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Run-Off Quality - Extensive Green Roofs

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Saturday, October 22, 2011

Green roofs are vegetated soil filter where the naturally loosened root zone creates an enhanced degradation and retention of pollutants. The older the green roof the better the performance - considering the green roof was designed, constructed and maintained according the worldwide accepted FLL Guideline. Based on higher temperatures in summer the release of nutrients can be higher but will be still far below the strictest German drinking water ordinance as different studies showed in long term studies between 1999 and 2003 in Germany (W. Kolb, G. Mann, M. Köhler). However most run-off is more or less stained by humic substances that are typically caused by organic matter including releasing substances of the plants.

Since this is just a visual issue (no overall quality problem) the run-off water can be easily stored in cisterns. The water can be used for toilet flushing, irrigation, car washing and other purposes. Colored water is not recommended for doing the laundry, it might stain white fabrics. Research from Köhler (1993) and Liesecke & Borgwardt (1995) also showed that green roof have the ability to filter airborne pollutants efficiently, like lead, copper, zinc and formaldehyde.

To minimize run-off water coloration the initial organic content of the growing media can be reduced. Ideal are green roof layers with high mineral content (drainage and green roof soil). Within the FLL guideline Green Roof Technology is able to enhance the removal of pollutants and run-off coloration at the same time. Specially engineered green roof growing media will perfectly customize for our clients need and based on leading research performed in Germany over the last 15 years. 

Since extensive monolithic green roofs retain as an average 50-75% the storage of the run-off (cistern size) has to be adjusted accordingly and is typical larger than without green roof.

Data from any Run-Off Quality research done in the United States or Canada can be just used as a rough speculation. We don't know any research performed with standardized components (e.g. growing media) and further more there is no uniform standard for compost or organic ingredients going into the growing media. Without uniform and standardize research all results are only speculation. Independent research (not sponsored by manufacturers) in Germany did consider these important facts and therefore the results are useful and easy to implement on real projects.

Any kind of plastics (drainage boards, chemical substances or modular systems) doesn’t support the cleaning power as much as perfectly engineered wall-to-wall green roof systems. More and more experts starting researching on how much chemicals are released by plastic components and water proofing materials since it well know that plastic components affect sea life  - where all run-off ends up.

On request Green Roof Technology will translate any information about leading green roof research done in Germany over the last 25 years. 

ABC Carpet Goes Green Week 1

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

By Kat Harrold GRP


 

 Photo~ Jorg Breuning

After much anticipation and preparation, the ABC Carpet and Home green roof has officially begun construction!  We met with Construction Manager, Micheal Cluer, and Forewoman, Collen Loft, yesterday at ABC to check on the progress and to discuss project details.

The first few days consisted of meticulously cleaning the roof so as to remove all debris, such as nails and small stones, that might damage the waterproofing.  A thorough examination of existing roof conditions was also performed to check for any preventable trouble spots.  While the weather had called for only 10% chance of precipitation with sunny skies Monday, that 10% decided to make a visit early that morning which turned the sweeping into more of a mopping procedure.  On the bright side the roof will be squeaky clean and puddles were quick to evaporate.  

The next step after cleaning the roof will be to find the support beams and mark out where the green roof segments will go.  Once this is done, edging will be cut and assembled to frame the green roof planting areas.  Because of all the pipes present on the green roof there will be some areas that will be segmented so that they can be built around the pipes.  

Check in next week as we get into the dirty business blowing the growing media onto the roof.  For those of you not familiar with what that entails just think of a snow machine.....but one that blows dirt instead of snow.

 

 

 

ABC Carpet Goes Green

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, October 10, 2011

 

 Photo courtesy of ~ ABC Home and Carpet

As the leaves begin to fall, a new roof is being raised as Green Roof Service and the Sustainable South Bronx prepare for the installation of ABC Carpet and Home's series of green roofs at its Bronx location.

Building a green roof on a warehouse can be a difficult task since the building is a wide open structure with little support for the roof.  To circumnavigate this issue, we designed green roof strips to go on every other support beam of the roof.  By keeping the green roofs on the strongest segments of the roof we were able to cover 10,000 square feet of the roof without over stressing the roof.

Green Build 2011

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, October 10, 2011

 

Last week in Toronto Canada thousands of green minded people from all over North America gathered to discuss the latest in green innovations.  While classes and seminars took place, the trade show exhibit halls buzzed with energy.

As one might guess, there were green building vendors of every service and material imaginable.  A very exciting development this year was the amount of green roof oriented vendors.  Over a dozen vendors selling green roof products were present.  

For us, the trade show was a tremendous success with lots of great contacts established as well as an award for our booth! In addition to the typical displays of some key projects we have done, we also had a display showing the difference between storm water quality in a neighborhood with traditional roofs and ground surfaces versus one which utilizes green roofs, rain gardens and porous surfaces. 

We would like to thank all the wonderful people who stopped by our booth and the USGBC for organizing this event.  It would have been a very long and boring trip without you.  We hope you had a great time at Green Build and look forward to seeing you again in the near future!   

 


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