01 Feb 2017

The most notable development to date in vegetated roofing is the production of the needled mineral hydro blanket – a non-petroleum and formaldehyde-free alternative.

Knauf’s innovative needling manufacturing process provides dimensional stability without use of chemical binders.  The needled hydro blanket is formed by mechanical interconnection of pure mineral fibers.Needled Mineral Hydro Blanket

This process forms a structurally stable, lightweight and porous material with longer fibers that maintains excellent water holding properties. It is consistently hydrophilic, even after various weather cycles throughout the year. Up to 90% of the material retains rainwater. When wet, the majority of the retained water is easily available for the plants uptake.

The water absorption characteristics are not affected over time as nothing rinses away and will remain the same throughout the lifetime of the products.

The Needled Mineral Hydro Blanket is ideal for vegetated roofs, as it:

  • can supplement, or in some cases replace, heavy growing media
  • can act as a water reservoir and support plant health
  • achieves greater LEED credits
  • performs exceptionally and reliably as a rooftop stormwater management tool over the lifespan of the vegetated roof

Needled Mineral Hydro Cubes and Hydro Flocks

hydro cubesThe above needled, binderless, mineral wool also comes in the form of small hydro cubes (about 0.7 cubed) or hydro flocks (0.1-0.7 inch pieces) to mix with traditional growing media.

This is an innovative method of  improveing traditional growing media. Cubes and flocks contribute to better soil structure, water holding capacity and aeration of growing media. The retained rainwater inside the hydro cubes or hydro flocks is easily available for plant uptake, improving plant survivability. Cubes and flocks are specially recommended for patios, terraces and home gardening.

 

01 Dec 2016

Many remember the Eastern United States flooding of June 2006, a widespread flood that affected numerous watersheds and communities from North Carolina to upstate New York, causing millions of dollars in damages and taking 16 lives.

In the Federal Triangle, two metro stations were flooded and several federal buildings such as the National Archives, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice and several Smithsonian museums were forced to temporarily close.

 

In response to severe weather events such as the 2006 flood, District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) prepared and recently released the Climate Ready DC Plan which identifies 77 actions to reduce risks to infrastructure and its citizens. Among other things, the plan aims to make “100% of District waterways fishable and swimmable by 2032″. No small feat.

One goal is to “Relieve pressure on stormwater infrastructure and reduce long-term flood risk” with a target of capturing 75% of rainwater on-site for filtration or reuse. The first on its action list for stormwater management is the creation of two million additional square feet of green roofs by 2032. Such actions will “help prevent runoff from ruining river water quality and destroying plant and animal habitats”.


Mayor Vincent Gray’s ambitious vision is for Washington to become the” healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States”. In achieving these goals, Washington “will be a model of innovative policies and practices that improve quality of life and economic opportunity”.

It is am important and grand plan. Let’s not only wish them luck but let’s work together to make it happen.

Photos credits: Sierra Club