Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nature Irrigated Florida Green Roof Panel 18 Months (no added irrigation) UF

Green Roofs can be designed to take advantage of nature-based irrigation.  The following photos depict a green roof test panel constructed at UF and non-irrigated, except for precipitation and dew for 18 months.  Planting density can easily be increased to add a more lush appearance.

Ultimately, the green roofing industry must address water shortage issues and adapt, like the Florida Friendly Landscape program, to reduced or zero-based irrigation.

The challenge will involve understanding air moisture content and how to capture dew.  Additionally, looking at similar Florida ecosystems (such as the Glades type ecosystems) can help with plant specification.  Engineered soils are important too!  Having a soil that carries just enough water without keeping roots too wet is critical.

Then there is heat management and wind control issues to incorporate.

Stormwater too, is a vital concern for the Florida Green Roof industry.

It is possible to compound Florida's stormwater problem with green roofs if we design systems incorporating Nitrogen and Phosphorus fertilizer and potable water for irrigation.  Think of the algae problems in many of Florida's rivers from lawn fertilizers.

We may be only a step away from creating even a far worse problem with hastily thought through fertilized roofing systems.

Sustainability must define green roofing, along with community acceptance, cost-effectiveness and technical accuracy.

Feel free to tell us of project success and failures you've encountered.

As always, email me with your questions here.

Happy Green Roofing!


Nature Irrigated Florida Green Roof Panel 18 Months (no added irrigation) UF

1 comment:

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