Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Date: April 2013 – October 2015

Interested parties:

Wildflower Turf Ltd, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, ABG Geosynthetics, Geogreen Solutions, Prater, Laing O’Rourke, BDP.

The brief:

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool opened in October 2015, and is Europe’s only hospital situated within a park.

Following a consultation with patients and their families, the architects of the hospital, BDP, incorporated green space into their building design, providing access to nature for children in poor health. With play decks surrounded by wildflowers on each level of the hospital, children experience an enhanced quality of life connecting them more directly with outside space.

Wildflower Turf® worked with one of our accredited installers, ABG Geosynthetics, who were charged with the installation of a green roof that would enhance the overall aesthetics of the building.

A key design consideration was the incorporation of a green roof finish to both flat and steeply curved roof areas. In some areas the roof pitch was 45 degrees, so a formulated approach was required to ensure that the wildflower plantings would achieve the desired appearance while also taking into consideration installation challenges and ongoing maintenance.

The work:

Wildflower Turf® Ltd grew and supplied 5,000m² of a bespoke blend of Wildflower Roof Turf to cover the roof of Alder Hey. A mixture of UK native wildflowers and grasses, the turf is incredibly drought-tolerant and designed to thrive in challenging environments.
A key benefit of Wildflower Turf® Roof Turf is the easy-to-handle nature of the medium, an essential component when working with such a challenging architectural design.

The roof system of Alder Hey incorporated a series of anchor points, a reinforcement geogrid and geotextile pockets to ensure that the Roof Turf would be secure and retained.

The Wildflower Turf® was supplied in 20m long x 2m wide rolls and was lifted to the roof areas in concrete skips. Due to the steep nature of parts of the installation area, the installers used abseiling equipment and rope access to secure the Roof Turf into place.
With Wildflower Turf® Roof Turf blanketing each of the curved roof areas of Alder Hey, irrigation has been provided via a SMART rain sensor and an automated irrigation pipe system.

The results:

The unique and striking architectural design with emphasis on green space provides a calm and tranquil environment for children and their visitors, with access to play areas surrounded by wildflowers, natural light, fresh air and parkland views.

Wildflower Turf® Roof Turf provided a flexible, drought tolerant, low maintenance solution to what was a complicated design project, with wildflowers flourishing and bringing about a sense of well-being to all who visit Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The project also won the “Green Roof Project of the Year” Roofing Design at the UK Roofing Awards in 2016.


“Working with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust on the new hospital build and understanding their requirements for a bio-diverse and engaging theme for the children was a key element for this project, and Wildflower Turf Ltd provided the ideal solution with the supply of larger 40m² bespoke grown turf rolls which greatly assisted with the installation process. This combined with the service we received from the whole team at Wildflower Turf, which was exceptional, made for a very successful installation of a technically challenging green roof.”


Mark Shaw
General Manager
Geogreen Solutions