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Cairo University

Faculty of Engineering
AET/Fall 2010
Independent Studies

Application of Green Roofs in


Cairo
By: Mahmoud Sherif Saad

December, 2010

Abstract:
Green Roofs have become a very important component of sustainable urban
development within the last 30 years in developed countries. Green Roofs have many
benefits on urban development including environmental, energy and economic
advantages. The focus of this research is to study the environmental and energy
impact of green roofs in Cairo which is now considered to be one of the most air
polluted cities in the world.
The World Health Organization reports that the Air Pollution in
Downtown Cairo is 10 to 20 times what is considered a safe limit. The US
environmental Protection Agency states that above the safe limit, the risk of
developing serious respiratory diseases and cancer from inhaling particulates in air is:
2 for every 1000 persons. (
The main aim of this research is to prove that green roofs can move the Air
Pollution in Cairo towards the safe limit stated by the World Health Organization and
reducing energy consumption thus protecting Cairo inhabitants from the threats facing
them.

KEYWORDS: Green Roofs; Air pollution; Cairo; World Health Organization;


Environment; Landscape

PART 1: LITERATURE REVIEW


1.1. Definitions
1.1.1. Air pollution
1.1.2. Causes of Air Pollution
1.1.3. Smog
1.1.4. Air pollution in Cairo
1.2. Benefits of Green Roofs
1.2.1. Private Benefits
1.2.2. Public Benefits
1.3. Types of Green Roofs
1.3.1.
Extensive Green Roof
1.3.2.
Semi-Intensive Green Roof
1.3.3.
Intensive Green Roof
1.4. Green Roof Engineering
Basic Green Roof Planning
1.4.1.1. Checklist
1.4.1.1.1.
1.4.1.1.2.
1.4.1.1.3.
1.4.1.1.4.
1.4.1.1.5.
1.4.1.1.6.
1.4.1.1.7.
1.4.1.1.8.
1.4.1.1.9.
1.4.1.1.10.

Roof substructure
Waterproofing
Roof parapets, roof penetrations and adjacent building parts
Roof slope
Roof construction
Assumed load
Roof Drainage
Irrigation
Access to the roof
Additional functions

PART 2: CASE STUDY

2.1. International case study


2.1.1. City Scale, Chicago
2.1.2. Building Scale, Seattle City Hall
PART 3: GUIDELINES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
PART 4: APPLICATION OF THE GUIDELINES ON A LOCAL CASE

PART 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND


1.1. Definitions
1.1.1. Air Pollution
Every day, the average person inhales about 20,000 liters of air. Every time we
breathe, we risk inhaling dangerous chemicals that have found their way into the
air. Air pollution includes all contaminants found in the atmosphere. These
dangerous substances can be either in the form of gases or particles. The sources
of air pollution are both natural and human-based. As one might expect, humans
have been producing increasing amounts of pollution as time has progressed, and
they now account for the majority of pollutants released into the air. The effects of
air pollution are diverse and numerous. Air pollution can have serious
consequences for the health of human beings, and also severely affects natural
ecosystems. (5)

1.1.2.

Causes of Air Pollution

There are many different chemical substances that contribute to air pollution.
Among the many types of air pollutants are NO2, SO2, O3, PM10 and organic
compounds that can evaporate and enter the atmosphere. The biggest causes are
the operation of fossil fuel-burning power plants and automobiles that combust
fuel. (6)

1.1.3. Smog
Smog is caused by many factors. The smog that enters the atmosphere consists of
over 100 chemicals, many coming from different sources. Particulates present in
smog include carbon monoxide, dirt, soot, dust, and ozone. To really create the
smog effect, sunlight, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides have to mix together.
Major producers of smog include automobiles, fires, waste treatment, oil
production, industrial solvents, paints, coatings and the operation of fossil fuelburning power plants. (7)

1.1.4. Air pollution in Cairo


Cairo is one of the most air polluted cities in the world like Mexico City,
Bangkok, San Paulo, Delhi and Tokyo. The sky color in Cairo is not blue but gray
and theres a haze over Cairo. If we assume that Cairo population is 18 million, a
simple risk calculation comes to the conclusion that half a million will develop
serious health problems (respiratory and cancer) which will result in premature
death in a period of 5-25 years, that is one person for every twenty four persons.(1)

1.2. Benefits of Green Roofs


Until today the benefits of Green Roofs are still underestimated. The "natural
look" is only one obvious benefit within the broad range of arguments for
Green Roofs. The benefits can be classified into Private and Public benefits as
follows:

1.2.1.

