Project Finds Multiple Benefits of Green Roofs

Green roofs can be effective in reducing the use of energy for air conditioning, especially in the hotter months, a four-year re­search project at the University of Malta has concluded. The results of the project were presented at a seminar held at the University during which representatives of the project partners and two guest speakers presented its findings.

It was found that green roofs can also reduce building maintenance because they moderate the fluctuation of temperature within the structure. They provide habitat for beneficial wild­life such as bees and enhance in the visual character of roofs, which has been shown to benefit people. Depending on their design, they can also provide space for other activities such as for socialising and education.

These findings were found to be similar to studies on green roofs carried out abroad.
The main aim of the project, which began in November 2013, was to study the performance of green roofs in Malta in terms of plant growth, energy efficiency, and flood mitigation properties and to encourage the uptake of green roofs on a national scale. It was led by the University of Malta’s Faculty for the Built Environment and the partners included the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, Minoprio Analsis e Certificazioni srl and Fondazione Minoprio.

The project research included the selection and propagation of green roof plants, the thermal performance of green roofs in Italy and Malta, storm water management of green roofs in both countries, as well as substrate performance.

During the seminar, the partici­pants visited the demonstration green roof built at the University’s Faculty for the Built Environment at the Msida campus as part of the project. This green roof is an important tool to illustrate to stakeholders what green roofs are and how they function. The demonstration green roof will remain open to the public all year round during office hours.

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