A textbook example of a “Stormwater Management Roof”

Bird's eye view of extensive green roofs on residential blocks

The residential development Noltemeyer Hoefe in Braunschweig is characterised by a “Stormwater Management Roof” of 5,780 m² as an intensive green roof and 2,500 m² of extensive green roof with photovoltaic elements. © Schmeing Bau GmbH

Residential buildings with green courtyard

Anything is possible in terms of landscape design: A wide variety of green areas, pathways and driveways are planned for the ““Stormwater Management Green Roof” over the underground garage. © Schmeing Bau GmbH

Lawn and small trees in front of residential buildings

The planted and surface areas at Noltemeyer Hoefe conceal an impressive 5,780 m² of stormwater management area.

Newly planted small trees surrounded by residential buildings

The newly planted trees look nice and slender at the centre of the lawn, which is already very green in its first vegetation period.

Lawn, small trees and driveways surrounded by housing blocks

The special herringbone pattern prevents the paving from moving when cars or refuse vehicles are driving on it.

Greened area with shrubs and trees surrounded by housing blocks

Pathways wind through the newly installed green areas with their shrubs and trees.

Decorated patios in front of residential flats

The residents of Noltemeyer Hoefe contribute to the pleasant optics in their own way with their patio designs.

The waterproof membrane is fitted in a courtyard.

The waterproof membrane was fitted section by section, followed by the individual layers of the ZinCo Storm management green roof.

The retention spacers RSX 80 are fixed together.

The individual retention spacers RSX 80 are fixed together with connectors to create a continuous surface.

The fully installed stormwater management layer RSX 80.

The fully installed stormwater management layer RSX 80 can store up to 76 l/m² of rainwater in its cavities.

Substrate is applied on an underground garage.

Thanks to the stable ZinCo system build-up with RSX 80, using diggers to apply the substrate is not a problem. © Strassen- und Tiefbau Urban GmbH

Newly installed green areas and walkways within a residential complex.

Next to the finished green areas and surfaces, the works on the right-hand side of the courtyard are still in full swing. © Strassen- und Tiefbau Urban GmbH

Residential development Noltemeyer Hoefe in Braunschweig

In matters of ecology and sustainability, designers and architects are likely to pay increasing attention to roofs. The huge potential here is illustrated by the residential development, Noltemeyer Hoefe in Braunschweig, with its 5,780 m² of green areas, terraces, pathways and driveways, where cars are parked out of sight in the underground garage. The key feature is that the system build-up “Stormwater Management Roof” can store large volumes of rainwater and release them again at pre-set times. A prime example of urban development for the future.

Noltemeyer Hoefe on Hildesheimer Strasse, within the western ring road of Braunschweig, is a residential development consisting of six apartment blocks with 242 apartments covering a total area of approx. 16,000 m².  Each of these upmarket residential units has a balcony, loggia, patio or a roof garden and therefore a close connection between the inside and outside world. 232 underground parking spaces are concealed beneath a landscaped terrain comprising lawns, trees, bushes, hedges and ground cover, in addition to pathways and driveways, and 22 overground parking spaces. However, apart from the optics, a very different feature provides the key benefit here in terms of ecology and sustainability.

Protection from flooding included

The trick is in the ZinCo system build-up used across the entire 0°-pitch underground garage deck: this is a “Stormwater Management Roof” which can store large volumes of water during heavy rain events and can release the water into the sewer system at a time delay.  The special retention spacers RSX 80, together with the precision-adjustable run-off limiter elements, comprise this perfect technology.

Using a root-resistant roof waterproof membrane as a base, which was applied in the hot bitumen method, the stable Slip Sheet TGF 20 and the system filter PV were installed as a protective layer. The next layer consists of the RSX 80 retention spacers, 0.60 m × 0.60 m large and 80 mm deep. These spacers, which can withstand loads of up to 50 t/m² and are therefore also suitable for driveway surfaces, were fixed to each other with connectors to create a continuous surface. The project-specific special depth of 80 mm allows for a maximum storage volume of approx. 76 l/m². In relation to the overall area of 5,780 m², this corresponds to a calculated storage volume in the retention spacers of an incredible 439,280 litres of water, which is released into the sewer system over a pre-defined period (of about 24 hours). The flow volume is regulated with rings that move against each other in the throttle elements, which also function as an overflow.

