University of calgary

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Impacts of Green Roofs on Storm Water Management and Urban Climate

The goal of this project was to provide the information necessary to increase the use of green roofs in Canada, bringing along the economic, environmental and health benefits that green roofs can provide to improve Canadian urban environments. Specifically, this NSERC Strategic project was meant to create and, simultaneously, monitor a green roof system in three climatic regions: the Prairies, Great Lakes, and Atlantic Canada. Thereby, the cities of Calgary, AB, London, ON, and Halifax, NS formed a representative sample of the weather conditions experienced around Canada. 

The research team examined the multi-scale impacts of green roofs, from their effects at the individual building level, to their integrated effect on the entire urban area. The project was awarded to Dr. Denis O’Carroll, the Principal Investigator at the University of Western Ontario. 

At each selected site, different types of vegetation, roof slopes and growing medium depth were used. With this, the research team was able to measure and assess the impact of these variables on the performance of a green roof. Upon completion, this study provided valuable tools to take a more rigorous approach to green roof design, quantifying the benefits of green roof use in Canada.