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Additional Resources

Visit the Liceo Scientifico Giovanni Keplero – Roma website, the Keplero Experimental Green Roof Facebook page, and the Keplero Garden and Green Roof Blog.

For additional information regarding the Keplero Experimental Green Roof, contact Professor Roberto Casalini at tel: 393339619655, email:; and School Chief Professor Maria Concetta Di Spigno at tel: 39065585352, email: and

Case Studies

Liceo Scientifico KepleroGiardini & PaesaggiHarpo verdepensile.


September 16, 2019 3:21 Liceo Scientifico Keplero Experimental Green Roof – Featured Project video from on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube. And from the KepleroGarden & Green Roof YouTube Channel: 2019 10:22 Il giardino verticale (the vertical garden); 2019 2:44 Urban Nature; 5:56 Rimini 2018 “La città per il verde” (The City for the Green); 2018 6:44 ALTERNANZA SCUOLA LAVORO TETTO VERDE SPERIMENTALE DEL LICEO SCIENTIFICO G KEPLERO di ROMA (Alternative work school Experimental Green Roof of the Liceo Scientifico G Keplero of Rome); 2018 5:36 Insieme a Giordano (Together with Giordano); 2017 12:33 TETTO VERDE SPERIMENTALE (Experimental Green Roof); and 2016 2:14 Chi Siamo? (Who Are We?).


September 16, 2019 Featured Project: Liceo Scientifico Keplero Experimental Green Roof by Linda S. Velazquez on Greenroofscom; December 27, 2018 Un tetto verde sulla scuola, così studenti e residenti coltivano fiori e piante by Francesca de Sanctis in La Repubblica; March 1, 2018 Un giardino sul tetto della scuola per suggestivi apprendimenti multidisciplinari by Roberta Di Giuli in ProtectaWeb;  2017 A green roof at the Giovanni Keplero scientific high school in Rome by Staff in Fiori & Forchette; May 11, 2016 Technical scientific report on the installation of a green roof at LSKeplero (Italian) by Roberto Casalini.

The Liceo Scientifico Giovanni Keplero – Roma building hosts a public secondary scientific high school. Located in a high population density area in proximity of Rome’s Tiber River near Marconi Bridge and the Ostiense industrial archaeology area, the property recently underwent an urban and environmental revaluation.

Its research green roof is the brainchild of one of Liceo Scientifico Keplero’s professors, Dr. Roberto Casalini, together with his colleague Dr. Antonio Vestrella.  In 2015 they and a group of 25 students embarked on the planning for the experimental extensive green roof.  The project was completed in the summer of 2016, and is purportedly Italy’s first green roof on a school. Construction took roughly one month, and the Keplero Experimental Green Roof is open to the public.

Students are actively involved in the daily maintenance and perform various activities taking care of the garden in the afternoons such as cultivating; performing scientific experimentation on the green roof; and monitoring of social networking including digital posting (blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel).  The students sell produce in the high school, and money earned at the end of the year is donated to charity.

In addition to the environmental benefits that the green roof brings to the building and the ecosystem functions it provides, the designers aimed to improve the quality of life: indeed, the school community that studies and works near the green roof perceives a feeling of well-being. Precisely for the achievement of this non-secondary objective, the installation of the green cover was made on the roof of the gym, raised about 3 meters from the ground floor. Therefore, the Keplero green roof is visible from the upper floors of the school and the surrounding buildings, which provides pleasant views. In fact, the designers took great care in the planning phase to use plants that provide pleasant blooms and new changing colors as the seasons change to create admiration and public interest.

Since the green roof was realized at a public school, the didactic aims of the project are also of great importance through hands on experience and the evaluation of its behavior over time. The articulation of the project aims to develop attention towards ethical and environmental issues in the students, in particular those relating to urban redevelopment in ecological way through the acquisition of specific skills and abilities in a highly technological area of interest.

The Keplero Experimental Green Roof has won two awards: International prize “EcoTechGreen 2018” and Prize “La città per il verde” (The City for the Green)” 2018.

The total area of the Keplero Experimental Green Roof is about 200 square meters and has been divided into two areas:

An area of about 150 square meters has been realized with the multi-layer system “tipo SEIC verde pensile estensivo Sedum” (Extensive Sedum Green Roof SEIC) in compliance with the European regulation UNI11253, with a total thickness of about 12 cm and equipped with a root resistant waterproofing layer placed in preliminary operation. The floristic composition of this area originally was composed completely with succulent Sedum and Delosperma species, but since has been enriched with the introduction of Mediterranean flora species in successive interventions, resulting in a significant increase of biodiversity.

In the remaining 50 square meters, an experimental area with a total thickness of about 15 cm has been equipped to carry out a multi-year scientific experimentation aimed at investigating the thermal, hydraulic, and agronomic characteristics of a vegetation cover in the conditions of the Mediterranean environment.

The Mediterranean environment trials, now in its third year, aim to verify the use of a combination of six plant species of Mediterranean flora with three different irrigation levels. Also studied is the importance of the vegetal covering in rainwater recovery and its retention capacity. The thermal performance of the substrate and vegetation cover are measured as well, evaluating the efficiency of the substrate / plant system in the thermal insulation.

The space is divided into nine 2×2 meter modular boxes of which three modules are raised and the remaining six are in direct contact with the surface of the green roof. Filled with a substratum of pozzolan and lapillus with a thickness of 12 cm, a total of 324 plants were positioned, with a density of nine plants / square meters.

Selected on an ecological basis and chosen for their phytoclimatic and edaphic suitability, the chosen species belong to the Mediterranean flora, in line with the research carried out in previous years by the two designers and include: Allium schenoprasum, Cerastium tomentosum, Teucrium chamaedrys, Thymus serpillum, Saponaria ocymoides, and Lavandula stoechas.

The research instrumentation of the Keplero Experimental Green Roof consists of two data loggers, three rain gauges, three sensors for atmospheric temperature, and three sensors for soil temperature and humidity. The plants are subjected to three irrigation treatments – respectively, 10%, 20% and 40% of the difference between daily ETP and precipitation.

The research methodology aims to investigate the characteristics and agronomic performance of the green cover in relation to the three irrigation regimes on all nine boxes (survival rate, flowering, biomass, growth rate and water consumption). The hydrological and thermal performances (specifically the ability to retain excess water and thermal conditioning of the system) are tested on the three raised boxes, specifically relating to climatic trends and meteorological variables.

The green roof also has a 15 meter length by 1 meter wide round gravel walkway; an adduction system water supply and a drip irrigation system with perforated hoses and calibrated sprinklers; a rainwater storage tank; and autoclave system.

Students at the Liceo Scientifico Giovanni Keplero – Roma say:

“School gardens are an ecological education tool that can reconnect children and young people with the roots of food and life.” ~ Liceo Scientifico Keplero Chi Siamo?

In July 2017 the professors and students constructed a green wall, and in addition to the green roof, students also cultivate a vegetable garden in a small outdoor space at ground level.

The number of participating students caring for the garden, and studying and performing scientific experimentation on the green roof varies per year, with all activities managed by Professor Roberto Casalini. At present the experimental activities related to the green roof and the green wall are carried out as part of the school-work program, and only the third year class and onward participate.

The Keplero Experimental Green Roof in Rome provides numerous multi-disciplinary opportunities for the Liceo Scientifico students to study agronomy, pollution, biodiversity, microbiology, climate, energy, and more.  Learning through environmental monitoring, caring of plants, and sustainable urban practices enriches their cultural and educational experience and provides respect for nature.


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