B. stories // rooftop stories

In B. Stories we tell you all about a B. member or project, in 4 to 5 Facebook posts. Every week we add something to the particular story.

Here, on our blog page,  you can read the complete stories!
This time: Rooftop Stories – GrownDownTown

Rooftop Stories (1/5) // Meet GrownDownTown!

With their passion for circular design, edible green and cities they provide and care for all the plants in B. Amsterdam. But that’s just the beginning. On top of our building, next to our soon opening restaurant Bureau, GrownDownTown takes care of an edible rooftop park with a kitchen garden, chickens, compost full of lovely worms and rainwater storage to water the plants and to prevent flooding.

GrownDownTown believes that future cities will be able to mainly feed on locally grown produce. Next to making cities healthier and greener, the company wants to make production processes local and visible and strengthen the link between city dwellers and their food. In the next 4 posts we’ll show you all about it, so stay tuned

Rooftop Stories (2/5) // Rooffood

Earlier we told you about GrownDownTown, this week we dive further into the world of green!

On the north side of our rooftop we have a big kitchen garden that provides restaurant Bureau from herbs, vegetables and lettuce. How does it work? The crops get precultured in little baskets at grower Lindenhoff and mature on the roof, after which they can be harvested. The baskets can be replaced with new ones. This way it’s possible to serve fresh green goods without leaving the garden empty. Bureau’s chef Niels Veenvliet can pick his ingredients right before they end up on our guests plates. Take for instance the eatable, purple clover – klaverzuring. It tastes delicious with the restaurants chocolate cake and buttermilk ice-cream dessert!

Rooftop Stories (3/5) // Water Storage

With a rooftop full of plants, vegetables, herbs and lettuce we’ve got to make sure it all can grow in the best conditions. After designing the rooftop in 2014 De Dakdokters installed a big water storage system.* This way rainwater gets stored underneath the floor and provides the earth from water. On the pictures, you can see the baskets with greens we showed in an earlier post. With a little wick that goes from the earth into the water, the plants can feed themselves. And guess what? GrownDownTown uses the same technique with our indoor plants.

Watering plants is not the only benefit of rainwater storage. The system also takes care of excess water. This will be drained slowly to the sewer and prevents flooding, a big city problem.

* The technique of the water storage system is sponsored by Waternet.

Rooftop Stories (4/5) – Chickens & Worms

In an earlier post, we showed you how rainwater is used to water our plants through a water storage system. But that’s not the only recycling going on on our rooftop. This week it’s all about our worms and chickens!

As you can see we have 6 chickens scurrying around in our rooftop henhouse. Every day they lay fresh eggs for restaurant Bureau. But they also eat our unprocessed leftover salads and they love it. Nothing gets wasted, not even the chicken poo! The droppings go – together with green and garden waste – into the compost bins where rainworms make compost. And yes, obviously we use the compost to feed and grow our entire rooftop park. If that isn’t a round circle..

Rooftop Stories (5/5) – Urban Climate

Cities are getting warmer and drier and so is Amsterdam. In this last Rooftop Story Philip van Traa from GrownDownTown explains that green rooftops can save the city by making the climate more comfortable.

What’s happening? Because of urban development cities can not lose their heat anymore. Buildings and asphalt are removing all of the moisture from the air which makes the city air hot and dry. That’s when we’re turning on our air conditioners. Not a great idea if you realize how much energy it costs and that it’s heating up the air even more. According to Philip, this problem can only be solved by making cities greener. Since land is way too scarce and expensive to make new parks we can use Amsterdam’s 12 square kilometres of unused, steaming hot roof terrace. If we make our roofs green, like the rooftop park on B. Amsterdam, the city temperature goes down and the humidity goes up. So basically green roofs are the city’s ultimate air conditioning!

Over the past four weeks, we showed you the ins and outs of our rooftop park and all the hard work done by GrownDownTown, De Dakdokters, Bureau and Lindenhoff. We hope to see you on our fifth floor!