Evaluation of Multifunctional Aspects of a Green Roof in Mitigating the Negative Effects of Urbanization in Mediterranean Environment

  • Pratesi Martina
  • Cinelli FabrizioEmail author
  • Santi Giovanni
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


Green roofs have a potential to mitigate the negative effects of urbanization and represent a viable solution for increasing stormwater retention while improving the energy performance of both new and existing buildings. They are still a pivotal point against the more and more complex climate change, increasing urban biodiversity and replacing the vegetated footprint that was destroyed when the buildings were constructed. This study aims to analyse a technological installation of a green cover on a flat terrace, applying temperature sensors and a rainwater recovery system. For this purpose, two green roof prototypes were installed that differ each other exclusively for the vegetation planted (all plants suitable for the Mediterranean climate, but with green or grey leaves). At the base of each one, the stratigraphy varied for the presence or absence of XPS panel. Substrate, the same for both prototypes, was made up of lapillus, pumice and compost (20, 65 and 15%). Monitoring was performed using three data loggers for measuring the external temperature and that recorded under each type of substrate. The simultaneous installation of a weather station allowed checking temperature, wind, humidity and rainy events in the site. The results obtained in the first months of experimentation show the effectiveness of the roof in containing temperatures. Data from data loggers show that the green roof was able to keep the underlying environment cooler by about 2 °C during the thermal peak and warmer by the same amount at the minimum external temperatures, with variability due to substrate humidity and colour of plant cover. The rainfall measurements, until now scientifically insufficient for the scarce rain amounts, will be implemented for existing roofing and evaluated as well as the benefits that the use of green roofs entails, like energy saving, ability of the green roof to provide water retention and to filter the pollutants present in precipitation. Moreover, what results from the research is that not only this system allows to reach environmental improvement, but it also brings to a decrease of the loads bearing on the structure with positive repercussions on the building.


Building retrofit Energy saving Light weight substrate Runoff 



This research has been realized thank to the Frangerini Company of Livorno who collaborated by providing the structure where the green roof was built. Special thanks should be given to Mr. N. Bruni (DESTeC), for his professional and technical assistance for the green roof carrying out. The project has been financially supported by University of Pisa, PRA_2018_35 (Ateneo Research Project) titled ‘Eco-sustainable approaches to water systems and the redevelopment of the territory in urban environment’.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pratesi Martina
    • 1
  • Cinelli Fabrizio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Santi Giovanni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Constructions Engineering (DESTeC)University of PisaPisaItaly

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