More green roofs and walls in Hamburg via DESY pilot project

Environment ministry launches initiative - DESY research hall to be fully green by 2026
03 June 2021
Desy Hall

The Ministry for the Environment and the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) are to launch one of the largest façade and roof greening projects on the campus in Bahrenfeld, a press release said Friday (May 28, 2021). The walls and the roof of research building 36 i.e., 4,570 square metres, will be extensively greened as part of a pilot project through 2026. Around 25,000 grasses, perennials and climbing shrubs are to be planted on the hall's facade and flat roof. The ministry has earmarked EUR 410,000 for the project and DESY is to pay a similar amount. 

Ministry promoting greening

"The pilot project shows possible alternatives and what is being done in Hamburg to keep the city green or even make it greener, despite a growing population and the need to build housing," said Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment. "I would hope that as many building owners as possible might follow the idea and green their roofs or walls similarly." The Ministry for the Environment is providing subsidies for up to 40 per cent of the investment sum to promote roof and wall greening in future. Each greening measure can receive a one-off grant of EUR 100,000 maximum. 

DESY striving for more sustainability

The greening is part of the Green DESY programme to boost biodiversity through suitable green water management in combination with roof and façade greening rather than canalisation. Rainwater will not be discharged to the sewer at DESY any more and will instead evaporate on site or be used for irrigation. Thus, DESY is bolstering sustainable urban development and promoting the general working and living conditions on the campus.

Research into novel materials for a circular economy and the use of regenerative energies to operate research infrastructure form part of the "Green DESY" scheme. "DESY is representative of the outstanding expertise at Hamburg's research institutions and setting a good example," said Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality. The greening of DESY's exterior façade is an innovative example of modern and sustainable urban development. The project underlines Hamburg's important role as a centre of science focusing on resource and climate protection.