The world's 10 best green universities

#10 Library Delft University of Technology



Perhaps the original green roof is the Delft University of Technology Library, designed by Mecanoo Architects and located in the Netherlands.

The intensive green roof was designed 1993-95, with the final construction completed in 1997 measuring 15,000m2. With a renovation in 2009, the green roof has continued to benefit the university, continuing to meet expectations more than two decades after its opening.

The green lawn covers the entire roof of the library, a gradual slope from the ground to its peak and features a giant cone piercing through its centre. Inside, the cone allows extra daylight to flood into the library, in addition to forming different reading rooms on the upper floors.


The library itself features climate-controlled glass facades, providing a well-lit and healthy environment for studying. Installed as a recreation area, the roof is now the primary meeting spot for students and is used all year round - in the winter the roof is converted into a sledding hill.

Implementing a green roof has an abundance of benefits including: improved air quality via collecting air pollution, reduced water discharge through evaporation and absorption, conservation of habitat and biodiversity, carbon dioxide uptake and oxygen production, better living conditions inside the building with insulation and noise reduction, and more.


The building also won other awards including the National Steel Construction Prize from the Dutch Steel Building Institute in 1998 and the Award for the Millennium from Corus Construction in 2000.

Mecanoo has also helped TU Delft with improving the campus as whole, taking it down a much greener path. Other areas of the campus that have been enhanced include Mekel Park and Student Housing DUWO.


Mekelweg 1969 Image: Siebe Swart


The renovated campus: As you can see on the right hand side, what is now Mekel Park used to be simply a road with parking either side (see above image). Image: Siebe Swart

Images: Harry Cock unless specified

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