Roof Water-Farm

Commercial / 1st Quarter 2020

Roof Water-Farm

March 12, 2020

An ongoing cooperative research project, ROOF WATER-FARM (RWF) features the combined installation of water recycling technology and building-integrated farming. The focus of this blue-green infrastructure approach is on the reuse of daily water resource flows combined with lightweight water farming such as aquaponics (combined fish and plant farming) and hydroponics (soil-less plant farming such as using nutrient film techniques or NFT).

ROOF WATER FARM, Erdbeerfest 2014 im Block 6 in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

The project’s test site sits in the historic neighbourhood of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in 1987 in Kreuzberg, near the former Berlin Wall and today’s Potsdamer Platz. This site has been also a model project of the Experimental Housing and Urban Development (EXWOST) research programme until 2000. Since then, this Berlin inner-city neighbourhood has become an ongoing laboratory.

The current and ongoing challenge is to establish applied follow-up projects within real estate developments. This process of upscaling and transferring the positive research results requires a broad and transdisciplinary support of the public authorities involved—from food and water safety departments to the planning and approval stages. Furthermore, it needs additional and direct funding for blue-green project entrepreneurs who could catalyse this kind of climate- and resource-friendly urban development.


StatusReal laboratory within an inner-city neighbourhood
Site Area1,500 square metres
Expected CompletionOngoing
Gross Floor Area50 square metres of experimental greenhouse; 150 square metres of water recycling plant located within the courtyard; 1,000 square metres of constructed wetland
Number of Apartments (linked to the local water recycling system)Approx. 100 apartments (250 people)
Project SiteCollaboration between the city of Berlin and ROOF WATER-FARM
Project ConsortiumResearch cooperation under the lead of the Chair of Urban Design and Urban Development c/o Technische Universität Berlin
Project InitiatorsDr Grit Bürgow; Dr Anja Steglich

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