Either Or? Solar Panels V Green Roofs

The roof has often only considered for two options when looking to implement ‘eco’ or sustainable solutions, these being either a green roof or photovoltaics i.e. solar panels. But in the very near future, developers will no longer have to choose between the two. The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna has combined the first roof garden with power generation.

The roof has been designed as an urban garden, with the project focusing on meeting a wide range of objectives and usages. The roofs offers habitat for wildlife, an area for residents to enjoy and power production through the use of translucent photovoltaic modules. The structure also stores rainwater to support the irrigation system, whilst the plants also act as fine dust filters. The design of the roof, the plants and the materials used in its creation will reduce the perceived temperature during heat waves and increase it during the winter months.

The university tested a number of different types of photovoltaic panels with differing levels of transparency in order to source the correct type of optimum plant growth. These capabilities, in turn, account for the types of plants suitable for such purpose and the required watering system. A cost-benefit analysis is also being reviewed by the university.

With so many positive elements, it seems like a win-win situation for all roofs in the future.

For more information on the roof garden project, click here.

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