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Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1130;

Viability of Green Roofs as a Flood Mitigation Element in the Central Region of Chile

Departamento de Ingeniería y Gestión de la Construcción, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Talca, Talca 3340000, Chile
School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
Grupo de Investigación SCOEM, Escuela Superior de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, Logroño 26002, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Built Environment)
PDF [59073 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


Population increase and urban development over the last 20 years in Chile have outgrown most rainwater drainage and evacuation systems. Many cities located in the central region suffer from frequent floods in some of their sectors during winter rainfall events. In addition, the lack of green spaces in these cities leads to biodiversity loss, increasing temperatures, greater energy demands, etc. Green roofs offer a solution that can mitigate climate change by reducing the runoff in cities with extensive, highly impermeable areas. This work analyses the installation of green roofs as a potential solution to the sectorial floods suffered by many cities in central Chile. The methodology includes the identification of conflictive sectors in the city of Curicó, hydrological modelling with the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) software, the consideration of different distributions and types of green roof surfaces, and computational simulations to determine the feasibility of green roofs for preventing floods. The results show that, for moderate rainfall events, all studied sectors could avoid flooding if at least 50% of the surrounding area had green roofs (irrespective of the type of green roof). In contrast, in the presence of strong rainfall events, only some semi-extensive and extensive green roofs covering 60% to 95% of the surrounding area, respectively, could prevent flooding. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; sustainable drainage systems; green roofs; hydrological management; floods climate change; sustainable drainage systems; green roofs; hydrological management; floods

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Mora-Melià, D.; López-Aburto, C.S.; Ballesteros-Pérez, P.; Muñoz-Velasco, P. Viability of Green Roofs as a Flood Mitigation Element in the Central Region of Chile. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1130.

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