Green roofs are still often seen as a pure aesthetical element in architecture, as a spleen of some “greenies”. In fact green roofs already contribute, to some extent, to a better microclimate through evaporation, filtering of dust from the air and a decrease in temperatures at the rooftop. In cities like Berlin and Munich many green roofs have already been realised. Coupled with this microclimate improvement, is the thermal comfort improvement under such roofs by more mass, dry or wet substrate, and shading through the plants. Besides improving the microclimate and the indoor climate, the retention of rainwater is another important advantage. That means an important reduction of the rainwater input in the sewage system during rainfalls, cutting the peak load, avoiding an overload of the system, which might cause flooding and serious health problems. The risk of flooding in cities, which is increasing in many cities due to a ground sealed by buildings, asphalt and concrete, can be diminished. One recent example of the use of green roofs with this purpose is the Potsdamer Platz in the centre of Berlin, where 100 percent of the rainwater has to be evaporated or used for toilet flushing on the building site. Scientific knowledge on green roofs is still limited to temperate climates, due to a development which took place in central Europe. Since 2000 a scientific project in Rio de Janeiro is checking local parameters, like possible vegetation, which can be used and substrate composition. Parallel to this, four prototype roofs, three greened and one blank, are used to measure the retention rate of the rain water and the temperature on the underside of the roofs in order to analyse the possible improvement of the thermal comfort in buildings. This paper will describe the scientific results of Germany and discuss the practicability on a larger scale under tropical conditions.
Köhler, M., Schmidt, M., Wilhelm Grimme, F., Laar, M., Lúcia de Assunção Paiva, V. and Tavares, S. (2002), "Green roofs in temperate climates and in the hot‐humid tropics – far beyond the aesthetics", Environmental Management and Health, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 382-391. https://doi.org/10.1108/09566160210439297Download as .RIS
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