The Greenest of the Green Block – a unique urban green area development project

The objective of the Greenest of the Green Block of Flats is to explore the functionality of green areas on the roofs of apartment buildings and to gain important insight into the impacts green roofs may have on housing and the sense of community.

The study covers an exceptionally extensive green development project in an apartment building located in a variable urban environment. In addition, the study looks into the effects that green areas have on, for example, urban runoff, energy efficiency, and the happiness of the residents.

The project in Jätkäsaari is a wonderful combination of research and construction: for instance, the green facades form a scientific experiment that tests how the quality of the growing medium, direction, and floor height affect the survival of the plants. Furthermore, the ways of using the various green roofs of the building are being developed through co-design in order to ensure that the future designs for green roof spaces are even better and meet the needs of the residents as well as possible. The knowledge produced in this location will help to design better, more sustainable solutions with more environmental responsibility.

This is a dream come true -project for me“, says landscape designer, horticulturist Taina Suonio, ‘the mother of the project’. “The research group is very happy of the fact that the concepts we brought up during the first meeting, such as a meadow roof, a fruit and berry oasis, a garden of useful plants, and a butterfly feeding station, have all come true after extensive cooperation with the different stakeholders of the project“, emphasizes professor Susanna Lehvävirta, the leader of the research group.

Read more of the project here:

The kitchen garden is the heart of the block. Photo by Taina Suonio

Green roof to Elves Hideaway – Viherkatto Tonttulaan

Greetings from Elves Hideaway,

In the Magical forest the elves have a plenty to do. The path leads you to the most secret place of the elves world, Hidden huts. There you can learn how to live in harmony with nature. During the last week, the most northern  green roof for experimental and educational purposes was published to Experience Village Elves Hideaway in Köngäs (Kittilä) on the top of the house of Shaman Elves. Over 1700 northern plants, including also eatable berries like wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) and lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), were potted on the roof. The survival of plants and quality of leachate water from “the crushed light weight gravel concrete” based growing medium with and without biochar addition will be monitored. The roof was established as a part of the ‘Voimametsät’ (strength from forests) project by Natural Resources Institute (Luke) which seeks natural raw materials in the wild for use in wellness products and well being services.

Taianomaisessa metsässä tontuilla on paljon tekemistä. Polku johtaa sinut  Tonttulaan, tonttujen ja maahisten salaiseen maahan. Siellä voit oppia miten on mahdollista elää sopusoinnussa luonnon kanssa. Viime viikolla Kittilän Könkäällä sijaitsevaan Tonttulaan Tietäjätontun kotitalon katolle perustettiin pohjoinen viherkatto tutkimus- ja opetuskäyttöön. Katolle istutettiin yli 1700 kasvia, jotka sisälsivät myös syötäviä marjakasveja kuten ahomansikkaa ja puolukkaa. Kasvien selviytymistä ja valumaveden laatua kevytbetonisoramurskeisesta kasvualustasta tullaan seuraamaan tarkoin. Katto perustettiin osana Luonnonvarakeskuksen Voimametsät hanketta. Siitä on tehty myös youtube-video.

Fifth Dimension – Green Roofs and Walls in Urban Areas

An inter- and multidisciplinary research program was established 2011, aiming at solution-oriented research on building-integrated vegetation. Today, we are a lively community of researchers and students, intensively working with the end-users of knowledge for sustainable and functional novel green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in cities.