EU-funded project showcases Malta’s dedication to climate innovation with a cutting-edge green roof experiment at the Għajn Water Conservation Centre in Rabat. This initiative aims to collect vital scientific data to uncover the potential of green infrastructure in flood prevention, while simultaneously enhancing the sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings.

Minister Miriam Dalli, responsible for the Environment, Energy, and Enterprise, met with the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) team behind this innovative green roof project. It’s part of the GiFluid Project, a collaborative effort with the University of Catania, co-funded by the European Union under the Interreg Italia-Malta Programme. During the meeting, Minister Dalli announced that after a two-year data collection phase, the green roof will be open to the public.

This multi-faceted green roof boasts a diverse array of vegetation tailored to thrive in Malta’s unique climate. In addition, it incorporates photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate clean energy. Over 3,000 carefully selected plants were introduced to the roof, chosen for their ability to withstand Malta’s arid conditions.

Over the next two years, this project will serve as a prototype for EWA to gather data on the impact of green roofs on rainwater flow, retention rates by vegetation, and release times. The Agency will also assess the quality of rainwater runoff from the green roof, particularly focusing on nutrient levels, such as nitrates. This evaluation will shed light on any potential effects related to the adoption of green roofs.

EWA CEO Manuel Sapiano expressed that through the GiFluid project, the Agency will assess the myriad benefits of green roofs, including increased PV panel productivity. It’s also a pioneering effort to explore the role of green roofs in mitigating flood risks in Malta.

Minister Miriam Dalli hailed this project as a significant stride in Malta’s pursuit of climate innovation. She stated, “These projects have the potential to regulate building temperatures, enhance energy efficiency, and promote water conservation. The data collected by EWA in the coming years will guide the implementation of similar projects throughout the country.”

This visit included representatives from the Rabat Local Council and the University of Catania.

The GiFluid project, a 30-month endeavour initiated in June 2021 and set to conclude in December 2023, received €1,985,000 in funding from the Interreg Italia-Malta Programme, which is shared among partners in Catania and Malta

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