Wikis > Guidelines for Berlin Green module (BAF)


Berlin Green is an open source calculation module used for calculating the biotope area factor according to the Berlin methodology (BAF). The calculation module was developed within Ecodistr-ICT project and was programmed by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden.

KPIs (outcome)

• Berlin Biotope Area Factor, [-]

The BAF methodology and what it does

The biotope area factor (BAF) was developed in the 1990s in Berlin, Germany to increase green space in the city. This module calculates the biotope area factor of a district, i.e. the area portion of a plot of land that serves as a location for plants or assumes other functions for the ecosystem, in relation to the total area of the plot, in accordance with the model adopted in Berlin, Germany. The methodology, however, can be used in other cities as it is not dependent on site specific conditions related to the origin city. The BAF thereby contributes to standardizing and putting into concrete terms the following environmental quality goals:

  • Safeguarding and improving the microclimate and atmospheric hygiene,
  • Safeguarding and developing soil function and water balance,
  • Creating and enhancing the quality of the plant and animal habitat,
  • Improving the residential environment.

The Berlin methodology has also been further developed at other locations including the city of Stockholm; this is referred to as the Stockholm GYF methodology. Stockholm Green is a separate module which is also available in the Ecodistr-ICT IDSS platform (see link >>).  The Stockholm GYF methodology is a more advanced tool compared to the Berlin BAF tool. It includes many more input parameters and investigates multiple aspects of urban green. The input required is more detailed and will take some time to investigate and collect whereas for the Berlin BAF this is a more simple procedure. Stockholm GYF will, however, provide the user with much more information on urban green and ecosystems in the district.

Areas of application

 Figure 1. Definition of surfaces and weighting factor according to the Berlin BAF. Source: Stadtentwicklung Berlin

Figure 1. Definition of surfaces and weighting factor according to the Berlin BAF. Source: Stadtentwicklung Berlin

The BAF covers different urban forms of use – from residential and commercial to infrastructural – and sets the ecological minimum standards for structural changes and new development. All potential green areas, such as courtyards, roofs, walls, and fire walls, are included in the BAF, see Figure 1 and Table 1.

The results are presented as a ratio [-] of ecologically effective surface area to the total land area (district), and the targets should be set by the stakeholders. The BAF target value can vary and references to previous relevant studies should be investigated. However, any improvement to the existing BAF is important and even a small change will make a difference to ecosystem services in the area.

Interdependence to other modules

This calculation module is not interdependent to other modules.

References and more information

List of input data

The input data used in the Berlin Green calculations are listed below on a district level.

The data below has to be filled in for each alternative scenario where the total land area stays the same.

Table 1. The following Input data for the Berlin Green calculation module can be applied. All parameters are not necessary, with the exception of the Total land area.

Applicable to district Unit Explanations
Total Land Area of Plot m2 This is the surface area for the district.
Sealed Surface, Area m2 Surface is impermeable to air and water and has no plant growth (e.g., concrete, asphalt, slabs with a solid subbase).
Partially Sealed Surface, Area m2 Surface is permeable to water and air; as a rule, no plant growth (e.g., clinker brick, mosaic paving and slabs with a sand or gravel subbase).
Semi-Open Surface, Area m2 Surface is permeable to water and air; infiltration; plant growth (e.g., gravel with grass coverage, wood-block paving and honeycomb brick with grass).
Vegetation Substrate less than 80 cm, Area m2 Surfaces with vegetation on cellar covers or underground garages with less than 80 cm of soil covering.
Vegetation Substrate greater than 80 cm, Area m2 Surfaces with vegetation that have no connection to soil below but with more than 80 cm of soil covering.
Vegetation Connected to Soil, Area m2 Vegetation connected to soil below, available for development of flora and fauna.
Rain Water Infiltration, Area m2 Rainwater infiltration for replenishment of groundwater; infiltration over surfaces with existing vegetation.
Vertical, Area m2 Greenery covering walls and outer walls with no windows; the actual height, up to 10 m, is taken into account.
Roof Top, Area m2 Extensive and intensive coverage of rooftop with greenery.


Input data can be uploaded via the Dashboard in the Ecodistr-ICT IDSS platform. Please turn to the Dashboard guidelines  and the guidelines for the Data Upload module for more information.

Information for programmers

For more information about the Berlin Green module for programmers, turn to link >>.


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