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Water 2018, 10(6), 784;

A Longitudinal Microcosm Study on the Effects of Ageing on Potential Green Roof Hydrological Performance

School of Architecture, Building & Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Department of Civil & Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sir Frederick Mappin Building, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Performance of Green Roofs)
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Green roofs contribute to stormwater management through the retention of rainfall and the detention of runoff. These processes are reasonably well understood, and runoff responses can be accurately modelled given known system properties. The physical properties of the substrate are particularly relevant to the hydrological response. The substrate is a living biological system, whose properties may change over time. Two sizes of green roof microcosms (50 mm and 150 mm diameter) were observed over a 12-month period. Six system configurations were considered, with two contrasting substrates and three vegetation treatments. Multiple approaches were used to characterize the microcosms’ physical and hydrological properties: standard physical tests, bespoke laboratory detention tests, and visualization of the substrate and the root systems using X-ray microtomography. Results suggests that both the substrates’ maximum water holding capacity and its capacity to detain runoff tend to increase with age. However, there were inconsistencies in the data and these are discussed within the paper. The noted increases were generally not statistically significant as a result of substrate heterogeneity. Notably, the observed differences after one year were relatively small when compared with differences resulting from original substrate compositions and seasonal changes reported elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: green roof; runoff; retention; detention; ageing; substrate; longitudinal green roof; runoff; retention; detention; ageing; substrate; longitudinal

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De-Ville, S.; Menon, M.; Jia, X.; Stovin, V. A Longitudinal Microcosm Study on the Effects of Ageing on Potential Green Roof Hydrological Performance. Water 2018, 10, 784.

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