Project Realisation

Type of tree
Pine trees are the most suitable when it comes to air filtration: Their needles function as a filter all-year round. In case biodiversity is more of an issue than maximising the amount of air cleaned, a mix of native shrubs and plants can be designed to offer a wide range of possibilities for fauna in terms of space and nutrition.

Plant types that do not grow too rapidly are given preference. “Large” is not suitable to rooftops because of the possibility of local windy conditions or periods of drought in the summer. Wind and drought resistance are important features. Any kind of planting must correlate with the volume of rainwater that the growing element in which the plants are placed is able to capture and retain.

Planting area
A lot of innovative thinking was required in order to be able to furnish these trees in a safe, self-sufficient and sustainable manner. Making Urban Tree Tops feasible on a large scale also required a low level of maintenance and reducing weight in order not to surpass the (often limited) maximum load of rooftops. The Urban Tree Tops growing elements have been developed specifically for planting small trees and mixed plantings on rooftops.

1. A lightweight and stable base that distributes the load over a large area and insulates the roof and the root ball in order to prevent freezing or dehydration. The base has been designed to fit all types of flart roof surfaces and constructions without damaging the roof structure or altering its condensation point.

2. A reservoir that can be adjusted to match a roof’s maximum weight carrying capacity and that retains rainwater for distribution to the plants, without any need for technical equipment like pumps, hoses and valves.

3. A mantle with a profile that catches the least amount of wind possible, that reflects sunlight and captures rainwater and that filters needles/leaves from the rainwater before it passes into the reservoir.

4. A solar panel (optional) on the south side of the element for generating extra energy.

5. A renewable mulch layer for improving the nutrient levels in the substrate, preventing weeds and unwanted evaporation from the root ball.

6. A tree type that can withstand rooftop conditions (sun, wind). The tree is cultivated in a unique kind of container that expedites growth and ensures that the tree is well-rooted before transfer to the rooftop.

Both The Urban Tree Tops concept and the design and specific functions of the growing element have been patented by SHFT.





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