The construction information and research body Ciria takes a tour around Canary Wharf's green roofs

CIRIA’s latest green roof training course took place earlier this month to showcase London’s newest living roofs.

The two-day course took a ‘green roof safari’ around a selection of towers, with even a garden roundabout featuring in the tour around Canary Wharf.

Green roof gurus Dusty Gedge and Gary Grant were on hand to give delegates advice on planning, designing and managing green roof projects efficiently and cost effectively.

A turfed roundabout was the first stop on the tour before a trip up to the top of 1 Westferry Circus. Here a PHD project on green roofs was taking place with numerous squares of soil representing different levels of soil with varying types of seeding.

The occupants of Canary Wharf Tower weren’t impressed by the dull grey roof of the South Colonnade building, so some colourful sedum matting was installed.

Alex Woodcraft, head of training at CIRIA was impressed by the roof: “Although apparently not the best for bio-diversity this was certainly the largest and most attractive roof we saw. We also learned that small roof-top pebbles at Canary Wharf have to be glued together, otherwise crows drop them on unsuspecting pedestrians below.”

The tour ended on top of the Barclays Tower. At 35 storeys high, this is one of the world’s highest green roofs, with a variety of alpine plants and snails thriving hundreds of feet above ground level.

One of the delegates, Hannah Miller of Atkins commented: “It was a great couple of days, I learnt a lot about green roofs from really inspiring people."

The next course will be at CIRIA on the 16th-17th April 2008. Visit CIRIA Training Courses for more details.