The effects of climate change are now being felt more and more everywhere. According to the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), temperatures are continuing to rise which is leading to longer dry periods and an increase in heavy hits of rainfall that fall in a short space of time. This, of course, drastically increases the risk of flooding, especially in built-up areas as the ground and the constructed drainage systems are not able to absorb these large surges of water.
For this reason, it is more urgent than ever that we develop solutions that mitigate these impacts and in the best case, solve a few more at the same time.
With this in mind, we at KISTERS have teamed up with Polypipe, EPG and Mashup analytics to create a smart, self-learning "blue-green roof" in the heart of Manchester with the co-operation of Bruntwood and United Utilities.
Our main idea was to create a tank that would be able to collect rainwater intelligently for reuse, rather than automatically releasing it slowly back into the sewers as is currently the standard in the UK. For this purpose, KISTERS has created a digital twin through which the level data of the "real" tank can be fed directly into the KISTERS cloud. This live data can be directly linked to the weather data, which can then be used to create an optimal analysis. With this it is possible to calculate how much water should be in the tank based on predefined rules.
The great end result is a roof full of wildflowers and wildlife that is intelligently irrigated. In long dry spells the tank can wick water from the tank below (collect from flash rainfall events) into the above soli layer keeping things alive for a number of weeks, and reducing the need for irrigation when water supplies are low.
By using such passive irrigation systems as green and blue infrastructure measures, we can help to better utilise our water resource, controlling it in real time. Replacing the existing grey infrastructure with blue-green alternatives helps contribute significantly to a city’s resilience against heavy rain and other extreme weather events such as high temperatures - It does this by absorbing solar radiation rather than reflecting it.
A few months ago, this "Bloc Smart Blue-Green roof project" was awarded a prize in the field of regeneration and retrofit - a category for small projects at the Susdrain Awards, a community supported by CIRIA (Construction Industry Research and Information Association based in London). We would like to thank everyone involved and highlight that when we work together we can achieve great things and game changing solutions.
Bloc Smart Blue-Green roof project