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Amsterdam installs blue-green roofs

Blue-green roofs absorb more water than ordinary green ones and can grow a wider variety of plants

The blue-green roofs will be laid over a three-year period. Picture: Rooftop Revolution
The blue-green roofs will be laid over a three-year period. Picture: Rooftop Revolution

Social housing in four locations in Amsterdam are to be fitted with smart blue-green roofs to help protect the buildings from extreme weather conditions. The project has been awarded European funding totalling €4.8m.


The roofs will be able to store excess water underneath the vegetation, protecting the homes and neighbourhoods from the effects of heavy showers or heat and drought.


The power of blue and green


Blue-green roofs are able to absorb much more water than ordinary green roofs. As a result, they continue to produce evaporation during hot, dry weather. This, reportedly, cools the homes themselves as well as the entire neighbourhood.


The smart blue-green roofs are to be laid on 10,000 square metres of social housing buildings in four areas of Amsterdam: Bellamybuurt, Geuzenveld, Oosterpark and Kattenburg.


In these locations, there is higher risk of flooding or damage caused by heavy rain. There are also enough social housing buildings with roofs that need replacing. The blue-green roofs will be laid over a three-year period.


The new roofs will incorporate a system of sensors and will retain or release water in response to the weather forecast and will be linked in a network. In addition, a wider variety of plants can be grown on blue-green roofs, which is good for biodiversity.


The smart roofs project is a partnership between the city of Amsterdam, the water company Waternet, green roof companies Polderdak and Rooftop Revolution, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, housing corporations Stadgenoot, Ymere and De Key, and roof maintenance company Consolidated.


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