Use of rubber crumbs as drainage layer in green roofs as potential energy improvement material
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Today, green roofs are a building system which provides interesting benefits over traditional roof solutions. The most important advantages are the reduction of surface runoff in cities, improvement of the urban climate, biodiversity support, improvement of the durability of roofing materials, and, especially, energy savings. This paper has the aim of studying the performance of green roofs as a passive system for energy savings, within a wider objective of seeking constructive solutions suitable for sustainable and environmentally friendly architecture. This idea is tested at an experimental installation available at the University of Lleida, with several cubicles testing the energy performance of different construction solutions. This work raises the possibility of using recycled rubber from tires as a drainage layer in green roofs, substituting the porous stone materials currently used (such as expanded clay, expanded shale, pumice, and natural puzolana). This solution would reduce the consumption of these natural materials, which also require large amounts of energy in its transformation process to obtain their properties. Moreover it would provide a solution to the problem of waste rubber from the tires, known as rubber crumbs. Since the purpose of the drainage layer is the optimum balance between air and water in the green roof system, first the ability for draining of recycled rubber granules was studied and was compared with the offered by stone materials. The new solution using rubber crumbs is also studied to test if it would keep the same insulating properties that the green roof with stone materials presented in previous studies. Early results show that this extensive green roof system can be a good passive energy savings tool in Continental Mediterranean climate in summer, and that rubber crumbs can be an interesting substitute for stone materials used as drainage layer in this type of green roofs.