Much interest in biotope roofs and Biosolar roofs!

Almost a year ago, Malmö was hit by a very heavy storm event – 100 mm rain fell in six hours, which corresponds with a 200-year storm. This heavy rainfall caused a lot of flooding and damages in many city areas and real estates. The three major insurance companies in Sweden received reporting on damages to the amount of 250 million Swedish Crowns. One city area that was relatively unharmed was Augustenborg, thanks to the sustainable open storm water system that was installed in the beginning of 2000. The storm water is lead through canals, swales, ditches and green areas such as green roofs – Augustenborg’s Botanical Roof Garden has 9500 m2 of green roofs!

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Augustenborg’s Botanical Roof Garden © Jonatan Malmberg

We have mentioned in other blog post before that the interest in green roofs in Sweden are increasing and it is much “thanks to” the heavy storm event that the interest have increased very much in 2014/2015. Municipalities, housing companies and environment consultancy firms wish to learn more on green roofs, green infrastructure and SUDS.

We’ve also noticed that individuals also wish to expand their knowledge of green roofs. We received lots of applications for the Biosolar Roof pilot course, compared to previous summer courses arranged by the Institute. This increased interest can be linked to the need of climate adaptation and support of biodiversity in urban areas (the report that was published recently where scientist believe that the earth is heading for a sixth mass extinction is extremely worrying). In total, 12 participants attended the five-day long course that was held the 14th- 18th of June at Augustenborg’s Botanical Roof Garden.

Within the course, theory was mixed with practical elements and workshops alongside an excursion. The course participants got to see some of the very successful biodiverse green roofs that been installed in Malmö and Copenhagen – for example Koggen in the Western Harbour and Novo Nordisk in Bagsværd outside of Copenhagen.

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The residential building Koggen with one of its biotope roof. © Jonatan Malmberg

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Novo Nordisk Landscape Park and one of the meadow roofs. © Jonatan Malmberg

The participants installed two green roof areas – one in co-operation with gardener Peter Korn. The participants mixed their own substrate containing sand, crushed bricks, pumice and biochar.

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The planting of Peter Korn’s green roof space © Jonatan Malmberg

Other practical elements included in the course were to enhance a sedum roof’s ecological value and to try out roof safety equipment that is used when installing and maintaining green roofs. On the last day of the course, the participants presented their own designed green roofs – where the combination of solar panels and biodiverse green roof was part of the design.

The students also met with Percy Borgström who held a lecture on solar energy. Percy has for two years been responsible for optimizing the solar thermal systems and PV-panels installed in Malmö. The city has a long-term vision of being fully supported by renewable energy by 2030 and have installed much solar thermal and solar panels around the city. Malmö has also been the leading city in Sweden when it comes to roof greening. And now, property owners in Sweden are being interested in combining the two green technologies – solar and green roofs – which is very positive and joyful. A Biosolar roof – soon in a Swedish town near you!