The Dynamic Stormwater Reponse of a Green Roof

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Martin, Bruce

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University of Guelph


Impervious surfaces negatively affect urban hydrology by altering the depth, frequency and seasonal distribution of stormwater runoff. To assess the imperviousness of green roofs, a mathematical model was developed to simulate the stormwater response of a hypothetical green roof. The model is based on the physical processes that affect the green roof stormwater response and uses historic climate data. The results show that green roof imperviousness fluctuated according to climate conditions and precipitation sequence. Only 29% of the total precipitation received by the green roof resulted in runoff, however, the response varied substantially when evaluated at a daily interval. Runoff was eliminated during 82% of days with rain and a higher proportion of runoff disturbances were eliminated during the spring and summer compared to the fall. In comparison to an impervious surface, the green roof showed a reduction in the depth and frequency of runoff thereby improving urban hydrology.



impervious surface cover, stormwater management, urban hydrology, vegetated roofs