Project Title: Feasibility and Practicality of Green Roof for Stormwater Management in Malaysia

Funder: Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI) under Science Grant


Duration: Nov 2014 – April 2017




Researchers :





The main objectives of this study are:

  1. To investigate the feasibility and practicality of green roof under high intensity rainfall (50mm/h -100mm/h)

  2. To assess runoff water quantity and quality from green roof

  3. To investigate the composition of the vegetation that influences green roof performance



Malaysia, as a tropical climate country, receives 3500mm of rainfall yearly and have a large area of tropical rainforest which acts as water catchment area. However, Malaysia is facing major stormwater problems like flash flood, water shortage and water pollution due to rapid urbanisation, increasing population, agriculture activities, deforestation and other activities involving of land use changes. Year by year the problems is getting worse and seriously threaten Malaysia’s water security due to decreasing quality of water resources consequently the availability of water is depleted. Thus holistic methods need to be applied. Conventional method in stormwater management like using concrete drain in new development area cannot fulfill the expectation in controlling the volume and quality of runoff water. Rapid disposal will cause flash flood in the downstream area and flooding will also carry the pollutants to the nearest water bodies.


Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Malaysia (DID) launched an Urban Stormwater Manual of Malaysia (MSMA) in 2001 and the second edition of MSMA was launched in August 2012. This manual promote the application of Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) facilities like bioretention, swale, wetland and etc. Green roof is one of the SUDS facilities. However, it is not included in the latest MSMA. There is no legislation or rule provided for the green roof construction. Green roof when used together with other SUDS or BMPs facilities will intercept rainwater that can reach to the ground and consequently control the volume of rainwater on the ground. Besides, rain water quality also can be improved.


Green roof provides numerous benefits such as attenuating stormwater runoff which lowers risks of urban floods and improving the urban water balance, acting as noise buffer and reduce air pollution. Green roof also creates new habitat for wildlife and biodiversity enhancement and reduce microclimate for the area. These have been demonstrated in research projects in oversea. However, the implementation of green roof in Malaysia under high intensity rainfall has not been studied. It is believe that implementation of green roof in stormwater management would help in securing Malaysian water availability and demand and reduce the possibility of flash flood.


Physical model of green roof and rainfall simulator will be constructed in order to gain data. Results gained from the study will provide important data to be referred in the guidelines for the related or relevant agencies in order to implement the green roof in their developing areas.



Kalanchoe pinata

Arachis pintoi

Zoysia matrella

Vegetation use in the study



Cell test and simulation of rainfall



Construction of car park with green roof