Private Benefits

Green Roofs has many private advantages like the increased roof life, reduced
noise levels, thermal insulation, heat shield and the use of space.

1.2.1.1. Increased Roof Life


Due to physical, chemical and biological stress on the roof skin, the life
expectancy of a normal flat roof is only 15 to 25 years. The temperature
differences are about 100 C during the year and 60 C over 24 hours. Green
Roofs protect the waterproofing, buffers the temperature during summer and
winter, and the temperature differences are about 35 C during the year and 15
C over 24 hours. (2)

1.2.1.2. Reduced Noise Levels


Green Roofs reduce sound reflection by up to 3 dB and
improve sound insulation by up to 8 dB. This is
important for people who live near airports or noisy
roads. Moreover, electromagnetic waves from
transmitting stations can be shielded by the vegetation (2)

1.2.1.3. Thermal Insulation

Figure 1, Green roofs reduces sound


reflection for people living near airports,
http://www.igraworld.com/images/red_noise.jpg

Green Roofs can be regarded as an additional thermal


insulation which reduces the use of primary energy thus
reducing the economic cost. An amount of about 1-2
L/m2 of oil can be saved with this additional thermal
insulation. (2)

1.2.1.4. Heat Shield


During the summer months Green Roofs reduce indoor Figure 2, Green roofs is an additional thermal
insulation, http://www.igratemperatures through transpiration. According to tests world.com/images/thermal_ins.jpg
from Drefahl (1995), the microclimate of an apartment
underneath a Green Roof is comparable with one on the base floor. This
means decreasing the use of air conditioning and energy consumption. (2)

1.2.2. Public Benefits


Green Roofs has also many public benefits like the reduction of dust and smog
levels, urban heat island effect, natural habitat for animals and plants, and the
visual effect of cities and landscape.

1.2.2.1. Reduction of Dust and Smog Levels


Air pollution causes serious adverse health effects, which has been proven by
numerous studies over the last years. Plants are able to enhance the quality of
the air. One square meter of Green Roof can filter approximately 0.2 kg
aerosol dust and smog particles per year. In addition, nitrates and other
harmful materials in the air and from rainfall are deposited in the growing
medium. (2)

1.2.2.2. Urban Heat Island


Global warming, excess heat from residential buildings,
industry and traffic are leading to rising temperatures
within urban spaces. The difference in temperature
between a city and a surrounding countryside is called
the urban heat island effect. In summer this effect can
reach 10 C. Natural "air conditioners" such as green
areas and parks can absorb up to 80% of the energy
input. (2)

1.2.2.3. Natural habitat for animals and plants

Figure 3, the urban heat island effect,


http://www.igraworld.com/images/urban_heat.jpg

Green Roofs can compensate for lost green areas. They


create lively places and connect isolated refuges for flora and fauna within city
centers. Low maintenance extensive Green Roofs promote biodiversity, as
wild bees, butterflies, and beetles find food and shelter there. The natural cycle
of plant growth and self-seeding lends to ecological systems with unique
character. (2)

1.2.2.4. Cities and landscapes


Green Roofs are visually enhancing the quality of life in the cities. Green
Roofs are able to interrupt the monotony of the grey, dismal city centers and
thus having better peoples mental and physical
health. (2)

1.3.

Types of Green Roofs

1.3.1.

Extensive Green Roof

Extensive Green Roof has low maintenance, no irrigation, build-up height of


60-200mm, weight 60-150 kg/m2, low cost and can be used as an ecological
protection layer. Moss-Sedum-Herbs and Grasses can be planted here. (3)
Figure 4, Extensive Green Roof, IGRA

1.3.2.

Semi-Intensive Green Roof

Semi-Intensive Green Roof must have periodical


maintenance, periodical irrigation, build-up height of
120-250mm, weight 120-200 kg/m2, middle cost and
can be used as a designed Green Roof. Grass-Herbs
and Shrubs can be planted here. (3)
Figure 5, Semi-Intensive Green Roof, IGRA

1.3.3.

