INVESTIGATING CRUMB RUBBER AMENDMENTS FOR EXTENSIVE GREEN ROOF SUBSTRATES
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Extensive green roof systems can mitigate urban stormwater by capturing rainfall and reducing runoff volume. Green roof substrates, often made from expanded shales, slates and clays are fundamental for roof hydraulic dynamics, and for providing optimal plant growth conditions. However, these substrates occasionally impose load limitations for retrofitting existing infrastructure. This research studied recycled-tire crumb rubber, as a light-weight material for amending green roof substrates. Zinc release from crumb rubber was quantified, and the interactions with commercial rooflite® substrate and the effect of high Zn concentrations on the growth and uptake by Sedum were studied. Zn was found to leach from crumb rubber in quantities that could negatively affect plant growth; however, Zn was adsorbed onto cation exchange sites of the mineral and/or organic portion of rooflite®, preventing negative growth effects in Sedum. Crumb rubber could be utilized as an amendment with substrates having high cation exchange capacities.