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World Green Roof Day around the World

Starting in 2020, World Green Roof Day (WGRD) has been creating connections around the globe to embrace, enjoy and showcase vegetated rooftops.

Since this time, there have been changes in green roof design, concepts and builds to become more multifunctional, including solar panels or areas designated for people and for nature.

The theme for 2024 was Energy on rooftops, inspired by a visit to Switzerland to see pioneering vertical solar panels, like dwarf solar panel fences running parallel across rooftops to maximise exposure to the sun, stopping snow settling on them when laid traditionally, and blocking out the sun rays but also to create more space for vegetation between the rows. This incredible work is led by Andreas Dreisiebner, who together with his engineer associates, are currently working on small wind turbines for rooftops.

The combined use of photovoltaics and green roofs in the form of biosolar roofs has also established itself in Austria. Around 90,000 m² of these systems were installed on Austrian roofs in 2022.

The UK has seen a sharp rise in the number of biosolar rooftops being specified following the Department of Education guidelines for all new school roofs in England to comprise a biosolar green roofing system. A great example of a biosolar roof in action is on Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice in Barnet, London which uses the roof to generate energy to power the building whilst blending it into the surrounding nature reserve.

WGRD 2024 Highlights

Rooftop celebrations this year began in May in Rotterdam with the annual rooftop open days called Dakendagen, founded by Leon van Geest and Nikki Kamps, and a meeting of the European Creative Roof Network. These events attracted thousands of people to explore rooftops in the city. DakAkker, one of the first and largest Urban Rooftop Farms, opened its doors to the public as well as many other city rooftops. Similar events are set to take place later this year in Antwerp, Barcelona, Portugal and Marseille.

The Czech Green Roof Association organised events across the country with creators of green roofs opening their rooftops to visitors. A conference and roof visit in Bangladesh was organised by Mili Ahmed of the Urban Agriculture Foundation and in Vancouver, Canada, Christine Thuring hosted a green roof tour and “happy hour” for people interested in green roofs as well as sceptics. The tour concluded with networking and celebrations on Loblaws green roof, North Point Brewery. In Milton Keynes, England, the Mayor, Marie Bradburn and Youth Mayor, Maggie Beckett provided healthy refreshments for a community lunch on the YMCA green rooftop by creating fruit smoothies using the Green Roof Project smoothie bike. Green roof tours also took place in Chicago, US, as part of an annual Grey to Green conference. Other countries taking part with planned events included Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

Continuing with the Energy theme, Rooftop Revolution in Amsterdam organised a Roof-to-Roof Run. The start and end point took place at the rooftop/rooftop bar of the DoubleTree by Hilton next to the Central Station in Amsterdam. The participants then ran through the roof garden of Hannekes Boom...sinds 1662, past the houseboats with green roofs on the Dijksgracht and the Marineterrein Amsterdam, to run up and down the roof of NEMO for dessert. It wasn't just a physical challenge; participants also had to answer questions about green roofs. The eventual winner, Victor Adèr proudly won the Roof-to-Roof Run challenge cup.

More information can be found online and via social media using #WGRD2024

  • Dakakker – Rotterdam
  • Pakt – Antwerp
  • British Columbia Roof Tour
  • British Columbia Roof Tour 2
  • Bangladesh
  • ECRN – Rotterdam

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Bridgman & Bridgman are specialists in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of living roofs on new and existing buildings across the UK. We are also passionate about every rooftop that can be becoming green through our Green Roof Project initiative and creating new green jobs and opportunities by upskilling people and communities with our specialist training programmes.

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