In spite of the well-known green roof benefits, their widespread adoption in the management practices of urban drainage systems requires the use of adequate analytical and modelling tools. In the current study, green roof runoff modeling was accomplished by developing, testing, and jointly using a simple conceptual model and a physically based numerical simulation model utilizing HYDRUS-1D software. The use of such an approach combines the advantages of the conceptual model, namely simplicity, low computational requirements, and ability to be easily integrated in decision support tools with the capacity of the physically based simulation model to be easily transferred in conditions and locations other than those used for calibrating and validating it. The proposed approach was evaluated with an experimental dataset that included various green roof covers (either succulent plants - Sedum sediforme, or xerophytic plants - Origanum onites, or bare substrate without any vegetation) and two substrate depths (either 8 cm or 16 cm). Both the physically based and the conceptual models matched very closely the observed hydrographs. In general, the conceptual model performed better than the physically based simulation model but the overall performance of both models was sufficient in most cases as it is revealed by the Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency index which was generally greater than 0.70. Finally, it was showcased how a physically based and a simple conceptual model can be jointly used to allow the use of the simple conceptual model for a wider set of conditions than the available experimental data and in order to support green roof design.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 2017
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