Green Roof Company Engineers New Solution to Old Stormwater Management Problem
Milwaukee, WI. (January 13, 2014) - Vegetal i.D. has created an advanced system combining a blue roof with a green roof that is poised to bring the green roof industry to a whole new level by increasing the ability for extensive green roof systems to manage stormwater outflows.
In March Vegetal i.D. plans to launch a pilot project to demonstrate the value of STOCK & FLOW® a new product four years in the making. STOCK & FLOW® is a plastic tray that acts as a reservoir below HYDROPACK® (Vegetal i.D.’s modular green roof trays) and ads up to four additional inches of water capacity, passively irrigates the plants, and controls the way in which water is released from the roof.
As urban municipalities expand they create impermeable surfaces that disrupt the natural water cycle. These surfaces create an artificially high rate of water runoff, which becomes increasingly difficult for the wastewater utility to manage. This can result in sewerage overflows that pollute the local watershed.
Expanding traditional wastewater utility system capacity can be extremely expensive and city engineers have turned to decentralized management systems such as green roofs to deal with wastewater at the source, and minimize taxpayer expenses.
Green roofs absorb rain in order to reduce runoff volumes to diminish potentially harmful runoff to the surrounding environment. “A green roof is like a sponge, and it absorbs a lot of water, but when it’s fully saturated it doesn’t have much effect,” according to Gaëlle Bergès, product and development manager of Vegetal i.D.
Photo by Jeff Engel
STOCK & FLOW® enables city planners to rely on the performance of green roofs when designing stormwater management infrastructure, reduces peak flow events, and minimizes the risk of damaging and expensive sewerage overflow events.
The pilot project will test two versions of STOCK & FLOW®. The first uses a patented flow regulator to create a slow and constant release of water from the roof. During heavy rain, water is retained in the STOCK & FLOW® bladder while slowly being released to the storm sewer system.
The second version harnesses the cloud in order to predict rain events. This enables the system to autonomously manage the water that is retained in STOCK & FLOW®. Water is detained during rain events and held in order to maximize irrigation and retention. When a rain event is predicted, the cloud system purges STOCK & FLOW® before the rain event in order to enable it to capture and detain all rain from the next event and offset peak rain runoff flows.
Vegetal i.D. envisions a network of rooftops throughout individual municipalities equipped with STOCK & FLOW®. “The cloud control runs autonomously using weather data to make its predictions, but it will be equipped with its own online dashboard for monitoring and control.” According to Brennon Garthwait, Stormwater Management Specialist at Vegetal i.D. “This would enable building owners to monitor the health of their system, and allow stormwater officials to monitor the systems as a group simultaneously and purge the reservoirs as necessary.”
For their pilot project, Vegetal i.D. is partnering with the University of Wisconsin System, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), and the Milwaukee Water Council.
About Vegetal i.D.
Vegetal i.D. is a branch of Le Prieuré, a French company owned by Raphael Lamé that installed its first green roof in 1989 and has focused on innovation ever since. In 2000 Le Prieuré patented HYDROPACK®, the first modular green roof system in Europe. HYDROPACK® is a tray system that is sold fully vegetated with water reservoirs packed into stackable trays that can be easily transported and installed on rooftops of nearly any pitch. Since its inception, HYDROPACK® has been installed on over 1,500 rooftops and has become one of the most trusted modular green roof systems. Vegetal i.D. launched in 2011 with a plant nursery located in Batavia, NY and has since focused on growing and developing the green roof industry in the U.S. and Canada.