Athens, Greece
City population: 2790721
Duration: 2008 – 2008
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: 650 m2
Type of area: Building
Last updated: October 2021

This project was implemented on the rooftop of a ten-floor building with a floor space of 1.4 hectares, with the implementation of a green roof of 650m2. The motivation behind this was to study the thermodynamic impact of a green roof in hot Athens. Results concluded that the greenroof significantly affected the thermal performance of the building. Energy savings of 50% were observed for air conditioning on the floor directly below the installation. In addition to the energy-saving benefits, the study also found increased biodiversity in the area. A plethora of birds and beneficial insects were observed on the roof, ranging from robin redbreasts, yellowhammers, yellow tits, coal tits, and sparrows to kestrels hovering high above eyeing up the smaller birds. Other species such as honey bees, tiger swallowtail, monarch butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs were also seen (Ref 1). The study suggested in improved micro-climate and biodiversity of the constitution square (Ref 1, 6, 7).

The Green Roof of the Ministry of Economics and Finance, retrieved 07/20/2018


Nature-based solution

  • Nature on buildings (external)
  • Green roofs

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement


Creation of new green areas, Knowledge creation and awareness raising, Monitoring and maintenance of habitats and/or biodiversity

Project objectives

o The main motivation for this installation was to provide a research roof to study the thermodynamic impact of a green roofs in hot Athens (Ref 1, 2). o To install a lightweight greenroof that would be safely implemented in seismic region (Greece) (Ref 7). o To study if biodiversity could be affected by rooftop garden (Ref 1, 2). o To study the effect of greenroof on the local micro-climate (Ref 1).

Implementation activities

The project has been implemented in 2008. A shallow substrate depth of (<10 cm) has been used as the base for the roof top garden. The ten-floor building has a total floor space of 1.4 hectares. The oikostegi covers 650 m², equaling 52% of the roof space and 8% of the total floor space. As the weather condition is harsh in the summer, some plant species which are native to Greece has been planted on the base. Primarily, the plant selection was composed of indigenous Hellenic aromatic herbs. There are also a number of wild perennial flowers such as hypericum and phlomis and annuals such as poppies, grasses, and chamomile, all within a proprietary substrate from Oikosteges. A second stage study was done after 12 months. Between these two studies, more biomass was added to the base to increase the biodiversity of the garden. Shallow substrate depth, use of light weighted materials with high water storativity has been used to make the project a successful one (Ref 1).

Climate-focused activities

Climate change mitigation:

  • Install vertical or horizontal artificial surfaces that help with carbon storage and cooling

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Create new habitats
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species

Main beneficiaries

  • National-level government
  • Citizens or community groups


Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • National government

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Unknown

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The building was owned by the Ministry of Economics and Finance and the rooftop was restructured by OS Green Roofs (non-government). The project was an initiative by the Greek Ministry of Finance (Ref 1).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (o In 2014 Greece adopted its National Biodiversity Strategy, which officially refers to ecosystem services. o National Operational Program “Environment – Sustainable Development 2007 – 2013”, which included a specific section on the “Protection of natural environment and biodiversity”. (Ref 2,4,5))
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (Athens was selected as one of the cities in the 100 Resilient City Plan.The project was implemented with the aim of making the city more sustainable. (Ref 1))


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public national budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Environmental quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased number of species present
  • Enhanced support of pollination

Economic impacts

  • Other

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts, Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records


The Green Roof of the Ministry of Economics and Finance (2012), retrieved 07/20/2018
The Green Roof of the Ministry of Economics and Finance (2011), retrieved 07/20/2018