Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC makes breakthrough in green-planted roof research

UC makes breakthrough in green-planted roof research

October 21, 2013

The University of Canterbury (UC) has discovered green-planted roofs do not need to be irrigated in winter or summer to thrive.

UC natural resources engineering researchers Dr Aisling O'Sullivan and Dr Tonny de Vries are investigating the benefits of green roofs for the New Zealand built-environment.

``A team of two undergraduate honours civil engineering students have found the green roof engineered substrates hold water for longer, which helps keep the plants alive in drier conditions.

``We can confirm our green roofs are living so well 18 months after being planted and without ever having been irrigated. This coming summer will be exciting as it will be the second year of a summer without irrigation to test the systems further. 

``The team have completed some mathematical modelling using the green roofs to estimate the savings that can be gained in stormwater management from green roofs as a source control technology.

``We expect to unearth some positive results. Our detailed monitoring of 18 months of systems grown in Christchurch has enabled the effect of green roofs on water quantity and quality to be understood throughout a range of climatic conditions,’’ Dr O’Sullivan says.

The green-roofs have recently received the UC sustainability gold prize judged by a panel of external parties.

The judges commented that her group's research (including the green roofs) have left a formidable legacy both on and off campus. The award recognised outstanding research and leadership with a particular focus on Okeover Stream, a special treasure flowing through the campus’s ecological corridor.

More than 200 civil and natural resources engineering students use the stream in their class work each year. Secondary school students have visited the stream and Dr O’Sullivan’s group has received significant Christchurch City Council funding to develop a research park approach to test storm water solutions to provide data for new storm water consents.

``Christchurch’s rebuilding plans strongly encourage low impact designs, including green roof systems, and UC has established a green roofed building with different types of plants on campus and different soil depths to help guide new designs for Christchurch,’’ Dr O’Sullivan says.

Engineered green roofs are becoming common in New Zealand as they offer multiple benefits including stormwater control. They have been installed on Waitakere’s Civic Building in Auckland, at the Remarkables Primary School in Queenstown, the NZI Centre in Auckland, Pipitea Plaza in Wellington and many other sites in New Zealand. Dr O'Sullivan's systems at UC are a first for Canterbury.

The roofs reduce energy consumption and improve local air quality by trapping air particles and smog and are most important for storm water management by reducing peak flow rates and volumes of stormwater.


Photo, from left to right: Dr Aisling O’Sullivan, Dr Daniel Wicke and Dr Tom Cochrane (below) with their real-time water quality monitoring system at UC.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Interest Rates: Wheeler Hikes OCR To 3% On Inflationary Pressures, Eyes Kiwi

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler lifted the official cash rate for the second time in as many months, saying non-tradable inflationary pressures were "becoming apparent" in an economy that’s picking up pace and he's watching the impact of a strong kiwi dollar on import prices. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news