Water Sector

Innovative blue-green roof cools the city and prevents flooding

Opening Project SmartRoof 2.0

On Friday, 8 September, the innovative, blue-green SmartRoof 2.0 was opened at the Marineterrein in Amsterdam. The hot, bitumen roof of building ‘002’ has been transformed into a refreshing, green oasis in the heart of the city. Over the next two years, a unique scientific research programme will be conducted on this roof, with a focus on the cooling effect of evaporation and the control of the urban heat-island effect. The roof can also collect water from heavy rainfall and thus prevent flooding. Now that the climate is changing, this could constitute an important means of keeping the city liveable.

Research for the city: use the roof!

SmartRoof 2.0 has been installed to scientifically research and improve the evaporation and thereby the cooling effect of blue-green roofs. The researchers will also study the possibility of growing a large variety of native plants on a thin, lightweight substrate. Rainwater is captured in a drainage layer and then, through a smart, capillary system, recirculated to the plants’ root systems. In this way, most of the rainwater evaporates thus preventing sewer overload and street flooding. The researchers use sensors to closely monitor the water balance and plants. The evaporation is directly measured using a weighing system built into the roof itself: a world first. The system provides a wealth of information. The roofs of Amsterdam clearly have a lot to offer: apart from recreational uses, they can perform numerous beneficial functions for the city and its residents.

International collaboration

SmartRoof 2.0 is an important, international research roof. The project is a collaborative effort between Drain Products Europe, Aedes Real Estate, KWR, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Regional Public Water Authority Amstel & Gooi en Vecht, Waternet and Bureau Marineterrein Amsterdam. The two-year research project (2017-2018) is co-financed by the premium scheme of the Top Sector Alliance for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.