The objectives of this study are to provide detailed information about green roof performance in the Mediterranean climate (retained volume, peak flow reduction, runoff delay) and to identify a suitable modelling approach for describing the associated hydrologic response. Data collected during a 13-month monitoring campaign and a seasonal monitoring campaign (September–December 2008) at the green roof experimental site of the University of Genova (Italy) are presented together with results obtained in quantifying the green roof hydrologic performance. In order to examine the green roof hydrologic response, the SWMS_2D model, that solves the Richards' equation for two-dimensional saturated-unsaturated water flow, has been implemented. Modelling results confirm the suitability of the SWMS_2D model to properly describe the hydrologic response of the green roofs. The model adequately reproduces the hydrographs; furthermore, the predicted soil water content profile generally matches the observed values along a vertical profile where measurements are available.
Keywords: detention, green roof, hydrologic restoration, storm water, two-dimensional unsaturated model