Hydrological Performance of LECA-Based Roofs in Cold Climates
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Rooftops represent a considerable part of the impervious fractions of urban environments. Detaining and retaining runoff from vegetated rooftops can be a significant contribution to reducing the effects of urbanization, with respect to increased runoff peaks and volumes from precipitation events. However, in climates with limited evapotranspiration, a non-vegetated system is a convenient option for stormwater management. A LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate)-based roof system was established in the coastal area of Trondheim, Norway in 2016. The roof structure consists of a 200 mm-thick layer of LECA® lightweight aggregate, covered by a concrete pavement. The retention in the LECA-based roof was estimated at 9%, which would be equivalent to 0.27 mm/day for the entire period. The LECA-based configuration provided a detention performance for a peak runoff reduction of 95% (median) and for a peak delay of 1 h and 15 min (median), respectively. The relatively high moisture levels in the LECA-based roof did not affect the detention performance. Rooftop retrofitting as a form of source control may contribute to a change in runoff characteristics from conventional roofs. This study of the LECA-based roof configuration presents data and performance indicators for stormwater urban planners with regard to water detention capability.