Drainage from the 27,316-m2
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (JJCC) green roof was investigated in the field to quantify the system’s long-term rainfall-runoff response. The JJCC hosts one of the largest extensive green roofs in the United States. Utilizing four years of rooftop monitoring data collected using a weather station, custom designed and built drainage systems, three Parshall flumes equipped with pressure transducers, and weighing lysimeters, this study quantified the 25.4-mm-deep green roof’s ability to decrease the volume and peak rate of runoff. With parameters derived from the site, the Environmental Protection Agency Stormwater Management Model (EPA-SWMM) predicted event total runoff volume and event peak runoff rates to within +10% to −20% and +25% to −15% of the observations, respectively. The analysis further indicated that approximately 55% of the cumulative precipitation that fell on the JJCC extensive green roof during the monitoring period (warm weather months, June 2014–November 2017) was captured and retained. The average percent retained on an event-basis was 77%, and average event runoff coefficient was 0.7, implying a substantial reduction in the volume and rate of runoff generated from the roof compared to the pre-green roof condition, when most, if not all, of the precipitated water would have immediately resulted in runoff. Our research suggests that, on average, 96% of rainfall events 6.35 mm or less were retained within the green roof, whereas 27% of the total event volume was retained for events greater than 12.7 mm in depth. A sensitivity analysis suggests if the substrate depth were increased, better stormwater capture performance would be achieved, but only up 127 mm, whereas increased precipitation coupled with warmer temperatures as a result of climate change could decrease the performance by up to 5%, regardless of substrate depth. An equivalency analysis suggested that even shallow green roofs can significantly reduce the required stormwater detention volume that New York City requires on new development. This particular green roof appears to be more than 18 times as cost-effective as a subsurface cistern would be for managing an equivalent volume of stormwater in Midtown Manhattan.
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