Intensive Green Roof

Intensive Green Roof must have high maintenance,


regular irrigation, build-up height of 150-400mm,
weight 180-500 kg/m2, high cost and can be used as
a park like garden. Lawn or Perennials, Shrubs and
Trees can be planted here. (3)

1.4. Green Roof Engineering

Figure 6, Intensive Green Roof, IGRA

1.4.1.
Basic Green Roof Planning
1.4.1.1.
Checklist
1.4.1.1.1. Roof substructure
Green Roofs can be realized on different types of roofs. Wooden
constructions, metal sheeting as well as reinforced concrete can be
considered as appropriate roof substructures. The base for the Green
Roof is a waterproof roof construction with appropriate load bearing
capacity. (4)

1.4.1.1.2.

Figure 7, Roof substructure,


IGRA

Waterproofing

Over a period of time roots can damage the waterproofing and roof
construction if there have been no corresponding protection measures
taken. If the waterproofing is not root resistant an additional root
barrier has to be installed. Aside from the roof surface, the upstands,
perimeters, joints and roof edges also have to be protected against root
penetration. (4)

Figure 8, Waterproofing,
IGRA

1.4.1.1.3. Roof parapets, roof penetrations and adjacent


building parts

Figure 9, Roof parapets,


roof penetrations and
adjacent building parts,
IGRA

For Green Roofs, the following upstand and perimeter heights have to be considered:

Upstand height for adjacent building parts and penetrations: minimum of 150
mm (6 in).
Upstand height for roof edges: minimum of 100 mm (4 in).

Important: The upstand height is always measured from the upper surface of the
Green Roof system build up or gravel strip. Clamping profiles guarantee reliable
protection and a tight connection of the upstand areas. In special cases ("Wheelchair
accessible apartments", for example) reduced upstand heights are possible, in this case
special constructions are necessary. Roof penetrations (e.g. water connections,
building parts for the usage of the roof area, etc.), when possible, should be grouped
in order to keep roof penetration to a minimum. (4)

1.4.1.1.4.

Roof slope

Using modern technologies it is possible to install a reliable Green


Roof system build up not only on conventional flat roofs, but also on
saddle roofs, shed roofs and barrel roofs. Special technical precautions
for the mitigation of existing shear forces and erosion are only
necessary for a roof slope over 10. Roofs with a slope of more than
45 are normally not suitable for a Green Roof system build-up. Roofs
with a slope of less than 2% are special roof constructions on which
puddles often develop. In order to avoid Extensive Green Roofs from Figure 10, Roof slope, IGRA
being damaged by water retention, specific arrangements for the roof
drainage are necessary. In contrast, it can be beneficial for Intensive Green Roofs to
design the roof construction without slope to allow for dam up irrigation. (4)

1.4.1.1.5.

Roof construction

a- Roofs without thermal insulation


On roofs without thermal insulation, above non-heated rooms
(e.g. garage roofs, porch roofs, etc.) all types of Green Roof
system build-ups are possible. (4)
b- Roofs with thermal insulation
Depending on the roof construction, specific criteria are to be considered
when planning and installing a roof with thermal insulation. Generally,
the installed thermal insulation must show a sufficient compression
resistance to bear the load of the Green Roof system build-up. (4)
o

Figure 11, Roof


construction, IGRA

Non ventilated roof ("warm roof"): Depending on the design load, different types
of Green Roofs are possible. A high-quality vapour barrier should be emphasised
right from the design or planning stage.
ventilated roof ("cold-roof"): The low load bearing capacity of the upper layer
allows for low weight Green Roof constructions. The cooling effect of the Green Roof
system build-up influences the aeration between the layers of the roof construction.
Inverted Roof: The thermal insulation for inverted roofs is installed above the
waterproofing, and therefore in an area with variable moisture levels. The sheets and

layers used for the Green Roof build-up must not prevent vapour diffusion processes
from the insulation.
DUO roofs: DUO roofs are roof constructions with additional thermal layers which
act as a drainage element and are credited as thermal insulation. This build-up
combines the advantages of the "warm roof" with those of the inverted roof (4)

1.4.1.1.6.

Assumed load

The maximum load bearing capacity of the roof construction


must be considered when installing Green Roof system buildups. Simple Extensive Green Roofs weigh between 60-150
kg/m2 depending on the thickness of the Green Roof system
build-up. On most gravel roofs, once the gravel has been
removed, Extensive Green Roof system build-ups can be
installed without increasing the assumed load. (4)
Trees, bushes and construction elements such as pergolas
and walkways cause high point loads and, therefore, have to be
calculated accordingly. (4)

1.4.1.1.7.

