Green Roof is a lot of Science


We are greening up a lot of HDB rooftops. It is pleasing to the eyes, besides lowering the ambient temperature.

But having green roofs aren’t just about adding plants to rooftops. It takes a lot of science and experimentation to get it right, in a smart, sustainable way.

One example is the Prefabricated Extensive Green (PEG) Roof System developed by HDB. We see them at the rooftops of older HDB blocks or top decks of multi-storey car parks. Different plant species are grown in these modular lightweight trays. But not any plant species, they have to be hardy to flourish at rooftop.

One such plant species is the Cyanotis Cristata. Under strong sun and drought conditions, its leaves turn from green to reddish, as though they are ushering in the autumn season. Another is the Zephyranthes Rosea. It usually blooms with beautiful flowers after a rainfall.

HDB had selected them and put them through stress tests, to ensure they thrive well in our climate. With the PEG’s built-in compartment to contain rainwater, they can survive dry spells of up to 21 days!

They were tested recently when we experienced Singapore’s longest dry spell in February. Not only did they survive, they were able to regenerate after the drought.

HDB’s rigorous research efforts into plants have paid off.

These plants were also selected because they require minimal maintenance, typically twice a year.

Beyond rooftops, our greening efforts can also be found in water. Some examples are the mangroves and floating wetlands at MyWaterway@Punggol.

HDB has introduced 22 freshwater-tolerant mangroves species, and various floating wetlands plants at MyWaterway@Punggol.

This has brought greenery to the door-step of our Punggol residents.

As we admire the greenery, let’s appreciate the efforts of our colleagues at the HDB Building Research Institute, who are constantly looking for better ideas to improve our living environment.

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