a somewhat occasional blog

Biosolar roof – online talk

Our Biosolar roof online presentation is now available at the Virtual Green Roof and Wall Summit. This is hosted by my good friends at Greenroofs.com . Filmed in UK and Switzerland with my colleague Nathalie Baumann, this presentation celebrates the work of an EU funded project called Up on the Roof.







Watch the Biosolar Virtual Summit Trailer

This project aims to promote and train professionals and installers in how combining green roofs and solar panels can help deliver the EU Strategy Ecosystem services and Green Infrastructure. This strategy is also about the delivery of biodiversity across the continent.the biosolar project is specifically addresses how pollinators can benefit from this approach.

solar green roof London
Biosolar roof – London Olympics – courtesy S.Connop

Biosolar roofs

I have been aware of the potential of combining green roofs and solar technologies for other 15 years. I visited my first such roof in Switzerland in 2000. However many professionals, architects, designers and mechanical engineers, still consider this an either or situation.  Solar panels on the roof or vegetation. However this is really missing a trick in terms of sustainability. When designed well with due consideration of both elements, a biosolar roof is the ultimate sustainable solution at roof level, delivering:

  • renewable energy
  • biodiversity
  • sustainable water management
  • noise, air pollution benefits
  • visual amenity

and whole range of other benefits. In fact I have always considered this approach the perfect example of ecosystem services in practice at roof level.

Switzerland - Biosolar roof Zurich
Solar and green roof in action near Zurich, CH


Through mirrored research in London and Switzerland, green roofs work for biodiversity. Many of rare invertebrates are quite rare now in the wider countryside. We also know  that combining a green roof with solar panels can create creates more habitat characteristics.. The solar panels provide shade and damper areas in front and to the rear of the panels. This allows for a greater flora diversity and therefore greater diversity of fauna.

Solar Panels

There is also a body of evidence that solar panels can work more efficiently when placed on a green roof. The evapotranspiration from the green roof can maintain an ambient temperature around the panels. This is especially important during hot periods in the summertime. This ensures the panels maintain efficiency.

A Biosolar Future

All to often in the built environment, biodiversity plays second fiddle to headline benefits. Carbon and water can drive the benefit debate.  However, the biosolar future actual provides these, whilst also creating habitats that benefit a wide range of species. I will be update in detail more projects that I have been directly involved with or visited over the next few months, For now register for the full talk at the Virtual Conference and embrace the biosolar future.

Dusty Gedge is a recognised authority on green roofs. He is a public speaker and talks all over the world on green roofs, green infrastructure, biodiversity and sustainable cities. For more info contact via greenrooftraining.




Share Button