Figure 12, Assumed load,


IGRA

Wind uplift

A Green Roof must be tight to the roof, especially in cases of strong wind. When
designing and installing the Green Roof, safety measures against wind uplift are to be
considered. (4)

1.4.1.1.8.

Roof Drainage

Green Roof systems store a major part of the annual


precipitation and release it to the atmosphere by transpiration.
Depending on the thickness of the Green Roof system build-up
and rain intensity, surplus water may accumulate at certain
times and must be drained off the roof area. The number of
roof outlets and the penetrability factor, or more precisely, the
water retaining capacity of the Green Roof system build-up,
has to be adjusted to the average local precipitation. Roof Figure 13, Roof Drainage,
outlets are to be kept free of substrate and vegetation and have IGRA
to be controllable at all times. For this purpose "inspection
chambers" are installed over the roof outlets. Due to safety precautions, roof areas
with inlayed drainage must always have two drainage outlets or one outlet and one
safety overflow. (4)

1.4.1.1.9.

Irrigation

Simple Extensive Green Roofs with drought resistant plant species have to be
irrigated only during planting and installation maintenance over the first year. After
its establishment, the annual rainfall is sufficient to sustain the vegetation. In contrast,
the requirements are more involved for Intensive Green Roofs with lawn, shrubs,
bushes or trees. An adequate number of precisely dimensioned hoses with automatic
irrigation units make plant maintenance during drought periods more manageable. In

order to lower the consumption of drinking water, roof gardens can also be irrigated
with cistern water. (4)

1.4.1.1.10. Access to the roof


Access to the roof has to be guaranteed throughout the installation
and for annual maintenance and service of the Green Roof. (4)

1.4.1.1.11. Additional functions


Green Roof system build-ups can improve the environmental and
energy balances of the roof:

Figure 14, Access to the


roof, IGRA

Green Roof system-build ups with thermal insulating


properties (according to building approval) can be used for energy saving
purposes.
The combination of Green Roofs and solar power leads to a higher efficiency
of the solar module.
Rainwater run-off from Green Roofs can be stored in cisterns for additional
use. In cases where the water is used within the building, the colouring of the
water, due to the system substrate, has to be taken into account.
Green Roofs can also be applied for various uses if the structural engineering
and the accident prevention measures allow for it. The roofs can be used for
crop growing, recreational gardens, roof cafs or leisure and sporting facilities.
(4)

PART 2: CASE STUDY


2.1. International Case Studies
2.1.1. City Scale: Quantifying air pollution removal by green roofs in
Chicago
2.1.1.1.
Abstract
The level of air pollution removal by green roofs in Chicago was quantified
using a dry deposition model. The result showed that a total of 1675 kg of air
pollutants was removed by 19.8 ha (198,000 sq.m) of green roofs in one year
with O3 accounting for 52% of the total, NO2 (27%), PM10 (14%), and SO2
(7%). The highest level of air pollution removal occurred in May and the lowest
in February. The annual removal per hectare of green roof was 85 kg 1 1.
The amount of pollutants removed would increase to 2046.89 metric ton if all
rooftops in Chicago were covered with intensive green roofs. Although costly,
the installation of green roofs could be justified in the long run if the
environmental benefits were considered. The green roof can be used to
supplement the use of urban trees in air pollution control, especially in situations
where land and public funds are not readily available. (9)

2.1.1.2.

Study Site

This study took place in Chicago, Illinois, which is located along the
southwest shore of Lake Michigan. The total area of the city is 588.3 sq. km.
Chicago is the third most populous city in the U.S with a population of 2.9
million in 2000. According to American Lung Association (ALA 2007), over 2
million people in Chicago were at heightened risk for health problems resulting
from acute exposure to O3 and particulate matters. (9)
Chicago is ranked number one in terms of total area of installed green roofs
among North American cities. According to Taylor (2007), green roofs were
installed on 300 buildings resulting in a total area of 27.87 ha by June 2007. (9)

2.1.1.3.

Survey of green roofs in Chicago

A request for information was submitted to Chicagos Department of


Environment for a list of green roofs resulting in a list of 170 green roofs. Two
steps were taken to verify the list. First, information including the address of the
green roof, type of the green roof, size, and the date it was completed was
gathered from various sources. We then searched the address of each green roof
through an image database hosted by Pictometry International Crop.
Digital aerial photographs covering Chicago were taken by Pictometry
International Corp in July 2006. Because the photographs have a ground
resolution of 16 cm and were taken from multiple angles, the location, size, type
of the green roof, and the type of building could be clearly interpreted.
For each green roof, the area of grass, trees, and other surfaces was measured and
the percentage to the total area was calculated. Pictometry software allows users
to directly measure distances and areas on those georeferenced images. The error
margin of the measurement was estimated to be 1% or smaller (Federal
Emergency Management Agency, 2005). (9)

2.1.1.4.

