Sustainability news: a greener Zuidas

It’s no secret anymore that green spaces are vital to the quality of urban living. Plants help purify the air, soak up rainwater, keep the city cool and offer homes for birds and insects. And that’s to say nothing of the effects plants have on people! In urban environments like Amsterdam’s Zuidas, there’s less room for planting, so it’s important to green other parts of the district too.


One place with tonnes of potential space is Zuidas’ rooftops – offering as much as 180,000m2! Green Business Club Zuidas, Waternet and the Zuidas Amsterdam Development Office have a shared ambition to install 25,000m2 in water-retaining green rooftops in the district. With about 30% covered so far, there are still quite a few square metres left to go. That’s why GBC Zuidas, Loyens & Loeff, Waternet, the Zuidas Amsterdam Development Office and DGBC last year organized a dinner for property owners, developers and managers to tell them about the benefits of green roofing. Interested in joining the Green Roof Diner of 2021? Please let us know: The City of Amsterdam and Waternet have also agreed on incorporating water-retaining green roofs in area development plans, in the form of water-neutral and wildlife-inclusive building envelopes. This has already led to the inclusion of green rooftops on many buildings, including VU Amsterdam’s new research building, the EMA building and The George. 


A new trend is vertical gardening. Buildings’ exterior façades offer a vast amount of space for greenery, and there are lots of indoor options, too. The circular pavilion at ABN AMRO is a prime example. Part of the façade has a vertical garden, creating an attractive biotope for butterflies, bees and birds. This vertical garden was built from a Cradle to Cradle façade system consisting of modules that can easily be taken apart and reused. The new EMA building also boasts a green wall, in the lobby. This spectacular feature is 21 metres wide and 60 metres high and made up of 52,000 plants. They filter the air, improve air humidity and that translates to more creative and less stressed staff.MA building and The George.


Another brilliant example is the vertical greenhouse at RAI Amsterdam’s Amtrium. This 30m2 vertical urban veg patch grows produce for the kitchens of the RAI restaurant and The Roast Room. The greenhouse also helps with air circulation. To promote planting in the city, the City of Amsterdam has made a number of subsidies available, including one for green roofs and façades and another for blue green roofs in Amsterdam. These can cover up to a respective 50% and 75% of the investment, depending on total costs. What a great incentive for a greener Zuidas!