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KIT builds one of the largest blue-green roofs of Amsterdam

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KIT Royal Tropical Institute has built one of the largest blue-green roofs in Amsterdam on her terrain, with help from a subsidy of the municipality of Amsterdam. Because this roof is at ground-level of our terrain it is the most easily accessible blue-green roofs in the city, which makes it easier to show how a blue-green roof functions. During the subsidy application and the building of the roof KIT has gotten assistance of Rooftop Revolution, one of the SDG House residents.

What is a blue green roof?

A blue-green roof consists of two layers: a large reservoir that can store rainwater (the blue part) and a layer of plants, possibly with light developments, like a footpath (the green part). The roofs have a system of smart sensors and valves. The sensors measure the water level in the reservoir and the valves open and close based on the water level and the weather predictions.

For example, before a large rainstorm the valves can be opened to discharge water, while during the rainstorm the valves remain closed to reduce the pressure on the sewage system in the city. That water can that be stored for a long time and used by the plants on top during a prolonged drought. The reservoir also helps keep the direct environment cooler during hot summers.

Network of blue-green roofs

Amsterdam is the first city in the world that has built a network of blue-green roofs; all the roofs in the city are connected through the internet. Together their surfaces occupy more than 10.000 m2. The roofs share information with each other and the water manager of the municipality. This water manager can see how much water is being stored and can decide to either release or store water based on the capacity of the city’s sewage system.

Cooperation between KIT and Rooftop revolution

During the subsidy applications and the building of the roof KIT has worked extensively with the SDG House resident Rooftop Revolution. Rooftop Revolution is one of the partners of the RESILIO project of the municipality of Amsterdam, the project Amsterdam has started to create the world’s first network of blue-green roofs. Within this project their job is to increase participation of local residents and other (local) stakeholders and to communicate about the project to these parties.

Rooftop Revolutions goal is to leave no rooftop unused, and use them to bring nature back into the cities. Electricity production through solar panels, neighbourhood gardens or blue-green roofs that help with water management in a city are some of the other practical uses for the large amount of unused rooftops in the city. Rooftop Revolutions goal is to highlight and promote the possibilities of using these largely empty spaces in cities.

Making our campus more sustainable

This blue-green roof is part of our effort to make our campus a more sustainable and inviting place that people from Amsterdam (oost) can visit.

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