Removal of air pollutants by green roofs

In this study, a big-leaf resistance model was used to quantify the dry deposition
of air pollutants. The structure of the model and how the input parameters were
fitted are explained below. (9)
The removal of a particular air pollutant at a given place over a certain time
period was calculated as (Nowak, 1994):

Q=FxLxT

(1)

Where Q is the amount of a particular air pollutant removed by certain area of


green roofs in a certain time period (g), F is the pollutant flux ( 2 1), L is
the total area of green roof (2 ), and T is the time period (sec). Table 1 shows
different vegetation types with their average heights.

Hourly air pollution data including NO2, SO2, O3, and PM10 concentration
from an air pollution monitoring station in central Chicago between 8/1/2006 and
7/31/2007 were obtained from the U.S. EPA. Hourly surface meteorology (9)

2.1.1.5. Results
The information about the green roofs is shown in Table 2. Among the 71
green roofs, half had an area larger than 500 m2 and 23 green roofs were larger
than 1000 m2. (9)
Based on the analysis of aerial photographs, the 19.8 ha of green roof
consisted of 63% short grass and other low growing plants, 14% large
herbaceous plants, 11% trees and shrubs, and about 12% various structures and
hard surfaces. The monthly air quality between August 2006 and July 2007 in
Chicago is shown below (Fig. 16).
It can be seen from Fig. 16 that
O3 was the main air pollutant in
Chicago. PM10 ranked second while
the SO2 pollution was low. PM10
and O3 pollution peaked in summer
while SO2 and NO2 peaked in winter. (9)
The monthly mean deposition velocities for air pollutants calculated for
different vegetation types showed a seasonal trend (Table 3). The deposition
velocities for all air pollutants were highest in May and lowest in February. (9)
The modeled monthly uptake of air pollutants by green roofs is shown in
table-3
The total air pollution removal by 19.8
ha of green roofs was 1675 kg between
August 2006 and July 2007. If the reported
27.87 ha of green roofs were all completed
and had the same ratio of extensive vs.
intensive green roofs, the air pollutants
removed could reach 2388 kg. (9)
Among the four air pollutants, the
uptake of O3 was the largest, 52% of the
total uptake followed by NO2 (27%), PM10 Figure 15 Concentrations of criteria air pollutants
(14%), and SO2 (7%). Seasonally, the highest in Chicago between August
uptake occurred in May and the lowest in
February. The annual removal rate among different vegetation types is compared in
Table 4. (9)

If all remaining roofs in Chicago were planted with intensive green roofs, the

direct removal of air pollutants could reach as high as 2046.89 metric tons,
assuming the same level of air pollution as
20062007. (9)

2.1.1.6.

Conclusion
If this case study proved that a total of 1675 kg
of air pollutants were removed by 198,000 sq.m.
extensive and intensive green roofs in one year;
it can be concluded that for a 200 sq.m. green
roof, 1.66 kg of air pollutants can be removed.

2.1.2. Building Scale: Seattle City Hall, Seattle, WA


2.1.2.1.

About the Project

The Seattle City Hall achieved a Gold


LEED rating from the US Green Building
Council. The City Hall building is divided into
two components: Council Chambers and
Mayor/Council/Staff offices.
Seattle contains urban habitat of endangered
wild salmon species, and so innovative stormwater management practices are considered to
Figure 16, City Hall Green Roof
be a component of salmon-friendly design. The
City Hall green roof was designed to decrease combined sewer overflows,
decrease peak flows, and improve storm-water runoff water quality. Another
ecological function of the green roof is the reduction of solar and heat reflection
on the adjacent taller wall of the buildings north portion. (8)

2.1.2.2.

Green Roof Design

The 13,200 sq.ft. roof is planted with 5,600 pots of sedums, including varieties
such as Sedum reflexum and 8,400 pots of fescue and 8,400 pots of June Grass.
The runoff from the roof goes into a 30,000 cubic foot rainwater collection
cistern. This water is then used for toilet flushing and irrigation of other
landscaping. (8)

2.1.2.3.

