Green roof monitoring, an OrganiCity funded project
Green roofs manage heavy rainfall and help avoid flooding in cities
Cities are becoming more populated and denser. This development is leading to larger areas of non-penetrable surfaces such as asphalt and concrete instead of soil and vegetation. Existing sewage systems are not dimensioned (anymore) to deal with heavy rainfall, causing increased flooding and overflowing of sewage systems.
The vegetation on roof restores nature that disappeared when the building was built. One of the main benefits of green roofs is their ability to manage stormwater runoff. The green vegetation absorbs, reduces and delays runoff as the rain “travels” through the vegetation first.
Green roofs have other benefits such as reducing urban heat island effect, cleaner air by filtering and capturing small particles, better building insulation and aesthetics.
Weather conditions give green roofs a hard time
Severe weather conditions like temperature swings in early spring and late autumn or the heat waves and droughts observed throughout Europe in spring and summer 2018 can give green roofs a hard time and plant mortality as consequence. As part of the experiment, we measured a record temperature of 59,14 ⁰C in the substrate on August 20.
Smart green roof, the experiment
Our goal is to make green roofs perform better and to help to advance this technology on a larger scale. In the experiment, we use sensors and real-time data to monitor important metrics to improve understanding of the green roof performance and the impacts they have in an urban environment.
Data is stored in a cloud-based database and we use analytics and machine learning to develop predictive and automated maintenance.