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5 Benefits The Right Rooftop Terrace Can Bring To Your Building

A Raaft roof terrace

Since the pandemic began, there has been an increased demand for homes and offices with outdoor spaces. Green spaces have increased in prominence in large-scale planning applications for urban schemes, and homes for sale that offer an outdoor space have commanded a premium. 

But even before the pandemic, roof terraces were providing clear benefits for both commercial and residential operators, said Euan Taylor, project lead UK at Raaft, which provides a complete terrace system. In 2019, London’s roof gardens covered more than 371 acres — a space bigger than Hyde Park. 

Bisnow spoke to Taylor about the top five benefits developers and landlords can reap by installing a well-designed roof terrace on a property. 

The Environmental Impact

Adding a roof terrace to a property provides an opportunity to introduce greenery to an urban area, as well as plants and habitats that encourage biodiversity, Taylor said. Raaft has provided clients with beehives, bat hotels and holes for nesting birds.

Additionally, these spaces can help reduce a building’s reliability on its heating and cooling systems. 

“You only need to walk out onto a concrete paved terrace to feel the heat that has been created, which will then heat a building,” Taylor said. “Using greenery will absorb the heat in the summer, keeping the building cool. In the winter, the soil will act as natural insulation.”

Because Raaft’s system enables property owners' creativity with finishes, they can explore the most environmentally friendly materials and solutions, Taylor said. 

The Commercial Benefit

The clearest commercial benefit of including a roof terrace is that a property owner will be able to command a higher rent, whether it is a commercial or residential property, Taylor said. 

“In an office, people want that space to eat their lunch or hold a meeting,” he said. “In a built-to-rent block, it’s a valuable amenity. While some developers might see the creation of a roof terrace as lost revenue, as the space cannot be leased out as an office, they will be able to charge more for all the spaces that access it.”

A Boost For Planning

Including a roof terrace with planting and aspects to boost biodiversity is likely to help with a planning submission, Taylor said. In London, all major developments need to achieve a certain Urban Greening Factor score.

“Even a terrace with concrete paving achieves a certain score because it is providing outdoor space,” he said. “But a roof terrace with greenery will give a significant boost.”

A rooftop terrace can also increase a building’s attractiveness when it has to be designed in a specific way due to the surrounding environment, Taylor said. When a building has to be stepped to reduce massing, the inclusion of a rooftop terrace can be a solution that satisfies both planning offices and architects.

The Social Aspect And Employee Wellbeing

Creating a place for people to socialise is a boost to employee wellbeing that many employers are looking for, Taylor said. Since the pandemic, more people are keen to spend time outside, and spending just 30 minutes outdoors boosts productivity by 45%.

“Roof terraces can be configured to provide different zones to give people the space they’re looking for,” he said. “High planters or pagodas can be used to create areas with privacy for meetings, while tables and chairs can create social areas.”

Flexibility, If You Get The Basics Right

A roof terrace can be designed to offer flexible space that suits employees, but only if the correct strategy is followed, Taylor said. This is something that can be overlooked when architects and developers focus on the final picture.

“We always advise clients to use a three-step methodology,” he said. “First, focus on getting the foundation right. Second, add your chosen floor finishes, ranging from porcelain tiles through to resin-bound gravel. Finally, add the third dimension — tables, chairs, greenery. We supply the full solution to help developers get all stages right.”

This article was produced in collaboration between Raaft and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to

Related Topics: Rooftop Terraces, StudioB-1838