The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Experimental green roof with 3,000 plants to gather scientific data for future projects

Saturday, 28 October 2023, 12:54 Last update: about 7 months ago

A new experimental green roof at the Għajn Water Conservation Centre in Rabat will gather scientific data to explore the potential of this green infrastructure for flood prevention, while making buildings more sustainable and energy efficient, the government announced Saturday.

Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli met the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) team that developed this green roof, as part of the GiFluid Project in collaboration with the University of Catania, and co-funded by the European Union under the Interreg Italia-Malta Programme. During the visit, Minister Dalli announced that following the upcoming two-year data collection period, the Agency is planning to open the green roof to visitors.

The new green roof is a multi-faceted structure, featuring a diverse mix of vegetation capable of thriving in Malta's local climate, complemented by photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate clean energy. Over three thousand plants were carefully selected and introduced to the roof, specifically chosen for their ability to withstand Malta's arid conditions.

For the next two years, this project will serve as a protype for EWA to gather data on how green roofs affect rainwater flows on roofs, how much of it is retained by the vegetation and the time taken to release it. The Agency will also analyse the quality of rainwater runoff from the green roof, focusing on nutrient levels, notably nitrates. This evaluation will shed light on any potential impacts associated with the adoption of green roofs.

Minister Miriam Dalli hailed this project as a significant step forward in Malta's commitment to climate innovation. “These projects have the potential to regulate building temperatures, enhance energy efficiency and promote water conservation. The data that EWA is gathering in the coming years will help us determine the implementation of more projects of this nature throughout the country,” Miriam Dalli said.

EWA CEO Manuel Sapiano said that through the GiFluid project, the Agency will assess the numerous advantages offered by green roofs, including enhanced PV panel productivity. It is also a pioneering effort to explore the potential of green roofs in mitigating flood risks within the Maltese landscape.

Representatives from the Rabat Local Council and University of Catania were also present for this visit.

 

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