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Hydroponic Sandwich Panels: an exclusive waterproof green roof system that brings scale to the sustainable roofing market

Grant number: 16/10264-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: March 01, 2017 - February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Floriculture, Parks and Gardens
Convênio/Acordo: FINEP - PIPE/PAPPE Grant
Principal Investigator:Sérgio Fausto Rizzi Rocha
Grantee:Sérgio Fausto Rizzi Rocha
Host Company:Instituto Cidade Jardim Ltda. - ME
City: Itu


Green roofs are living systems that allow the cultivation of plants on the roof of buildings. This is one of the main trends of contemporary architecture, with a growing market that has been promoted around the world due the impacts associated (e.g. ability to reduce floodings, reduced power consumption, promote improved air quality, soundproofing, urban agriculture, and improvements in style and quality of life). However, every green roof on the market (global) has a characteristic in common: they rely on a sealed support base, structurally suitable for its application - in general, a flat panel (in most cases a slab) with waterproofing layer. This means that despite the wide range of environmental services, most of the buildings in the world cannot receive a green roof basically a matter of technological inadequacy and its costs: - Inadequate technology for the simple fact that clay and cement tiles (84% of the Brazilian market) absorb water and become brittle when wet, preventing the traversal of personnel for maintenance and safe installation. Also, sloping green roofs still pose engineering challenges. - Financially inadequate as well as investments in the supporting structure (timber or metal) and tiles, you need to add the extra cost of the components of the green roof, now estimated in the range of $ 250 / m2. Just to compare, a thermo-acoustic tile sandwich - top of the line tiles market, costs around R $ 70 / m2.In Brazil, 97% of the roofing market belongs to more popular products like fiber cement tiles, clay or metal. Therefore the impact of green roofs is still very small, spreading restrictively within niches entered into a share of only 1% of the roofing market - mainly corporate and residential AAA-class enterprises. Given that, green roofs only fulfill its impact potential when applied on a large scale. Since 2008, Instituto Cidade Jardim took the mission 'to make green roofs more popular than traditional dry covers, in order to transform our cities from their roofs. For this, 8 years has been acting as a pioneer in this market in Brazil, accounting for about 10,000 m2 of green roofs installed annually with leading architectural firms, landscaping and engineering projects. We work with our partners to develop products and high standard technologies, aiming to reach larger and significant slices and market. Based on this challenge and in our experience, soon we developed the conviction that the market needed a single product, with ability to take down these objections and, if possible, even be familiar to the construction work mode. After several trials, in 2012 we obtained the registration of the first green roof sealed the world (dispensing waterproofing) and can be applied to any building as a conventional tile. This new system allows the cultivation of most ornamental species (ground covers, grasses, herbaceous), and even agricultural applications such as crop foliage, vegetables and grains can be used in various weather conditions. The potential is huge. So we believe that the faster, less investment and more comprehensive distribution way to reach the market is licensing the patent with companies that already operate or are interested in solutions for roofs and roofing market. We need to find partners with proven production capacity, strength and commercial capillarity so that this product can quickly reach their potential impact and urban transformation. The research and development program proposed will sharp the technical and industrial characteristics of this innovation, preparing to launch and achieving scale in the market. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
The growth of urban agriculture 
El turno de la agricultura urbana 
Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
Startup develops hydroponic roof tiles for the cultivation of ornamental plants or crops 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
Articles published in other media outlets (0 total):
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