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KWR, Polypipe Terrain Ltd. and Drainproducts BV installed state of the art Blue-Green roof

SmartRoof 2.0 installed at Polypipe Terrain, Aylesford, UK

Following the successful launch of the first SmartRoof project in Amsterdam (www.projectsmartroof.nl) in 2017, we transformed a second roof into a Blue (rainwater catchment, storage and reuse) and Green (plant species rich) roof in June 2018. This second showcase includes a unique custom build lysimeter, which enables the measurement of actual evapotranspiration (the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration). Accurate determination of evapotranspiration is crucial for reliable estimations of both the water and energy balance and therefore for evaluation of climate adaptation measures.

In the ever busier and more densely built urban environment, rooftops are no longer just the top of a building, but become an integral functional part of the buildings energy performance and its rainwater management. They can thus reduce the urban heat island effect, with positive effects on people, human health and biodiversity. By combining both the Blue (rainwater catchment, storage and reuse) and Green (biodiversity) functions, we aim to increase the resilience and climate adaptation of cities. A large variety of plant species are able to grow on these roof systems, where water is captured, stored and capillary fed back to the soil for plant irrigation, without the use of pumps, hoses or energy.

Show case packed with sensoring equipment

At this stage, Blue-Green roofs act as showcases to demonstrate and scientifically validate the water and energy balances. In the Blue-Green roof that KWR, Polypipe Terrain Ltd. and Drainproducts BV recently installed at Polypipe Terrain, Aylesford, UK, a number of sensors were installed to measure these parameters.

At the heart of this system is our unique custom build lysimeter, which enables the measurement of actual evapotranspiration (the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration). Insight in evapotranspiration is crucial for reliable estimations of both the water and energy balance and therefore for evaluation of climate adaptation measures. In addition, evapotranspiration measurements give insight in the drought and oxygen stress plants encounter on the roof. The data provided by the showcases in Amsterdam and Aylesford is used to optimise these roof systems and helps to increase our knowledge and experience in the development of multifunctional rooftops, circular on-site water management and resilient cities for today and for the future.