Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2014 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts



 
BRINGING GREEN ROOFS TO THE GROUND PLANE: DESIGN RESEARCH IN TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE
 
Hametz, Isaac
Co-Authors: Rudraksha Jhaveri & Isaac Hametz

 
Abstract: Stormwater regulations have and continue to tighten across the United States. As a result, transportation agencies are seeking to incorporate proven green technologies in to existing and future projects in order to comply with local and regional environmental mandates. Green Tracks (GT), vegetated track systems that utilize modified green roof technology in rail applications are gaining popularity in Europe and providing transportation planners, designers, regulators, and the public enhanced environmental compliance. However, in the United States, only a limited number of rail projects have incorporated GT. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the design, feasibility, and effectiveness of installing and maintaining GT in light rail applications. Data from four sites, collected over three years on an urban light rail system in Maryland are presented. A comparative analysis of soil media and plant types indicate that in GT applications sedum species offer greater total vegetative cover and reduced mortality than turf or seed mixes. Methodological approaches that examine the effective environmental application of GT such as phytoaccumulation, particulate deposition, and thermoregulation are offered and suggest future avenues for GT research and development.