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Green Roof Research Site

University of Maryland Green roof experimental site. Insert shows rain gauge installation on the gutter to collect stormwater runoff. Each replicate platform collects substrate moisture and temperature data from four Echo-TM sensors, with a substrate-specific calibration.

During summer, 2010, 18 green roof platforms were built and sensored at the University of Maryland (pictured at right).  The 1.0m2 platforms were constructed according to green roof standards and have 10cm of a commercial green roof (M2) shale and pumice substrate.

Each platform is fitted with a Decagon EM50R radio node, connected to four Echo-TM soil moisture / temp sensors positioned in the green roof substrate and one ECRN-50 rainfall sensor, which measures runoff collected by a gutter at the front of each platform (obscured by plastic cover; at right).  

Environmental variables including air temperature, wind speed, solar radiation, temperature/RH and precipitation are also collected at the study site every five minutes (weather station circled at back of picture).

Three Sedum species being studied as to their effects on stormwater runoff: (A) Sedum kamschaticum; (B) S. album and (C) S. sexangulare

Four replicate platforms at the research site are each planted with one of the three most common greenroof Sedum species (pictured left). 

In addtion, four substrate-only platforms and two no-substrate, no-plant platforms provide control treatments for stormwater runoff data.

Green roof substrate moisture, soil temperature and stormwater runoff data (in pink) from one of the replicated green roof platforms.

Preliminary Data:

Data from a number of storm events have been captured during Fall, 2010 and spring 2011.

Ms. Olyssa Starry, the PhD graduate student on the project has already begun to analyze this initial stormwater runoff data and incorporate it into the model (see below).

Green Roof Stormwater Model:

A green roof stormwater model (Diagram at right) has been parameterized and is being validated with ongoing research and replicated environmental data from the green roof platforms.

A Conceptual Green Roof Stormwater Runoff Model (Olyssa Starry, 2010).

C =data to be captured or inputted.

MV = information to be modeled and validated either with captured data, or in the case of ET, through mass-balance equations.