BeRTA – All-In-One facade Greening

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Behind the project BeRTA, is not a single company, but a large project team consisting of city administration, companies and science. Our goal is to enable your greening project through optimized processes and system technology so that the city can quickly become greener. We are also very concerned about the quality of the greenery, we all be successful together!


Climate change affects Austria, and Austrian cities – especially Vienna – increasingly experience hotter summers. Due to the high degree of surface sealing, some surfaces heat up to approx. 70-90°C during the day, then retain the heat and hardly cool down at night. This problem is also known as the urban heat island effect (cf. MA22, 2015). Facade greening to address this problem already takes place in cities, however, despite the theoretically high implementation potential of green facades in existing buildings, a cost-effective, easy-to-implement comprehensive solution for effective retrofitting of climbing plants to existing properties was not available to date. The implementation of green facades was also hampered by complicated and lengthy handling and approval processes within the building community and administration authorities.

The project 

The all-in-one facade greening system ‘BeRTA’ was developed as part of the City of the Future FFG project “50 Green Houses”. The idea behind this was to offer an integrated combi-solution as one-stop-shop for facade greening projects. BeRTA includes a greening-toolkit and an innovative web-based instrument for participation. The greening-toolkit is a low-tech, low-cost and easy and broadly implementable plant troughs-solution with tendrils and a maintenance concept that is specifically applicable to existing buildings. The MA 22 – Department of Environmental Protection of the City of Vienna was a partner in the research project and now supports BeRTA with a grant of up to € 5,200 per project. GRÜNSTATTGRAU qualifies all interested companies (planners, gardening and landscaping companies, suppliers of system components) and provides the technical expertise of facade greening. Tatwort manages the project and acts as coordination hub. Project development needs target consultancy in the area of innovation management to increase scalability and efficacy of the BeRTA system as well as sustainability of human resources.

Highlight project activity and output (1 sentence): ‘BeRTA’ presents an integrated combi-solution as a low-tech, low-cost one-stop-shop for inner city facade greening.

The impact

Green facades bring many advantages for the city and the building itself: facade greening in the city contributes to cooling the buildings and thus the surroundings, improves the microclimate and air quality in the city, and can reduce the perceived temperature by up to 13°C. By reducing the need for cooling, green facades help to reduce CO2 emissions. For buildings, greenery acts as a protective shield against weathering and helps to reduce renovation and maintenance costs. In addition, greenery has been proven to increase property values and improve the quality of life and health of residents. Funded as a research project by the FFG (Austrian research agency), ten houses in the target area Innerfavoriten were greened on the street side through 50 BeRTA projects. The high level of interest in the all-in-one solution in Vienna led to the development of a business model so as to offer BeRTA outside of the research project as quickly as possible, too. What is unique about BeRTA is that for the first time, the facade greening module not only includes the entire planning and construction process as well as all necessary materials, but also takes over the – previously complex – approval process with the authorities. This has made it possible to implement facade greening in Vienna more quickly and comparatively inexpensively, with high durability and quality, and comparatively unbureaucratic for the property owners. From May 2020, the BeRTA modules can also be ordered in Vienna outside of the research project. However, demands are so high that developments are underway to multiply BeRTA to other cities in Austria and Europe. The CE Responsible project supports BeRTA in this endeavour. If broadly implemented, the project harbours enormous potential for generating new jobs and for sustainably contributing to climate action.

Highlight impact: facade greening in the city contributes to cooling the buildings and thus the surroundings, improves the microclimate and air quality in the city, and can reduce the perceived temperature by up to 13°C. In addition, the climbing plants create more attractive living spaces, bring nature back into the city and improve quality of life and health of residents.

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