Dr Chloe Molineux
After completing her PhD in green roofs at Royal Holloway University of London in 2010, Chloe joined UEL to work with the SRI setting up a testing facility for green roof soils. Since 2011, Chloe has worked on the EU FP7 project TURAS and a Cradle to Cradle project (C2C), where she investigated: the use/production of recycled aggregates in green roof substrates (engineered soils), green roof biodiversity and substrate/soil microbial communities. In 2015 she began work on a new InnovateUK/EPSRC project focusing on the development of an automated Building Asset Risk Management (BARM) application, using electrical power quality data in UEL's Sports Dock building, for predictive maintenance.
University of East London
London, E16 2RD
Green roofs (rooftops that have plants growing on them) are becoming an important part of the urban landscape. They provide important benefits to cities such as; insulating buildings, i.e. keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter; reducing the pressure on drainage systems during heavy rainfall events by holding water within the soils; playing a role in absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and providing excellent habitat for many plants, invertebrates and birds. They are constructed with an engineered ‘soil’ that largely consists of inorganic aggregate (such as crushed brick) and a small amount of compost for nutrients. These ‘soils’ are known as substrates and must meet certain standards so that they are environmentally safe and suitable for plant growth. Therefore the testing facility Chloe helped implement here at UEL is an important consultancy service that can be used by industry and supports active research in the SRI.
Chloe has also helped secure two new PhD students (Bamdad Ayati and Muhammad Umar Khalid) who are looking at lightweight aggregate production from waste materials and she is interested in their potential use for green roof substrates. She is also keen to promote collaborations with other academic institutions and industrial partners for external projects and is currently working on some large Research Council funding bids.
Other research highlights include the re-greening of the Docklands campus halls of residence green roofs with different soil amendments. These roofs were constructed several years ago and have not established much of a plant community. The aim of the experiment is to try to ‘green up’ the roofs with small amounts of extra substrate, some green bin waste (hedge trimmings, grass cuttings etc.) and by adding some soil microbes to promote a healthier soil for the plants to grow in.
Our new project BARM - Building Asset Risk Management - is funded by Innovate’s Building Whole Life Performance Competition (https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/building-whole-life-performance) and is a collaboration between Argand Solutions (www.argandsolutions.com) and the SRI at the University of East London (www.uel.ac.uk/SRI).
The competition’s specific themes that this project aims to solve were (i) improving a building’s whole-life performance and (ii) providing evidence of whole-life performance. As such, the project focus is to develop an automated BARM application, delivered in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS), that uses electrical power quality data to pre-emptively highlight and enable the focused mitigation of building asset lifetime risks without the need for additional capital spend in metering hardware. The Sports Dock, at UEL's Docklands campus, offers an ideal test site to pilot this project as it a multi-use building with a dynamic range of demands; combining £21 million worth of sporting facilities, teaching space and office space.
Dr Heather Rumble University of Portsmouth
Prof Alan Gange Royal Holloway, University of London
Molineux, C.J & D. J. Newport (2016). Using soil microbial inoculations to enhance extensive, biodiverse green roofs. International SEEDS Conference 2016: Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society, Leeds Beckett University 14-15 September 2-16. Conference proceedings, in press.
Molineux, C., Newport, D., Ayati, B., Connop, S., Wang, C. and Green, J. (2016) Bauxite residue (Red mud) as a pulverised fuel ash substitute in the manufacture of lightweight aggregate. Journal of Cleaner Production 112 (1), Pages 401–408.
Molineux, C.J., Gange, A.C., Connop, S.P. and Newport, D.J. (2015a) Are microbial communities in green roof substrates comparable to those in post-industrial sites?—a preliminary study. Urban Ecosystems, 10.1007/s11252-015-0450-z.
Molineux, C.J., Gange, A.C., Connop, S.J. & Newport, D. (2015b). Using recycled aggregates in green roof substrates for plant diversity. Ecological Engineering 82, 596-604.
Molineux, C. J., Connop, C. P. & Gange, A. C. (2014). Manipulating soil microbial communities in green roof substrates. Science of the Total Environment. 493: 632 – 638.
Molineux, C.J (2010). Development of suitable growing media for effective green roofs. Royal Holloway University, Egham.
Molineux, C. J., Fentiman, C. H. & Gange, A. C. (2009). Characterising alternative recycled waste materials for use as green roof growing media in the U.K. Ecological Engineering 35 (10): 1507-1513.
EU FP7 project TURAS