Transport Minister Joe Mizzi recently paid a visit to the LifeMedGreenRoof Project at the Faculty for the Built Environment at the University of Malta. The Minister was welcomed by Professor Alex Torpiano, Dean of the Faculty, Project Manager, Antoine Gatt and landscape architect, Vince Morris.
The project which has been running since 2013, is partially funded by the EU under the LIFE+ Scheme. The aim of the project is to create a baseline study on green roof technology in Malta and to create awareness of its benefits. Green Roofs are an important addition to a sustainable urban area. They are defined as those roofs or other similar structures with a layer of damp-proofing and having a growing substrate spread over the surface in part or in full. Several intermediate layers are used to eliminate the possibility of damage to the damp-proofing and to the underlying building.
The Faculty for the Built Environment has constructed a demonstration Green Roof which is open to the public during office hours. The project seeks to demonstrate that Green Roofs can successfully be constructed with minimal risks of water ingress into the underlying rooms and to further illustrate their benefits and potential.
Green Roofs are very popular in various countries. They are being incentivised by governments as they not only provide benefits to the owner of the roof in terms of thermal insulation, creation of amenity space and increased property value but provide benefits to society such as increasing ecosystem services, which are those benefits people derive from nature such as the mitigation of flooding, provide habitats for pollinators and create more pleasant views.
Minister Mizzi stressed that such projects should be encouraged not only for their visual appeal but more importantly, for their benefit in improving urban quality life and sustainability of towns and cities.
As part of the project deliverables, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority recently launched the first draft of a standard for Green Roofs for Malta as part of a public consultation process. The standard will create a document which would aid the successful construction of Green Roofs whilst limiting any possible failures which could damage the reputation of the technology.
The LifeMedGreenRoof Project is led by the Faculty for the Built Environment of the University of Malta in collaboration with the MCCAA, Fondazione Minoprio and Minoprio Analizi e Certificazioni.