Mannoury Amsterdam is more than just a great place to live. The apartment complex will contribute to important research on the liveable city in the years to come. The project consists of two identical building blocks - in design - with the same geographical characteristics and conditions. Only the upper roofs are different.
One block will have a blue-green roof, the other won’t. Both building blocks will have solar panels. Will the cooling greenery on the blue-green roof improve the productivity of the solar panels? Project Urban PhotoSynthesis is studying this, as well as how residents can supply shower water - filtered in an environmentally-friendly manner - to the green roof.
Project Urban PhotoSynthesis seeks to show for the first time ever that green roofs and solar panels improve each other’s productivity and efficiency. But also, that residents can supply - filtered and recycled - shower water to the roof during low-rain periods. That is how living in an innovative and sustainable building gains even more added value. With the results of this project, the collaborating parties hope to make building design a little greener.
Amsterdam has big ambitions to fight climate change. By 2050, the city aims to be climate-adaptive, i.e. to have the ability to adjust to climate change. It is not possible to deal with summer heat and prolonged drought or to collect large volumes of rainwater in an increasingly paved environment. It will become increasingly important to integrate natural ecosystems into the city. Aedes Cares is working with Amsterdam to build a healthy, liveable city that is good for people and nature.
Plants have a positive effect on our physical and mental health. They enhance any space by adding warmth, colour, beauty and life to it. Living under a green roof also provides direct cooling to the living environment. Not only is this better for the environment but also for our living comfort.
Plants have the ability to keep their temperature constant, which is a lot lower than the temperature of stone or ‘black' roofs during hot summers. Green roofs cool the city, reducing the effect of heat islands during hot weather.
Greening the city is not only good for people, but also for reducing risks such as heat stress and flooding. Moreover, a carefully selected mix of plants improves the city's biodiversity, which is essential for bees and other insects.
Plants on a blue-green rooftop grow in a substrate that covers a drainage layer, the permavoid system, which collects water. Retention boxes store excess water in a buffer tank to prevent rainwater from flowing directly into the sewer, harvesting it for irrigation instead.
Project Urban PhotoSynthesis circulates used shower water and filters it in two ways: passively and naturally with helophytes (marsh plants) on the roof, and actively in the building’s underground water tanks. This allows shower water to be recycled for irrigation during dry periods.
A select variety of evergreen plants will be planted on the roofs and balconies to create a beautiful and beneficial year-round effect.
Solar panels usually meet sustainability requirements better than blue-green roofs do. The panels perform better when they are cooler. Project Urban PhotoSynthesis is currently studying how the energy yield improves when panels are installed on a cooling water-buffering green roof.
The drainage layer in the blue-green roof collects stormwater and directs it to the green roof. Retention boxes harvest and redirect the excess water to reduce the burden on the sewerage system. The water roof also directs water to the plants on the balconies below.
Stormwater collection, green roofs, circular water use and solar panels: all of this comes together in Project Urban PhotoSynthesis. With just one goal: to show that it is possible. To cool the city, increase living comfort and energy yield and to reduce the burden on Amsterdam’s water resources.
Retention roofs collect rainwater and direct it to the plants on roofs and balconies
Re-used filtered shower water provides extra water for dry periods
Green roofs and balconies are beneficial to people, the environment and biodiversity
Solar panels supply more energy thanks to the green, cool roof
The Mannoury apartment complex will be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2021. During the first two years of operation, a study will be conducted on the energy yield of the solar panels and circular water use. The objective is to develop an and/and solution in the design of multifunctional roofs in cities, instead of an either/or solution, i.e. either a (blue-) green roof or solar panels. With this, Project Urban PhotoSynthesis aims to contribute to the climate-proof city by improving the interaction between buildings and nature, plus promoting innovations that enhance the synergy between the two.