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Virginia Tech is experimenting with green roof modules donated by Riverbend Nursery Inc. in Riner, VA. A vigorous mix of sedums and other perennials planted in engineered growing medium in three test roofs are expected to reduce the volume and flow rate of storm water runoff when compared to a control platform simulating a typical membrane roof. These effects will be measured in a study conducted by assistant professor Elizabeth Grant of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies with the help of students eager to learn more about this popular approach to green infrastructure.

The anticipated outcome of the study is a mathematical model relating climate data and green roof system characteristics to runoff retention performance for modular green roof systems. This model will enable green roof system designers, building owners, and policymakers to more accurately anticipate the benefits of installing modular green roof systems for storm water mitigation.


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