Mannoury blue-green energy roof wins 2022 Roof of the Year award

PV panels, water reuse, water storage and cooling combined for liveable cities in a context of climate change

The Mannoury housing project in Amsterdam and the TKI project Urban PhotoSynthesis, which focuses on integrated solutions to adapt the urban environment to climate change, has won the 2022 Roof of the Year award in the flat roofs category. And there is still better news: the initial results of this project, which will end in late 2023, are extremely promising. Gijsbert Cirkel: “We have found that a blue-green roof provides cooling and helps to increase the yield of PV panels.”

Real estate investor Aedes initiated the development of the Mannoury building in Amsterdam, which is home to the TKI Water Technology project, Urban PhotoSynthesis. That project brings together Aedes, the City of Amsterdam, ECOFYT, Permavoid, Techniplan Advisors, SDR Elektrotechniek and KWR. They are working on the creation of a unique apartment building that will contribute to biodiversity, habitability and the energy transition in the city by combining a blue-green roof, local grey-water treatment and efficient solar panels. The building helps to cool the city and the solar panels, reduce the risk of flooding during intense rainfall, recycle treated water from showers in dry periods and, above all, produce pleasant and healthy living conditions for residents.

The Mannoury housing project provides an ideal opportunity for full-scale comparative research.

Roof of the year

The project is one of the fifteen that competed for the 2022 Roof of the Year award in the flat roof category – and it won! During the award ceremony on Friday evening, 24 March, the jury explained how it greatly appreciated the combination of different systems and experiments in a single project: “In particular because the water storage in the cellar, the extra circulation systems for grey water and a heavier roof floor require additional investments… The integration of all the systems for water, energy, greenery and safety was also a process that was completed successfully in the end. Mannoury is the result of an excellent alliance between the city authority, the project developer, research institutes, the architect, the builder, suppliers and subcontractors.”

From left to right: Joris Voeten (Permavoid/WUR), Gijsbert Cirkel (KWR), Sacha Stolp (City of Amsterdam), Frank van Dien (Ecofyt) and Wietse Buskermolen (Aedes) with the award for the 2022 Roof of the Year.

Identical towers: ideal for comparison purposes

The two-year project will be completed in late 2023. Mannoury consists of two identical towers that provide an ideal opportunity for full-scale comparative research. The Urban PhotoSynthesis project compares the amount of solar energy generated on the blue-green roof with the amount produced on a standard black bitumen roof. It also compares the water-treatment properties of a helophyte filter using natural vegetation that is integrated in the blue-green roof on one roof with those of a biomembrane reactor-filter plant in the cellar of the other building. Finally, a completely computer-operated water management system and the combination with natural overflows and gravity are also being tested. The results of this two-year study are expected in 2023. Gijsbert Cirkel is involved with the project on behalf of KWR: “The initial results are promising. We can clearly see cooler conditions on the blue-green roof. The yield from the PV panels is about 4.5% higher on the irrigated blue-green roof.”

KWR warmly congratulates all our co-participants in the Mannoury project on the award and hopes that the award will contribute to increased interest in climate-proof building and water use in the city.