Eaves of Grass: ABC gets a green roof!

ABC Amsterdam will officially be the first building to get a green roof as part of the Dutch government’s new subsidy program.

The local city council would like to see more green in Amsterdam and they’re aiming high.

Rather than plant more trees and create more parkland in this compact capital, they want to stimulate residents and businesses to go green where there is still space left over – on their roofs!

What might once have seemed a wild idea is actually very practical. A city with green roofs helps bring the temperature down in summer, countering the Urban Heat Island Effect. It adds a good dose of healthy oxygen to the air, encourages birds and insects back to the city, and of course, green roofs  look amazing. Humans tend to be happier in greener spaces too.

As well as being good for your fellow citizens, you’ll reap the benefits of a green roof yourself: for starters, the roof underneath will last much longer. And, most importantly, it will regulate the temperature inside, bringing down the heating and cooling bills. (Leaving you more money with which to buy books.)

When we took over the Spui 12 building in 2006, we used as many natural materials as possible: from the bamboo flooring and counters, to the grass in the panels on the railings, to the real tree that shoots up through the first two floors.

A green roof fits us perfectly.

So on Wednesday April 21st, from 12 noon, green roof experts De Dakdoctors will be covering the top of our store with sedum, a leafy little succulent* – also known as stonecrop –  that stores water and can survive heavy rainfall and drought.  We’ll be the very first building in Amstedam to use the  council subsidy to get a green roof! You’re welcome to come along and watch the top of our building be transformed into a green oasis. We’re told it will only take a couple hours.

Amsterdam already has a scattering of green roofs. If you’ve ever been to the cafe at the top of the Kalvertoren shopping mall, you’ll have seen one already. Hopefully in a few years the aerial view of this gorgeous city will be much more green thanks to the subsidy. We’re proud to be the first!

*So not really grass, but the title Eaves Of Grass was hard to resist!