Anything is possible on top: Surfaces and green areas

After the retention spacers, the system filter PV is installed and an average of 20–30 cm of Zincolit Plus as a substrate base for the planned 2,320 m² of greenery, and 30 cm of the system substrate “Roof garden”. Given the stable sub-structure which protects the waterproof membrane, it was no problem driving the diggers around the roof area in order to apply the substrate.

The system filter PV was followed by 20–30 cm of sand-stone mixture as a frost protection layer for the required 790 m² of pathway, 20 cm of gravel base layer and finally 5 cm of grit. An 8 cm thick rectangular paving is installed in a herringbone pattern on this bedding.

These dimensions and the type of installation were also chosen for the 1,940 m² of driveway surface. The special herringbone pattern prevents the paving from shifting, which would otherwise occur with cars, refuse and emergency vehicles driving on it. Beneath this is a 40–60 cm, somewhat deeper gravel base layer and a 5 cm grit bed. Grass paving was laid on the area for the fire service vehicles. Seepage-active surfaces such as these ensure a rapid surface drainage in the case of heavy rain events.

The use of solitary trees and shrubs in the middle of extensive lawn areas gives the residential area an expansive feel.  Among the different types of greenery – 20 types all in – benches and playground equipment are an invitation to young and old to come and spend a while there.

Urban development of the future

The residential development, Noltemeyer Hoefe, is an impressive example of how “Stormwater Management Roofs” are a proven means of reducing the risk of flooding today. Rainwater retention, green recreation spaces, ecological compensation areas, improvement of the micro-climate, dust and pollutant binding, the protection of the building substance – the number of sustainability elements possible on roofs is infinite. All of these elements should and must be exploited in order to build ecologically into the future.

Author: Roland Appl, ZinCo GmbH

List of plants


Acer campestre (Field Maple)
Acer campestre “Elsrijk” (Field Maple)
Acer platanoides (Pointed Maple)
Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore)
Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)
Acer monspessulanum (French Maple)
Malus “Everest” (Crabapple)
Pyrus calleryana “Chanticleer” (Chinese Wild Pear)
Prunus serrulata “Shirofugen” (Japanese Cherry Blossom)
Sorbus aucuparia (Rowan)
Amelanchier lamarckii (Juneberry)
Magnolia stellata (Magnolia)
Spiraea arguta (Garland Spiraea)
Syringa vulgaris “Marie Legraye” (Common Lilac)
Vibumun farreri (Common Snowball)
Corylus pauciflora (Winter Hazel)
Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)
Fages sylvativa (European Beech)
Taxus bacata (Yew)
Ligustum vulgare (Privet)

Ground cover:       

Cornus stolonifera kelsey (Dogwood)
Lonicera nitida Maigruen (Honeysuckle)
Sedum species


Utility lawn

Site board

Construction project: Residential development Noltemeyer Hoefe, 38114 Braunschweig

Client: Caja 16 Projekt GmbH, 46395 Bocholt

Contractor: Schmeing Bau GmbH, 46395 Bocholt

Architect: phase 5 GmbH, 40233 Duesseldorf

Landscape architect:

IBF Felling beratende Ingenieure Partnerschaft mbB, 48249 Duelmen

Greening concept landscape architects, Dipl. Ing. Klaus Deppe, 48653 Coesfeld

Construction year: June 2018 to April 2019

Underground garage deck: approx. 5,780 m²

Green roof build-up: ZinCo system build-up “Stormwater Management Roof” with the retention spacers RSX 80

Installation of roof waterproof membrane: Holl Flachdachbau GmbH & Co. KG, 38229 Salzgitter

Green roof installation: Strassen- und Tiefbau Urban GmbH, 38533 Rethen

System supplier: ZinCo GmbH, 72622 Nuertingen

For further information, please contact:

ZinCo GmbH
Lise-Meitner-Str. 2
72622 Nuertingen

Tel. +49 7022 6003-0

e-mail: info@zinco-greenroof.com