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Buildings and their surroundings under the pressure of ongoing climate change manifested, among other things, by intensifying extreme weather events and responsive legislative measures are increasingly including elements of so-called blue-green infrastructure such as green roofs, rainwater retention and storage facilities consisting of functional layers of natural and man-made soils or substrates. Current practice, particularly in the field of green roofs, involves the use of specialized substrate mixtures with precisely designed hydraulic and chemical properties. Partially replacing these substrates with local or recycled materials in appropriate quantities and arrangements of functional layers can be a way to lower the cost of building green infrastructure, reduce negative environmental impacts and improve the overall performance of the soil system. Such solutions are currently being proposed intuitively. These designs may not be functional in terms of permeability, water retention, water filtration, chemical leaching, or promoting vegetation growth because some of the processes occurring in the soil environment are not entirely intuitive.
The proposed project builds on a previous SGS project undertaken at the proponent's site, which resulted in both peer-reviewed publications and a significant contribution to teaching at the site, with students being given access to state-of-the-art technology and visiting international sites with the opportunity not only to gain important insights for further research, but also to present their own results. Methodologically, the project is based on procedures and knowledge that have been and are being acquired in natural ecosystems, e.g. in experimental mountain catchments.
The aim of the present project is continuity and maintenance of both the quality of teaching of the students, who in their research deal with the blue-green infrastructure of cities and towns, not only in terms of man-made soils, but also natural soils. Emphasis will be placed on the hydrology of subsurface processes and on supporting the research activities of students working on this topic. The research will include laboratory and field tasks, and at the same time analysis of the data obtained, including data from a previously supported project. The observed processes will also be simulated using numerical models. Significant results will be published as articles in peer-reviewed and impacted journals. Partial results will be continuously presented at major conferences both at home and worldwide. The project will support the study and research activities, especially of Master and PhD students. The results will be the content of diploma and dissertation theses.