The Emporia shopping centre offers a total retail area of approximately 93,000 square metres, divided over three shopping levels plus an open roof area with a park. The total floor area including offices, flats and parking space is a full 217,000 square metres.
On the one hand, climate change is becoming increasingly extreme, with longer periods of drought and heat and periods of short, heavy rainfall.
On the other hand, there is population growth and migration as a result of the changing climate. More people will live in less space, i.e. closer together.
Both aspects will determine how we all live in the future.
The world population is growing faster than ever before, with more people migrating to our cities. It is estimated that 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050.
That’s an increase of 2.5 billion people in our already crowded cities. Public spaces will decrease, further, and so will the quality of living.
Sharing limited space with more people inevitably leads to a decrease in space, and hence a decrease in quality of living.
Hotter summers make our cities sweltering. Heat waves are now a recurring phenomenon. Air conditioning alone will not provide the solution. And, it’s not a sustainable answer.
Heavy rains turn our streets into swirling rivers. Our sewage system simply can’t cope with the vast amount of water that surges through it in such a short period of time.
Architects, city planners and engineers play a crucial role in developing sustainable solutions that make our crowded cities pleasant places to work, live and visit, today and in the years to come.
Existing flat roofs are still untapped spaces
Smart spaces. Smarter cities
While our cities are well-developed, useful urban spaces remain underutilised. Existing flat roofs are still untapped spaces.
Roofs provide an answer to many of the challenges that our growing cities face, including
- shrinking biodiversity
- greater demand for energy
- increased competition for land
- and the effects of climate change
Flat roofs are used for many different purposes: from rooftop gardens that absorb CO2, boost biodiversity and regulate temperatures to energy-producing roofs with solar panels and wind turbines.
Community roofs offer social and recreational activities, adding value to properties and increasing income. Different functions are combined, increasing the value of flat roofs.
Activity roofs play a vital part in the smart and sustainable development of our urban areas as we move towards circular cities in which we make, use, reuse and recover materials, products and energy, reducing our impact on the environment.
Optimise your roofs
Urbanisation means more concrete and less greenery and a decrease in the quality of living.
Rooftop gardens or vegetation on the sides of buildings greatly help insulate the structure. They improve the quality of the air we breathe, reduce the urban heat island effect, collect rainwater and boost our biodiversity.
Water retention roofs buffer rainwater caused by heavy rainfall and help prevent flooding. By integrating photovoltaics or wind turbines into building designs, a flat roof becomes a source of sustainable energy.
Activity Roofs can also provide a real sense of community. A shared space to enjoy the scenery and each other’s company.
With FOAMGLAS® insulation solutions, you can play a vital role in activating new and existing roof space contributing to healthier living now and in the future.
Our sustainable Active Roof solution stands the test of time, a key component in the shift towards circular cities.
Using FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation can help you optimise heating, energy usage, lighting and ventilation. It opens up a world of possibilities.
Activity roofs can be a key part of our cityscapes, making them a smart investment today and for the next generation.
And, the financial benefits are only one side of the story.
By investing in Activity Roofs, you are investing in social inclusion, a key element in the green economy: a future defined by low carbon, resource efficiency and human well-being.
Public and private investments such as Activity Roofs will essentially lead to a healthier future for us all.
Sofie Borré : Architect, Circulair bouwadviseur Cuypers & Q architects
"Roofs have the power to connect"
A roof is so much more than a square or rectangle over the top floor of a building. In southern cities like Marrakech, people use roofs to communicate with each other. That social aspect of connecting people is what makes active roofs such an exciting prospect.
Intensive green roofs are a great example.
Besides technical installations, intensive green roofs can become a playground for children. Or a great location for local restaurants and residents to grow their own vegetables. The possibilities on active roofs are truly endless.
Bert Smets : Architect, UAU Collectiv
"Two birds, one stone"
There are so many untapped spaces in city centres. Think of the upper floors of restaurants, bars or shops. It’s our goal to activate them by connecting the upper floors and breathing new life into these empty buildings. That way, we hit two birds with one stone.
The result? Fewer vacancies and an extra façade to make the most of.
the right build-up and materials
All roses have thorns
Activity roofs can have a bad reputation, yet they are a smart investment and a sustainable solution. If they are constructed correctly.
When constructing an Activity Roof, the key is to choose the right build-up and materials. Considering the potential challenges related to water leakages, root penetration, deformation due to heavy loads and more, working with the proper solution is decisive for the performance and lifespan of the roof.
This is where FOAMGLAS® Compact Roof comes in. Our solution stands the test of time and mitigates all risks related to constructing an active roof. Curious to find out more?
FOAMGLAS® PROJECTS AROUND THE WORLD
More than 80 years of innovation and experience with FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation have resulted in countless successful projects around the world. We are proud of every single achievement and are delighted to share them with you.
52 Degrees Tower
52 degrees is an impressive 86-meter tower in Nijmegen. The challenge: how do you insulate more than 10,000 m² of roof surface with no connection to the municipal sewer system? FOAMGLAS® compact roof system turned out to be the safest, most sustainable solution thanks to its watertight insulation.
The roof of Aquapark Kohoutovice in the Czech Republic is a unique architectural concept with a sheet metal roof in the shape of an armadillo. FOAMGLAS® boards allowed the sheet metal roof to be constructed over a wet environment, forming a perfect vapour barrier that is extremely resistant to high water vapour pressure.
The OLV Hospital, located on the outer edges of Aalst and built in 1904, has been sustainable from the very beginning. For the expansion, sustainability was key. FOAMGLAS® insulation was used on the different flat roofs, protecting the entrance hall from penetrating sunlight thanks to its heat resistant properties.
Šantovka Shopping Centre
The Santovka Shopping Centre in the Czech Republic has tramlines running over the roof structure. To help support the immense mass of trams that weigh almost 100 tonnes, FOAMGLAS® boards were used. They are virtually incompressible, making this one of the highest load bearing roofs in Europe.
Sydhavnen school in Copenhagen invites students to live an active lifestyle, motivating them to learn. FOAMGLAS® was used to insulate both the compact roof with wooden patio and the compact green roof on concrete of this modern school. A durable, sustainable solution that is now ready for the next generation of students.
Walterboscomplex Tax Office Apeldoorn
Between 2004-2006, the 40-year-old Walterbos Tax Administration complex in Apeldoorn was completely renovated and expanded with two towers. A plinth building with garden roofs and a 11.000 m² water retention roof was built all around the complex. The complex was built 'green': it is equipped with extensive energy-saving measures and was constructed using sustainable materials. Finished with a fully bonded roof covering (EPDM), this roof will remain insulated and watertight for decades to come.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ACTIVITY ROOFS?
Discover all insights of Activity roofs
In the document "Safe, long-term solutions for activity roofs", we address the many issues that designers face and that can lead to serious consequences if not anticipated.
Then we describe new solutions adapted to the uses of active roofs (photovoltaic, vegetated, accessible to pedestrians/vehicles).
Our document will provide you with the keys to designing and making a success of these living spaces, with total architectural freedom.