Advanced green roofs with optimal microstructural design: a breakthrough in the management of water quantity and quality in urban environments

Global climate trends indicate an increase of total annual and extreme precipitations at Northern latitudes which will greatly impact the livability in urban densely populated areas in Scandinavia. At the same time, there is an urgent need of increasing stormwater quality. According to this scenario, two main targets become of primary importance for the future development of societies in urban environments: (i) an effective management of water quantity during rainfall events devoted to minimise the risk of floodings and (ii) an optimal control of water quality, which thereby must comprehend effective ways to prevent water contamination promoted by daily precipitations and urban stormwaters. Green roofs can play a pivotal role in achieving this twofold objective by regulating precipitation runoffs and the transport of stormwater-borne pollutants. However, it is still not clear how to optimally design a green roof with advanced capabilities, in terms of both water and pollutant retention. In order to conceptualise this advanced design, the green roof functioning at the microscopic scale must be controlled and optimised. In the present project, we combine microscopic numerical modelling and experimental analysis for enabling the advanced design of green roofs, by dint of an innovative bottom-up approach: tailoring the green roof microstructure in order to achieve the desired macroscopic features, for an optimal management of water quantity and quality in urban environments.

Start date 01/01/2020
End date 31/12/2022

Published: Mon 25 Nov 2019.