Village Elves Hideaway is situated near the Levi ski resort in Köngäs village at the bank of River Ounasjoki in Finnish Lapland. It takes only 20 minutes to drive from the Kittilä airport to Köngäs where visitors can experience a gateway into the secret world of ancient beliefs. The destination is open all year round and invites travelers from all continents, both adults and children. The green roof of Wise Elf´s house is situated in the middle of Village Elves Hideaway hidden in a forest.
Favoring of environmentally sustainable materials and solutions has been the main objective in the construction and services of Village Elves Hideaway. The newest ecological knowledge is integrated with mythology of Lapland in order to produce fascinating stories for guided tours. For this reason the green roof of Wise Elf´s house was built.
The construction was carried out as a part of larger project ‘From forest Baths to Green Roofs’ which aimed at new practices in nature-based services that enhance the wellbeing of travelers.
Green roof of Wise Elf´s house covering ca 120 m2 was established by Crazy Reindeer Company in the cooperation with Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke during summer of 2017. In addition to using green roof to fit the building in its surroundings, the growing site for perennial species like Arctic thyme (Thymus serpyllum ssp. tanaensis) and Arctic root (Rhodiola rosea) was provided. In total, approximately 1500 seedlings of 18 cold hardy perennials that thrive in low nutrition and dry conditions were planted. Species typical to the area and nectar-producing plants that feed pollinators were favored.
Green roof was established using recycled materials like crushed lightweight concrete gravel, biochar and compost. Adding biochar to the compost may improve the growing conditions, and the survival of the vegetation as the result. Biochar has ability to bind water and nutrients, improve water retention, texture and nutrient availability in the soil, which reduces runoff and nutrient leaching. According the first year results, biochar increased plant survival by ca. 10 per cent.
The aim is to find ecologically sustainable practices to build green roofs that enhance plant survival and cause minimal impacts as runoff and leaching of nutrients in harsh climates.
- Reduce run-off
- Developing climate change mitigation
- Increase Biodiversity
- Increase quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
- Increased cultural richness and biodiversity
- Improve water quality
- Increase awareness of NBS solution & their effectiveness and co benefits
- Increase well-being
The use of recycled materials like light gravel concrete and biochar as a soil amendment to improve plant growth and might also be implemented to the other kind green infrastructures. Even though the peat roofs in huts are used from ancient Stone Age in Lapland, the benefits of modern green roofs especially to the survival of various plant species and runoff management in the Arctic are unknown and need therefore more attention.
Biochar has ability to bind water and nutrients, improve water retention, texture and nutrient availability in the soil, which reduces runoff and nutrient leaching. According the first year results, biochar increased plant survival by ca. 10 per cent.