The Swiss approach to delivering green roofs has been driven by a nature based approach. This was developed in 1990s and early 2000s. This innovative approach was developed, in the main, by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen. For example a study of bees, in London and Switzerland, showed that native pollinators are attracted to dry grasslands at roof level.
Swiss Approach – A Nature based approach to green roofs
The use of native wildflowers coupled with the use of local substrates, was a game changer. Furthermore, with positive incentives over a couple of years green roof designed for biodiversity flourished in Basel. Whilst Basel lead this approach, other cities such as Zurich, St Gallen and Lucerne also had an approach to use local wildflower mixes on their green roofs. In recent years over cities have taken this approach too, such as Lausanne.
Whilst there is still a perception amongst many outside the green roof would, that green roofs are industrial products. The Swiss approach clearly shows that it is possible to implement green roofs that target biodiversity. This is a real nature-based, rather than a horticultural based approach.