Quantifying the fundamental behavior of green roofs in an urban environment
DESCRIPTION: Numerous groups in the U.S. have initiated research programs to investigate green roof behaviors. These groups are using instrumented model roofs, green roof platforms and larger-scale green roofs on buildings in rural and peri-urban environments to further understanding of green roof performance under a variety of different conditions. The unique contribution of this project to this body of ongoing effort is the quantification of extensive green roof behavior in a dense urban environment, where the complexities of local eco- and climatic conditions, coupled with building density, are likely to significantly impact green roof performance. Over the course of three years, the project will develop a monitored Urban Green Roof Network to quantify: (i) the impact of different plant species and growing medium thickness on green roof behavior, (ii) the contribution of evapotranspiration to stormwater retention and reduction of urban heat island effects, (iii) the quality of green roof water run-off, and (iv) the ability of green roofs to trap air-borne particulates and take up other contaminants such as CO2.