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Constructing a demonstration green roof

: Setting up of 2 green roofs for study and demonstrative purposes using methods of construction most suitable for the southern Mediterranean climate. (LifeMedGreenRoof Project, (s.a.).
: Malta
: Msida
: 170 ha
: 12216
: 2013
: 4 Years
: Complete
: Yes
: University of Malta
: 35.9030
: 14.4825
Increased infiltration, water retention and flood protection
Yes, the green roof can significantly reduce storm water run-off and mitigate localised flooding. Runoff reduction varied with rainfall events but generally achieved a target of 60% water retention (LifeMedGreenRoof Project, 2019a).
Reduced drought risk, cooling effect, urban heat island mitigation
Yes, the presence of the green roof provided greater thermal insulation during colder months and thus would reduce the need for mechanical heating. As the external air temperature rose above the region of 16⁰C towards the end of the month of March, then the green roof reversed its influence and maintained room temperature cooler compared to conventional roofs (LifeMedGreenRoof Project, 2019b).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, green roofs provide an opportunity to better control stormwater in the built environment and dense urban areas (ERA, 2018e), which are characterised by a limited availability of green infrastructure (Balzan et al., 2018).
Sustainable urbanisation
Data collected demonstrates benefits in terms of urban cooling, runoff reduction and provision of habitat and resources for biodiversity.
Improved aesthetic value
Yes, improved aesthetic value was identified as a positve results arising from the construction of the green roof (LifeMedGreenRoof Project, 2019d).
Increased willingness, participation, investment in NBS
In January 2017 the LifeMedGreenRoof project in collaboration with MCCAA launched for public consultation the first draft of the national Green Roofs standard. The Standard was drafted by a technical committee made up of various stakeholders and a number of technical meetings (14) were held in order to compile the standard. The technical committee consists of representatives of different national entities, such as the Chamber of Engineers, ERA, Malta Developers Association, and Occupational Health & Safety Authority amongst others (ERA, 2018e).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, the intended project aim is to create a baseline study on the most important aspects of green roofs in terms of local needs, to show that green roof technology is safe and cost-efficient and to provide the knowhow for the technology to be replicated by others. (LifeMedGreenRoof Project, 2019e).
Flooding risk
Yes, the Birkirkara-Msida watershed has a high flood risk (National Flood Relief Project (NFRP), (s.a.).
Low air quality
National data indicates exceedances of the EU limit values have been observed for both ozone and particulate matter (PM10). PM10 exceedences are attributed to the combined effect of human caused (traffic congestion and to a minor extent power generation) and environmental factors (e.g. dust from the Sahara). Ozone is a transboundary pollutant arriving in Malta from Europe. The concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) higher in traffic congested areas and may pose a significant problem in dense urban areas (ERA, 2018b).
Drought and heat risk
The Mediterranean Region is considered as a "hot-spot" of climate change, having been identified in global climate scenarios as one of the most responsive regions to climate change (Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). There is a consensus in scientific literature that average temperatures will rise across most of the Mediterranean Region, and that precipitation will decrease (Ulbrich et al. 2013; Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). Observed annual mean temperatures in the Mediterranean Region are now 1.4 °C higher than the average late-nineteenth-century levels particularly during the summer months (Cramer et al., 2018).
Low availability of green infrastructure
Yes,densely populated urban areas were characterised by a lower availability of green infrastructure (Balzan et al. 2018).
Low aesthetic value
Limited knowledge about biodiversity
The Malta National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) reports that the results of the Eurobarometer Surveys on Attitudes of Europeans towards Biodiversity in 2007 and 2010 indicate that 14.4% and 18% respectively of Maltese respondents had heard of the term “biodiversity” and knew what it meant. A survey commissioned by MEPA in 2011 indicates that out of the 500 persons interviewed, 24.6% of Maltese respondents heard of the term “biodiversity” and knew what it meant. In general there is a need to continue enhancing biodiversity awareness and gain more knowledge on the meaning of ‘biodiversity’. (ERA, 2018d).
Industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG9)
Yes, this project funded the construction of a green roof to illustrate the potential of meeting environmental and energy targets.
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Yes, this project funded the construction of a green roof to illustrate the potential of meeting environmental and energy targets.
: Balzan, M. V., Caruana, J., Zammit, A. 2018. Assessing the capacity and flow of ecosystem services in multifunctional landscapes : Evidence of a rural-urban gradient in a Mediterranean small island state. Land Use Policy, 75, 711–725. Retrieved from: doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.08.025.

Cramer, W., Guiot, J., Fader, M., Garrabou, J., Gattuso, J.-P., Iglesias, A., Lange, M.A., Lionello , P., Llasat , M.C., Paz, S., Peñuelas, J., Snoussi, M., Toreti , A., Tsimplis, M.N., Xoplaki, E. 2018. Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0299-2.

ERA. 2018b. State of the Environment Report 2018: Chapter 2: Ambient Air. Reporting status from 2009 to 2015. Information obtained: 2019-11-08. Available at:

ERA. 2018d. State of the Environment Report 2018: Chapter 8: Biodiversity. Reporting status from 2009 to 2015. Information obtained: 2019-11-08. Available at:

ERA. 2018e. Investing in the Multi-functionality of Green Infrastructure (GI) – An Information Document to support GI Thinking in Malta. Information obtained: 2019-11-08. Available at:

LifeMedGreenRoof Project. 2019a. Flood water management. Information obtained: 2019-11-22. Available at:

LifeMedGreenRoof Project. 2019b. Green Roof Thermal Performance. Information obtained: 2019-11-22. Available at:

LifeMedGreenRoof Project. 2019c. Plant selection and performance report. Information obtained: 2019-11-22. Available at:

LifeMedGreenRoof Project. 2019d. Monitoring the Perception of the Target Audience. Information obtained: 2019-11-22. Available at:

LifeMedGreenRoof Project. 2019e. LifeMedGreenRoof Project: Meeting Environmental Targets. Information obtained: 2019-11-14. Source:

Lionello, P., Scarascia, L. 2018. The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming. In Regional Environmental Change, 2018, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1481–1493.

National Flood Relief Project (NFRP). (s.a.). Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects. Information obtained: 2019-11-12. Available at:

Ulbrich U, Xoplaki E, Dobricic S, García-Herrera R, Lionello P, Adani M, Baldi M, Barriopedro D, Coccimiglio P, Dalu G, Efthymiadis D, Gaetani M, Galati MB, Gimeno L, Goodess CM, Jones PD, Kuglitsch FG, Leckebusch GC, Luterbacher J, Marcos-Moreno M, Mariotti A, Nieto R, Nissen KM, Pettenuzzo D, Pinardi N, Pino C, Shaw AGP, Sousa P, Toreti A, Trigo RM, Tsimplis M. 2013. Past and current climate changes in the Mediterranean region. In: Navarra A, Tubiana L (eds) Regional Assessment of Climate Change in the Mediterranean. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9–52. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-5781-3_2.