Green Roofs

31/07/2017 08:00:00

 

CEO's Notes


On 20 July I attended the opening of a concluding Seminar on the Green Roof Project, held at the University of Malta. The 4-year project has been exploring the feasibility and best practices for green roofs in Malta.

LifeMedGreenRoof project, University of Malta

A green roof is a roof covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include other layers such as a root barrier, drainage and irrigation, to avoid damage to the building. Green roofs have many benefits. These include:

 

  • insulating against heat and cold;
  • mitigating flooding;
  • buffering noise and filtering air pollutants;
  • enhancing the aesthetic environment;
  • increasing the economic value of the property; and
  • reducing the urban heat island effect.

 

The Seminar described how urbanisation has become a global phenomenon, increasing from 15% of world population in 1900 to over 50% in 2015. The concentration continues, unabated - not least in Malta. Green roofs balance the 'garden grab' effect, i.e. the loss of garden space due to urbanisation and the build it provokes. The LifeMedGreenRoof Project studied the environmental benefits of green roofs in Malta and how these can improve the quality of urban life. Congratulations to Dr. Antoine Gatt, his team and research partners.

Local interest in green infrastructure is growing, although still a far cry from European countries that have even legislated for it. Green roofs come with their challenges, not least the investment and maintenance cost.

Banks, especially those active in real estate financing and with green values, should be setting the agenda in this respect. We are looking at how to integrate this concept into our product range and at new financing ideas.

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