Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Bioretention devices

Kawakawa’s Hundertwasser extensive greenroof

Kawakawa’s Hundertwasser extensive greenroof

Bioretention devices include raingardens, swales, filter strips and greenroofs; all use plants and substrate to detain and filter stormwater to reduce the impacts on lakes and streams of excessive runoff from roads, roofs and paved surfaces,and provide opportunities for enhancing natural landscape and biodiversity elements in the urban environment.

Additional benefits of greenroofs include noise and energy insulation.Our research focuses on optimising the design, construction and performance of bioretention devices in New Zealand. We have a particular focus on raingardens and greenroofs. Elements of the work include testing alternative substrates, plants and mulches; evaluating design and construction techniques; and monitoring their hydrological and hydrochemical performance. The latter is largely done in situ through partnerships with property owners and local authorities.


  • Trowsdale SA, Simcock R 2011. Urban stormwater treatment using bioretention. Journal of hydrology 397(3-4): 167-174.
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