Evaluation of Green Roof Ageing Effects on Substrate Hydraulic Characteristics

  • V. Alagna
  • V. Bagarello
  • P. Concialdi
  • G. Giordano
  • M. IovinoEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 67)


The vegetated substrate of green roofs may undergo various chemical and physical changes with time. Minidisk infiltrometer (MDI) tests were conducted to assess the short-term variations of the near-saturated hydraulic conductivity, K0, in the extensive green roof test plot established at the University of Palermo. Sampling was repeated four times: before planting (Age 0) and then after four months (Age 1), seven months (Age 2) and ten months (Age 3). A total of 144 infiltration tests were conducted at two pressure heads, h0 = −3 cm and h0 = −0.5 cm and infiltration data analysed by the Zhang (Soil Science Society of America Journal 61(4):1024–1030, 1997) model. Both K-3 and K-0.5 underwent temporal variations resulting in final values that were higher by a factor of 3.0 and 1.4, respectively, than the initial ones. Compaction and washing off of fine particles explained the observed trend in K0 as the lower part of the growing media enriched in fine particles and resulted in higher bulk density than the upper one. The results showed that the hydraulic properties of the growing substrate were subjected to short term modifications that may influence the hydrological performance of the green roof.


Green roofs Growing substrate Minidisk infiltrometer Near-saturated soil hydraulic conductivity 



This work was supported by the Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca of Italy [PRIN 2015—GREEN4WATER—CUP B72F16000550005]


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Alagna
    • 1
  • V. Bagarello
    • 2
  • P. Concialdi
    • 2
  • G. Giordano
    • 2
  • M. Iovino
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Food SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest SciencesUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

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