentives are often given to developers to do the same.

One of the first living roofs in New Zealand on a large scale was installed on top of the Waitakere City council buildings in 2005.

There are now believed to be more than 20 living roofs nationally including on schools, visitors’ centres, and residential homes. One of the largest in the country has just been installed on top of Mount Difficulty winery’s barrel store in Central Otago, covering an area of 900 square metres providing evaporative cooling for temperature control, a habitat for biodiversity and aesthetic enhancement.