Zheng Zhang

Zheng’s research focuses on natural ecosystems mimicry to improve green roof performance and ecosystem services, especially hydrological performance.

Green roofs performed as an efficiency and sustainable technology to address the problem resulting from increasing impervious surfaces, especially excess urban heat and stormwater runoff, as well as the losing biodiversity.

Comparing to other technologies, green roofs do not need extra space at ground level and can also provide additional benefits to cities through provision of multiple ecosystem services.

But green roofs are constructed as monocultures for the extreme conditions and climates on the top of buildings, which mean such ecosystem loses the ability to provide services.

I am interested in designing the green roof system, where components are chosen to mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems to provide more diverse and higher performing systems. I aim to answer the following questions:

  1. Can we use ecosystem mimicry to improve green roof performance in stormwater retention and water quality?
  2. Can functional diversity improve green roof performance and resilience?