The Roof Farm at the Schieblock office building in Rotterdam is the largest harvestable roof in Europe. In 2012, this initiative of ZUS Architects and the Environmental Centre of Rotterdam breathed new life into the dilapidated building. Today, the building accommodates a broad selection of creative entrepreneurs who show great commitment to building a strong city.
Commercial activities in the vicinity
The activities at the Roof Farm give a sustainable boost to commercial activities in the vicinity. Vegetables and fruit are supplied to hotels and restaurants nearby, and the fresh produce and herbs grown in the rooftop vegetable garden sell like hot cakes during open days and in a bistro and a pop-up café. In addition, the native plants garden provides sufficient forage to sustain as many as four bee populations.
The Roof Farm is one of the initiatives in the city that contribute to keeping the feet of the people of Rotterdam dry, as the plants on the roof serve to store surplus water during extreme rainfall events. The Roof Farm furthermore offers space to experiments to test various types of green roofs, which are pivotal to the city’s climate change resilience. The year 2016, for instance, saw the official opening of the weather forecast and sensor controlled Smart Roof (Slimdak), which has the capacity to buffer seven times the quantity of water that other green roofs offer.
The Roof Farm offers lessons for primary school children. A teaching programme by the name of ‘Dakennie?’ (No way!) introduces children to the world of urban farming and urban nature – the best way for any child to be grounded!