Green Roof Media Evaluation Final Report
The Installations of Green roofs in North America are fairly recent in comparison to Europe which they have been using and installing for several hundreds of years. Green roofs have many beneficial factors, other than beautifying an urban landscape they have many hidden ecological and economical benefits. Growing a green roof has many environmental benefits include, absorbing rain water and preventing runoff, providing a habitat for wildlife, increasing agricultural space and decreasing urban air temperatures by soaking up the suns radiation to fight heat island effect (Alexander, 2004). There are many reasons why a green roof should be installed and in the end of the day it will pay for itself within a few years in result of the reduction of heating and cooling costs. This report will go into detail on the types of media that are used on green roofs. The research and data will provide information that will help us determine which type of media is better suited in certain types of different environments.
Materials and Methods:
The evaluation process of the results from the data that was collected is interesting, seeing how the media has done in the empty tubs vs planted cells regarding the PH and EC levels. There are three types of media that were tested for this green roof research/experiment project; Gaia, Haydite, and ZinCo (Growing Media). For this experiment there are 3 tubs of, each tub has 1 kind of media as listed above, they will be tested for EC and PH levels. Also 9 cell trays that have three media types (Gaia, Haydite, ZinCo Growing Media) that contain plants will be tested as well for the same thing (EC & PH), the tubs contain the same media without plants, the results will be compared. Gaia soil is a mixture of recycled expanded polystyrene, composted organic matter, and clay. The polystyrene holds water, minerals, and nutrients for the plants intake. Gaia soil is very light when dry, but when moist it can retain a lot of water and become heavy. When on high surfaces, with strong wind forces and little vegetation protection Gaia soil will get blown away. Landscape mesh is used to hold Gaia soil in place (group members & I). Haydite is hydraulic pressed brick. Haydites an excellent ground cover, which will not rot or fade away. It I used as a green roof media because it will not blow away very easy. Haydite is produced from high grade shale; it’s thin and breaks easy and comes in various sized aggregates (Group members & I). Zinco (Growing medium) is an engineered light weight medium, based on a mixture of minerals and organic components that are the support layer for the plant material. (Group members & I).
The following is the data collected and are put into graphs that will illustrate how the different kinds of media have performed. Keep in mind that the numbers that are on the graphs that are about the PH and EC is the average/mean of the measurements that were collected by the entire class.
Graph 1: This graph demonstrates the EC levels in the planted cells that contain the Gaia, Grow Bark and Zinco (Growing media). Their EC was tested twice on two different occasions.
As you can tell from the graph, the EC levels were the highest for the Grow Bark media during test #1 and #2 and Gaia media remained with the lowest EC throughout both tests. *These numbers are the mean/average measurements that were taken by the entire class.
Graph 2: This graph demonstrates the levels of EC in the Tubs that had media only (No Plants).
It is obvious by looking at the graph we can determine just like the previous graph that the Grow Bark media has the highest EC levels on both tests and Gaia has the lowest. But his is very interesting, on the first test, the EC level in the Tubs were much higher than the EC levels in the planted cells. On the second test the EC levels in the...
References: (Group members & I) = Jessica Bond, Tyler Bradley, Stephan Choi, Ethan Shrubb, Zaki Budeiri Moreno, Jeremy Jouppien
Alexander, Ron. 2004. Vol. 45, No. 9. Biocycle. J. G. Press
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