Sustainable roofing systems prepare to take control of burgeoning GCC Green Construction movement

 In Eco-Friendly, Inspire

Cape Reed thatched roofs, and Vitaroofs lead the charge of green sustainable roofing solutions at Outdoor Design Build & Supply Dubai, UAE. The company that supplied the thatched roofs for bungalows and villas on the Lebanon World Island of the Dubai World development is hoping its environmentally friendly and sustainable roofing systems can now take the UAE by storm.

Royal Island Beach Club Lebanon Island

Cape Reed recently completed their part in the landmark project off Dubai’s coast in 2012, and have since just finished a project on Sir Baniyas Island in Abu Dhabi, where they supplied the natural cape reed thatched roofs for 64 bungalows and several public buildings.

Now the South African company, which recently opened offices in Dubai, is in the final stages of supplying Sofitel Palm Jumeirah Resort with 7,500sqm of thatched roofs, with its Managing Partner, André van Heerden, believing the organisation’s unique natural offering has the exact mix needed to benefit all residents in the UAE and wider GCC.

The biggest benefit of a thatched roof certainly has to be the unique insulation properties that it offers

“The biggest benefit of a thatched roof certainly has to be the unique insulation properties that it offers,” said Van Heerden, who was presenting the Cape Reed thatched roof to a captive audience today at the inaugural edition of Outdoor Design Build & Supply, currently taking place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“Every owner of a thatched roof house, bungalow, restaurant or gazebo will tell you how much cooler the structure is in the summer compared to a conventional roof, and because we use only FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified timber and natural cape reed thatch in our construction, the natural sustainability of our structures are excellent.

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa

“When we live in a concrete jungle there is nothing more soothing than to relax under a thatched structure. The natural materials blend with nature, becoming one with the environment.” Thatching is the craft of building a waterproof roof with dry vegetation, creating a fully shaded structure constructed with natural materials. Van Heerden’s Cape Reed thatched roof presentation was one of many exciting new exterior design developments showcased at Outdoor Design Build & Supply, the Middle East’s dedicated landscaping and exterior design trade show, which opened yesterday and concludes tomorrow (Wednesday 27 March).

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa

Other examples of ‘green roofs’ at the three-day event – which is currently hosting more than100 local and international brands involved with the planning, design, and creation of outdoor spaces – is Vitaroofs, the Canadian company that has installed more than 1,000 green roofs internationally, including car manufacturer Ford’s world record River Rouge Plant, and the Vancouver Olympic Village.

Consisting of grass, gardens, small trees, shrubs and all-round greenery, Vitaroofs’ roofing solutions are now looking to extend to the Middle East, providing custom green roof systems designed to thrive in extreme, hot climates, while also cutting down on air conditioning costs.

Joy Schmidt, President of Vitaroofs commented: “Vitaroofs fosters new thinking in green roofs by offering accredited programming for architects, and by working with research and development departments. We would like to extend these efforts into the Middle East by collaborating with universities in the region to study native plants, with the objective of developing green roofs using local product and employing local workers.

“We’ve noticed that, over the past few years, the green movement has been growing exponentially in the city of Dubai especially. The launch of Outdoor Design Build & Supply demonstrates how the city is beginning to lead a new and positive attitude towards sustainability in the GCC region. As industry experts with international experience, we’d like to play a role in the development of this emerging trend.”

Hosted by Dubai Municipality, and organised by Streamline Marketing Group, Outdoor Design Build & Supply has attracted organisations from across the globe, including Australia, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the USA, presenting them with an audience of key decision makers from government municipalities, developers, landscape architects, contractors, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.

The dedicated trade show is the only event in the Middle East to address the use of outdoor space in construction projects, supported by the largest buyers of outdoor products and services. Doors are open on the final day tomorrow from 10:00am-6:00pm, with more information available at

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