Following three months of construction work, Europe’s largest green façade is now completed. The official opening ceremony of this unique project by the name of ‘GreenPark’ at the Westblaak car park in Rotterdam on Friday, 10 September was performed by Christian Stadil, an entrepreneur and initiator of the project, and Alderwoman Alexandra Van Huffelen, responsible for sustainability, the city centre and public areas. The green façade, attached to the existing car park by means of ‘Greenface’ hexagonal steel mesh, is already partly covered with plants.
The new green façade of the Westblaak car park is not only unique – being the largest green façade in Europe – but offers numerous advantages as well. For instance, the green façade system absorbs CO2 emitted by the cars parking in the car park. In addition, the system enhances the city centre’s biodiversity and the ecosystem functioning as well as reducing the heat island effect in the city centre by reducing radiant heat. Moreover, the green façade system plays an important role in relieving overburdened sewer systems as the rainfall on the car park roof is retained and used to irrigate the plants.
Support from the City of Rotterdam
These advantages prompted the City of Rotterdam to provide financial support for the GreenPark project, as a logical extension of the existing subsidy for the installation of green roofs. The City of Rotterdam regards this project as a new step towards further greenification of the city. Furthermore, the GreenPark project dovetails perfectly with the climate objectives of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative (RCI), which aims to realize 50% reduction of CO2 emissions and full climate change resilience by 2025.
The principal investor of the GreenPark project is the Danish owner of the Westblaak office building and appurtenant car park, Christian Stadil. Stadil and his Dutch Director of Property Management, Ronald Bouwens, are the initiators of the installation of the green car park façade. The office building itself also underwent a greenification process in the form of the installation of green roofs on top of the office section and LED lighting.
The façade of the multi-storey car park is equipped with the green architectural system called ‘Greenface’. This system consists of a structure of hexagonal steel mesh elements provided with plant tubs containing climbing vines that are fed by means of an irrigation system. The ‘Greenface’ system is manufactured by a group of collaborating parties. Kühne & Co Architects, Firmus Products, Mastop totaaltechniek, Nophadrain and Verhoeve Groen have joined forces to create this innovative system. The ‘Greenface’ system has transformed a polluting eyesore in the city centre into an attractive self-cleaning machine.