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Mr Charlon Abela

LIFE National Contact Point

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(+356)2292 6235

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LifeMedGreenRoof

Constructing two demonstration green roofs to illustrate the potential of meeting environmental and energy targets
 
Acronym: LifeMedGreenRoof
Ref: LIFE12 ENV/MT/000732
 
What is it all about?
 
A rise in energy demand in urban areas is contributing to problems such as an increase in the heat island phenomenon, air pollution and flooding causing unnecessary pressure on urban dwellers. It is for this reason that the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy aims at reducing the energy requirements by a minimum of 20% by 2020. The Commission’s Energy Efficiency Plan 2011, has identified that buildings have the greatest energy saving potential. The plan focuses on mechanisms to reduce the energy requirements of existing buildings in particular the role of public buildings as demonstration and dissemination projects in introducing energy efficiency criteria.

Green roofs have a role to play in rendering buildings more energy efficient. Most of the technology on green roofs is influenced by north European experiences especially when it comes to plant selection. However, the Mediterranean climate is quite particular and varies according to both longitude and latitude. This project aims at understanding better the performance of green roofs and to demonstrate the benefits of the technology for a wider dissemination of the technology.
 
Project update
 
The trials set up to test the performance of potential mixes of planting media and the selected native plants have provided encouraging results. In terms of the planting media, the two mixes selected for trial have both performed very well.  Some 15 native plants were finally selected for inclusion in the trials and it is pleasing that all appear to have done very well and have survived the challenging summer temperatures and exposure on the roof with the minimum of attention and watering.
A reflection of the success of the trials are the number of fauna species that have been discovered on the trial plants. Perhaps the most spectacular and rewarding of these visitors has been the breeding of the rare Maltese Swallowtail Butterfly ('Papilio machaon melitensis'). 
The trials are increasingly attracting interest from individuals and organisations here in Malta. Recently we have hosted a visit by the Maltese Minister for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate change and also Dr Benjamin Metzger from Birdlife Malta. We are hoping that this interest will intensify when the planned demonstration green roof to be located at the University of Malta is opened to the public in early summer this year.  It is important that children are made aware of the problems that our environment is facing and how Green Roofs can be a part of the solution. In this context, we were pleased to invite Johann Gatt, co-ordinator for the LEAF – Learning about Forests project, to view our Green Roof trials recently.  Johann is very much involved with Malta’s EkoSkola scheme and kindly agreed to display our information boards at a recent EcoSkola symposium for local school teachers. We hope that this type of exchange will create an interest in our project within schools and encourage school parties to visit our proposed GreenRoof demonstration.
 
For more information about the project kindly visit:
 
Project Website:    www.lifemedgreenroof.org
 
 
 

30 day Evaluation period has expired on 02/02/2015 11:39:55!
Evaluation Version (© 2015 AMREIN ENGINEERING AG)