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Urban Ecology Research Group

Thanks to new green roof technologies, nature is now recovering niches that seemed to have been lost forever. The opportunities and limitations of this potential are demonstrated by the eco-faunistic and botanical studies carried out by the Urban Ecology Research Group.

  • How can green roofs and solar energy use be combined?
  • How can biodiversity be promoted on green roofs, and water supplies optimised with the lowest possible roof loads?

The Urban Ecology Research Group at the ZHAW is developing solutions in cooperation with practitioners. Partners and clients are general contractors, conservation organisations, and authorities.

Research priorities

  • Development of innovative green roof systems
  • Development and optimization of design guidelines for biodiversity green roofs
  • Development of guidelines and standards
  • International cooperation for the development of customized green roof systems for different climates


  • Research into the potential of ecological compensation
  • Consulting for the federal government, cantons, local authorities, and the leadership of the SIA ‘Roof Greening’ Standardisation Commission
  • Project support: concept development – construction supervision – effectiveness and success monitoring
  • Development of innovative green roof systems
  • Implementation of practice-oriented conferences and courses
  • Concepts for ecological improvement of existing green roofs