A round table discussion was recently held by the University’s Faculty for the Built Environment for policy makers, politicians and other stakeholders to promote the creation of policies that favour the setting up of green roofs in Malta’s built environment. The faculty has also drafted a policy proposal document highlighting the benefits of green roofs and how these can be integrated in the built environment and distributed it to government authorities.
The potential of green roofs to make buildings more energy efficient has been confirmed through three years of ongoing research at the University as part of the Life Med Green Roof project, which has shown that they can reduce the need to use of air conditioning for cooling or heating.
Since most of buildings in Malta are flat and sturdy they are well suited to host green roofs. If the technology was diffused in normal building practices, Malta would need to generate less energy, which means less expenses for the country and less pollution and carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.
Besides reducing the carbon footprint of urban areas, green roofs also provide several other benefits not only to the building owner but also to the wider community and environment. They contribute to improve living conditions in urban areas, which suffer from issues that negatively impact the physical and mental health of residents.
The meeting, which was presided over by faculty dean Alex Torpiano, was addressed by landscape architects Antoine Gatt and Vincent Morris, who manage the project.
Both the government and the Opposition representatives present agreed that green roofs could play an important role in mitigating problems affecting urban areas, and helping the country to meet its energy and environmental targets. According to the European Commission, by 2030, European countries need to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent.
The project is partially funded through Life Plus, the financial instrument supporting environmental project in the EU.
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