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Water 2018, 10(9), 1253; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091253

Evaporation from (Blue-)Green Roofs: Assessing the Benefits of a Storage and Capillary Irrigation System Based on Measurements and Modeling

1
KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Groningenhaven 7, 3433 PE Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
2
Moisture Matters, Von Weberstraat 6, 3533 ED Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 8, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
4
Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management group, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Performance of Green Roofs)
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Abstract

Worldwide cities are facing increasing temperatures due to climate change and increasing urban density. Green roofs are promoted as a climate adaptation measure to lower air temperatures and improve comfort in urban areas, especially during intensive dry and warm spells. However, there is much debate on the effectiveness of this measure, because of a lack of fundamental knowledge about evaporation from different green roof systems. In this study, we investigate the water and energy balance of different roof types on a rooftop in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Based on lysimeter measurements and modeling, we compared the water and energy balance of a conventional green roof with blue-green roofs equipped with a novel storage and capillary irrigation system. The roofs were covered either with Sedum or by grasses and herbs. Our measurements and modeling showed that conventional green roof systems (i.e., a Sedum cover and a few centimeters of substrate) have a low evaporation rate and due to a rapid decline in available moisture, a minor cooling effect. Roofs equipped with a storage and capillary irrigation system showed a remarkably large evaporation rate for Sedum species behaving as C3 plants during hot, dry periods. Covered with grasses and herbs, the evaporation rate was even larger. Precipitation storage and capillary irrigation strongly reduced the number of days with dry-out events. Implementing these systems therefore could lead to better cooling efficiencies in cities. View Full-Text
Keywords: blue-green roofs; potential and actual evaporation; latent heat flux; sensible heat flux; water availability; capillary irrigation; lysimeter; urban areas; Sedums blue-green roofs; potential and actual evaporation; latent heat flux; sensible heat flux; water availability; capillary irrigation; lysimeter; urban areas; Sedums
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cirkel, D.G.; Voortman, B.R.; van Veen, T.; Bartholomeus, R.P. Evaporation from (Blue-)Green Roofs: Assessing the Benefits of a Storage and Capillary Irrigation System Based on Measurements and Modeling. Water 2018, 10, 1253.

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