SWITCH: Managing Water for the City of the Future

Managing Water for the City of the Future

Green and Brown Roofs

Birmingham, UK

Green roof research in SWITCH has focused on extensive green roofs. These roofs are characterised by thin growth substrates, low maintenance and lower costs compared with traditional green roofs. Specific interest has been on brown roofs, a type of extensive green roof that is designed to mimic brownfield sites at an early stage of succession. Roof design influences the environmental benefits and designing a roof to maximise one environmental benefit can potentially trade off against other environmental benefits (runoff reduction, thermal insulation, thermal cooling, biodiversity and roof longevity among others). SWITCH research has addressed specifically the collection of data and simulation studies to investigate the tradeoffs as well as the potential benefits of brown roofs. A research facility is erected on one of Birmingham University's buildings and will continue to function as a teaching facility post SWITCH. Demonstrations of brown roofs have also been undertaken in Birmingham using two roofs developed on buildings in the City Centre.

Outputs from the research include:

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