Green Roof Characteristics


New Roof
13,200 square feet
Extensive
American Hydrotech Inc.
Maintenance only
Fall 2003
Six months
Flat
6 inches
Drought tolerant plants
Yes
50 lbs/sq.ft
$2/sqft

Existing Roof/ New Roof:


Green Roof Area
Green Roof Type
Green Roof System
Accessibility
Installation season
Establishment Period
Slope of existing Roof
Soil Mix/ depth
Plant Type
Irrigation
Structural Load
Cost

2.1.2.4.

Green Roof Cross Section & Details

a) Membrane Base
Hot fluidapplied rubberized asphalt membrane, layer of spun-bounded
polyester fabric reinforcing
sheet, 60 mm thick uncured
neoprene flashing. (8)

b) Root
barrier/
course

protection

A polyethylene sheet, Root Stop


WSF40, was rolled out over the
assembly as a root barrier. Over
the root barrier, STYROFOAM
closed
cell,
extruded
polystyrene was applied to
provide the required thermal
value. (8)

Figure 17(Green Roof Cross Section, King County Roof Case Study
Reports)

c) Rigid Insulation
Extruded polystyrene rigid foam insulation board, compressive strength of
60 psi max., water absorption by volume 0.1%, R-5 per inch and free of
HCFC blowing agents. (8)

d) Water Retention/Drainage Panel


Three-dimensional, 100% recycled polyethylene providing water storage,
drainage, and aeration for soil substrate with non-woven polymeric
geotextile fabric, minimum 0.40 gallons per square foot water
containment. (8)

e) Filter fabric
Systemfilter SF non-woven, polymeric, geotextile fabric (8)

f) Soil mix
The engineered soil mix used for the City Hall garden roof included
pumice, sand, compost and nutrients. (8)

g) Plants used

2.1.2.5.

(8)

Festuca brachyphylla / Pt. Joe Fescue


Koeleria macranthe Barkol / June Grass
Sedum reflexum
Sedum spectabile Frosty Morn
Sedum spurium John Creech
Sedum Vera Jamieson

Irrigation & Maintenance Procedures

The current irrigation schedule is once a week for 45 minutes during summer.
The irrigation system designed for the project landscape was not adequate to
support the plants during the establishment period. This system was later
supplemented with more sprinkler heads for adequate watering of plants.
The water from the green roof goes into a storage tank and is reused for toilet
flushing. Therefore no fertilizers are being used in order to prevent water
contamination.
Because of the large amount of weeds growing on the roof, regular
maintenance is required. The weeds are wind-blown or dropped by birds.
Several weeds such as clover leaf, dandelion and black berries are pervasive on
the roof. This summer 50 to 60% of the roof was covered with leaf clovers.
Clovers can smother other plants causing them to rot and die. (8)

2.1.2.6.

Challenges

a) No operations and maintenance manual exists that describes the


maintenance and irrigation requirements for the roof. (8)
b) The maintenance staff time varies from 12 to 15 hours a week for the
green roof on this project. (8)
c) The intent was to irrigate the roof for just the first year. However, certain
plant types, such as Blue Fescue, require irrigation in the summers or else
they turn brown. These plants spring up again with the rain, however. The
building visitors and users complain about the aesthetics of the roof if the
roof is brown. (8)

d) Access to the roof is through a small room that has a vertical ladder and a
hatch on top that opens onto the roof. It is very difficult for the
maintenance staff to carry tools and weeds through this access. The
gardener had to retrofit a pulley to take things up and down. (8)

e) The project was designed to collect rainwater from the roof and reuse it
for flushing toilets. However, the water from the conventional roof and
the green roof go to a single drain and the water is yellow in color
because of the green roof soil. This discolored water resulted in a lot of
complaints from the building occupants. (8)

PART 3: GUIDELINES AND RECOMMENDATIONS


3.
3.1. Guidelines for local Green Roofs
a) Roof substructure
Reinforced concrete is most widely used in the residential buildings in
Cairo. A check for load bearing capacity is essential before building the
green
roof.
b) Water proofing
water proofing must meet the requirements for the root resistance test or else
an extra root barrier has to be installed
c) Upstand height
Upstand height for adjacent building parts and penetrations: minimum of
150 mm (6 in).
Upstand height for roof edges: minimum of 100 mm (4 in).
d) Roof slope
Slope must not be greater than 10 degrees
e) Assumed loads
Simple extensive green roofs weigh between 60-150 kg/m2. On most gravel
roofs, once the gravel has been removed, Extensive Green Roof can be
installed without increasing the assumed load
f) Roof Drainage
Green Roof systems store a major part of the annual precipitation and
release it to the atmosphere by transpiration. Because Cairo has very low
rain intensity, number of roof outlets doesnt have to be much but an
inspection chamber has to be placed over them for maintenance.
g) Irrigation
Simple Extensive Green Roofs with drought resistant plant species have to
be irrigated only during planting and installation maintenance over the first
year. For Intensive Green Roofs, An adequate number of precisely

