Green roof retrofitting : a study into the structural implications associated with green roof retrofits.
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The realities of climate change have fast become apparent. It is for this reason that vast quantities of research explored potential mitigation methods to alleviate the strain placed on the environment and the planet by climate change. Structural engineers and the greater engineering community utilise green building practices in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and hence, lower the carbon footprint of a structure. One such practice has been the introduction of green roofs. This study looks at the potential of retrofitting structures with green roofs. It investigates various construction materials and their influence on the potential of retrofitting structures with green roofs. In addition, this thesis investigates the influence of considerations given during structural design such as a structure’s span and the utilisation of different section sizes, in an attempt to provide a general assessment into the practicality of a green roof retrofit. This study has shown that there is a significant potential in retrofitting existing structures with green roofs. In addition, the results of the study have shown that concrete structures are more likely to have a higher potential to be retrofitted. The potential to be retrofitted with a green roof depends on the carrying capacity that in turn depends on a range of factors. However, the primary factor in the magnitude of the carrying capacity is essentially the choice of element decided upon by the structural designer. This study has proved that green roofs have the potential to reduce the temperature of the substructure to a greater degree when compared to other roof types. It has further proved that green roofs possess the potential to significantly reduce storm water run-off in comparison to other roof types. However, this study has highlighted that there is significant basis for further investigation into structural implications associated with green roofs and other relevant areas.