Green plants are known to clean the air. Especially when they’re BMW Group plants! That’s why Plant Munich is forging ahead with its greening project. We’ve already put a living roof on the bodyshop, which is even home to four bee colonies. But that’s not all: we’ve now covered the uppermost roof of our paintshop as well. It’s almost 33 metres high and now has a carpet of moss. Meanwhile, on the connecting roofs toward Riesenfeldstrasse, we’re letting nature take its course: everything is in place for a variety of mosses to grow naturally.
In total, we’ve greened around 10,000 m2 of roof space – an area way bigger than a football pitch. And when the connecting roofs are done too, it will add another 2,000 m2 of greenery. We’re doing all of this for a number of reasons. One is a regulation by the City of Munich that says flat roofs on newbuilds of a certain size have to be planted. But our living roofs are also a part of our commitment to sustainability and environmental protection.
Green is good – for people and animals
Project manager Toni Ihlenfeldt explains: “The mossy carpet helps prevent the outside of the building from heating up and reduces noise emissions into the neighbourhood.” It also helps to improve air quality by binding dust particles, he says. And last but not least, it offers further habitats for plants and animals, such as birds, insects, butterflies – and of course the bees living on the neighbouring bodyshop. And when breezes or insects carry seeds from other plants onto the roofs as well, the mossy growth could even start to bloom and take on a life of its own.
Beauty follows function
When choosing the plants, what they look like was not our primary concern. More important were the specific requirements of the paintshop. Toni Ihlenfeldt: “The main roof has air intakes on top. If they sucked in loose seeds sown onto an open substrate, fine dust could compromise the quality of paintwork. But we were able to prevent that from happening by rolling out a ready-grown mat of vegetation.” That was also the reason the moss carpet had to be laid now, during the production shutdown.
Just roll it out and you’re done?
It’s true, the moss arrived in huge mats that were lifted onto the roof by crane and simply rolled out. But there was all sorts of preparation to do beforehand. First of all, a drainage mat had to be laid out across the entire area where the moss would go. Then a filter membrane was fitted to improve moisture retention and drainage. On top of that came the substrate, which has a clay content. The same was done to prepare the connecting roofs for the various mosses that were sown on them.