dimensioned hoses with automatic irrigation units make plant maintenance


during drought periods more manageable.
h) Fire Prevention
50 cm vegetation free zones at every opening
i) Access to the roof
Access to the roof has to be guaranteed throughout the installation and for
annual maintenance and service of the Green Roof

PART 4: APPLICATION OF THE GUIDELINES ON A


LOCAL CASE
4.1. Local Application (Building Scale)

Figure 19a(Schematic section)

Figure 19b (38, Abdullah Ben Taher St., Nasr City) Google Earth

The selected local application is a residential building located in Nasr City, Cairo with
a roof area of 400 m2 and will be planted with an extensive Green Roof.
Using the above guidelines, the schematic section in figure 19a was drawn for
this application.

4.1.1. Before and After


In figure 20, it can be noticed that many modifications were made to the building
including:
a) The actual building roof was covered by cement tiles which were removed to
reduce the dead load and add the green roof safely.
b) For insurance that the roots will not penetrate the water insulation, an extra
protection board was installed on the concrete slab.
c) Insulation and water drainage layers were installed.
d) Filter Fabric and soil mix which included sand, compost and nutrients.
e) A roof access room was built and an automatic irrigation system for irrigating
the plants for the scarcity of rain in Cairo, short grass, shrubs and small
plantings were planted.

Figure 20(3D rendering for building no. 38 before and after building green roof using 3ds max)

4.2. Local Application (Urban Scale)


Taking Building no.38 as a prototype for Green Roofs in Cairo, the research will try to
repeat this prototype allover a specific land in Nasr City which is red shaded in fig.21.
The area is bordered by Abo
Dawoud Al-Zahery St., Hassan
Mamon St., Mustafa AlNahhas St., and Abbas AlAkkad St.

Figure 22 (3d rendering for Building no. 38, the prototype)

Figure 21(selected Area in Nasr city; 1,300,000 m2)

4.2.1. Before and After

Figure 23 (3d rendering showing the buildings in the selected area before and after creating the Green Roofs)

The total area of the selected land is 1,300,000 m2. If it can be assumed that the
average area of a single building is 500m2, and the number of buildings is 1400
buildings then: 1400x500=700,000 m2
The total area of green roofs can be assumed to be 80% of total roof areas which
can be calculated as: 700,000x0.8= 560,000 m2

4.3.

Conclusion

As it was concluded from Chicago case study, for every 200m2 of green roofs, 1.66
kg of pollutants are removed. The total removal of pollutants can be calculated as:
(560,000/200) x 1.66= 4648kg
This means that 4648kg of pollutants can be removed annually by creating
extensive green roofs all over the selected area in Cairo.

REFERENCES
(1) Dr. Salah Hassanein, Air Pollution in Cairo - The Cost Arab World Books
Articles 11-2010 http://www.arabworldbooks.com/articles1.html
(2) Green Roofs Benefits, International Green Roof Association
11-2010, http://www.igra-world.com/benefits/index.php
(3) Types of Green Roofs, International Green Roof Association
11-2010, http://www.igra-world.com/types_of_green_roofs/index.php
(4) Green Roofs Engineering, International Green Roof Association
11-2010, http://www.igra-world.com/engineering/index.php
(5) Air Pollution, 12-2010,
http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Economics/pollution_problems_in_the_
thir.html
(6) Causes of Air Pollution, 12-2010
http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Environmental_Problems/air_pollution_
-_causes.html
(7) Smog, 12-2010
http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Environmental_Problems/smog.html
(8) Seattle City Hall, 11-2010
http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cms/groups/pan/@pan/@sustainableblding/d
ocuments/web_informational/dpdp_020117.pdf
(9) Removal of air pollutants by green roofs, 12-2010
http://www.slrss.cn/download/08_SCI/Quantifying%20air%20pollution%20r
emoval%20by%20green%20roofs%20in%20Chicago.pdf