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Green green grass of Arbat

at 31/08/2009 20:22

Nathan Toohey

Novy Arbat has gone green with its own grassroots movement - a green-roof renovation. The Novy Arbat building that houses the Novoarbatsky Shopping Centre has had it rooftop covered in lawn grass. The total turf area consists of more than 2,700 square metres.

"The roof had to be reinforced," said Alexander Yalkin, head operations manager of the building located at 11 Novy Arbat. "An additional layer of concrete was added. And then a layer of insulation, and then a vapour barrier, then water insulation and on top was spread the soil. The lawn was then laid using rolls of turf."

The new "field" comes with an automatic watering system incorporated into the layer of soil. "At fixed intervals the control system releases the water via a spray system," RIA Novosti quoted Yalkin as saying.

The entire lawn-grass system cost a total of 20 million roubles.

Those who might be thinking about a spot of rooftop golf will have to think again: the new green fields of Arbat are not intended for public use, but are simply for boosting the traffic- laden area's oxygen levels and to reduce pollution.

"One-hundred-and-fifty square metres of lawn grass provides enough oxygen for 100 people a year," said Natalya Talala, an environment protection expert. "One square metre of lawn is capable of absorbing up to half a kilogramme of dust, which is then removed by rain water."

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