Greek Rooftops Going Green

green rooftopsThe sea of white-and-grey roofs across Greek cities, particularly Athens, could be changing color, at least for drab municipal buildings.

The project Green Roofs in Public Buildings was announced on Aug. 7 by Greece’s Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change which is putting up 15 million euros ($20.08 million) aimed at putting grass and greenery atop schools, nurseries, kindergartens and music conservatories, cultural centers and libraries, swimming pools and buildings of Public administration.

This is about a passive technique of energy saving. According to the Environment Ministry, the project’s target is not just saving energy in the Public’s buildings during the summer and winter, but to improve the heating and environmental conditions in public buildings as well, not to mention the aesthetic appeal.

The project aims at improving the micro-climate in the area around the buildings, keeping them cooler, lessening the need for air conditions and cutting pollution. With an average of 250 days of sunlight a year, no one has proposed putting solar panels on roofs in wide circulation.

“The improvement of the living conditions of the people is the Ministry’s main priority,” Stavros Kalafatis, Deputy Minister of the Environment, pointed out. “With the creation of green roofs at schools and public buildings, we save energy, we increase the presence of green in urban settings and we reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Kalafatis explained. “We invest in environment in urban regions, where there is the biggest need,” he said.