Modelling of green roofs' hydrologic performance using EPA's SWMM

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Green roofs significantly affect the increase in water retention and thus the management of rain water in urban areas. In Poland, as in many other European countries, excess rainwater resulting from snowmelt and heavy rainfall contributes to the development of local flooding in urban areas. Opportunities to reduce surface runoff and reduce flood risks are among the reasons why green roofs are more likely to be used also in this country. However, there are relatively few data on their in situ performance. In this study the storm water performance was simulated for the green roofs experimental plots using the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) with Low Impact Development (LID) Controls module (version 5.0.022). The model consists of many parameters for a particular layer of green roofs but simulation results were unsatisfactory considering the hydrologic response of the green roofs. For the majority of the tested rain events, the Nash coefficient had negative values. It indicates a weak fit between observed and measured flow-rates. Therefore complexity of the LID module does not affect the increase of its accuracy. Further research at a technical scale is needed to determine the role of the green roof slope, vegetation cover and drying process during the inter-event periods.

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