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Green Roof Mitigation Stormwater Runoff

School & Deparment: 
  • Engineering, College of
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
Start Date: 
Lead Investigators: 
Alexander Vencius
Other Researchers: 
Jeanie Ho
Mariano Oropeza-Tellez
Diane Phan
Faculty Advisors: 
Benoit Van Aken
Funding Source: 

Project Abstract:

Due in large part to to global urbanization, stormwater runoff has become a significant problem. Pollutants commonly found in stormwater runoff, such as synthetic organic chemicals, metals, and pathogens, have proven to be environmentally detrimental when the stormwater runoff empties into nearby creeks and rivers. Green roofs have been shown to alleviate many of these problems, yet the vast amount of unquantified materials that may be utilized in green roof design indicate that there is much room for improvement.

The objective of our project is to develop a system that will allow us to test materials that have potential benefits to a green roof design. Our experimental approach consists of comparing and contrasting two different growing substrates as well as three different plant species. We intend to obtain data that indicates a combination of green roof material that constitute a superior design through the substantial decrease of flow through the system. A significant challenge we face is replication of actual environmental conditions in a controlled laboratory setting. Success of the project will result in quantifiable data regarding materials used in green infrastructure and will pave the way for continuing research and testing.

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