Investigating the Technical and Financial Feasibility of a Smart Blue Roof

Credit Valley Conservation’s (CVC) main office has a large, flat roof, making it an ideal place for STEP to investigate the feasibility of smart blue roof systems for stormwater management. While a large body of research has demonstrated the significant water management benefits of green roofs, this study will consider the potential of blue roof technology as a viable and cost-effective alternative.  Blue roofs detain stormwater, releasing it slowly after rainfall events, allowing it to pond and evaporate, or in some cases storing it for non-potable reuse.

Initiated in early 2018 with the support of the Region of Peel and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), this study will investigate the possibility of retrofitting CVC’s existing ‘Building A’ roof into a smart blue roof, with real-time controls.  The system will allow stormwater to be detained on the roof over an extended period of time, thereby reducing peak flows, promoting evaporation, and ultimately helping to build capacity and resiliency in Mississauga’s municipal stormwater system.

The project will investigate the feasibility of designing and constructing a blue roof integrated with “Internet of Things” technology – a system of sensors and real-time controls – for managing the flow of water from the roof to CVC’s existing rainwater harvesting tank for indoor and outdoor non-potable use.   The system  will be designed to maximize the potential benefits of blue roofs, including water and energy savings associated with rainwater reuse, reduced peak flows to storm sewer systems, and potential mitigation of the urban heat island effect.

Industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) lands usually take up about 20-30% of the total urban area, and most of the buildings have large, flat roofs which generate large amounts of runoff. These typical building characteristics present an opportunity for improving stormwater management in the IC&I sector.  One of the key aims of this study is to build a template for implementing blue roofs on IC&I buildings across the GTA and beyond.

For more information contact Bernadeta Szmudrowska at bernadeta.szmudrowska@cvc.ca.