Smart Roof 2.0

13 March 2017

A blue-green roof is now constructed on top of building 002 of Marineterrein Amsterdam. Water management (blue) and plants (green) are carefully monitored using sensors. This provides a wealth of information.


One of the objectives of the Marineterrein is to demonstrate that innovations can improve the health of the city of the future. In support of this objective, the Smartroof 2.0 – a world first – will be laid on the roof of building 002 this month. The roofs of the city can prove profitable in many different ways. Currently, they are largely unused, yet they can fulfill many useful functions for cities and people. Our project partners include Drain Products Europe and Urban Roofscapes, who are both tenants of the Marineterrein.

Experimental garden

The goal is manifold and concerns the exact measurements of the effects of water storage and cooling. Rainwater is stored in the lower layer of the roofing. This is covered with plants that absorb the water and evaporate the moisture which, in turn, cools the roof. The special structure of the lower layer makes it possible to use a large variety of plants without requiring a large amount of soil. Later in the year, vegetables will also be planted on the roof in collaboration with GrownDownTown and the restaurant of Pension Homeland. This means that the second floor of building 002 will be significantly cooler this summer and Pension Homeland will be able to serve fresh vegetables.


Smartroof 2.0 will also become an important international research roof. Marineterrein, Aedes Real Estate, KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Waternet, SBRCURnet, the Municipality of Amsterdam, and Drain Products Europe are working together in a two-year research project (2017-2018) for Topsector Water (water top sector) of the Dutch government. The latest sensor techniques can accurately measure the actual evaporation of water by plants. This evaporation is the most relevant factor in the cooling effect of the covered roof on its immediate environment, however no extensive research has yet been done on this topic. The results of this research are published in real time, allowing interested parties to monitor the temperatures and evaporation levels closely.


Construction will start in March, the first plants will be planted in April. A staircase will be built on the side of the building. Interested parties can make an appointment to view the test setting and see what a blue-green roof can contribute to environment.