Quantifying the Benefits and Ecosystem Services Provided by Green Roofs: A Review

Cuong Ngoc Nguyen, Nitin Muttil (Corresponding Author), Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq, Anne W. M. Ng (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    103 Downloads (Pure)


    Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) has been widely used in cities to mitigate the negative consequences of urbanization and climate change. One of the WSUD strategies that is becoming popular is green roofs (GR) which offer a wide range of ecosystem services. Research on this WSUD strategy has been continuously increasing in terms of both quantity and quality. This paper presents a comprehensive review quantifying the benefits of GRs in papers published since 2010. More precisely, this review aims to provide up-to-date information about each GR benefit and how they have improved over the last decade. In agreement with previous reviews, extensive GRs were considerably researched, as compared to very limited studies on intensive and semi-intensive GRs. Each GR ecosystem service was specifically quantified, and an imbalance of GR research focus was identified, wherein urban heat-and runoff-related benefits were outstandingly popular when compared to other benefits. The results also highlight the recent introduction of hybrid GRs, which demonstrated improvements in GR performance. Furthermore, limitations of GRs, obstacles to their uptake, and inconsistent research findings were also identified in this review. Accordingly, opportunities for future research were pointed out in this review. This paper also recommends future studies to improve upon well-known GR benefits by exploring and applying more innovative GR construction techniques and materials. At the same time, further studies need to be undertaken on inadequately studied GR benefits, such as reduced noise and air pollution. In spite of the existence of reliable modelling tools, their application to study the effects of large-scale implementations of GRs has been restricted. Insufficient information from such research is likely to restrict large-scale implementations of GRs. As a result, further studies are required to transform the GR concept into one of the widely accepted and implemented WSUD strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number68
    Pages (from-to)1-37
    Number of pages37
    JournalWater: an open access journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

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