Green Roof Fall 2014

Howdy!

It was a rather productive semester for our Green Roof and Living Wall team.

The goals for this semester were to maintain, upkeep and improve the Green Roof, get all of the sensors operational again, and implement the new sensors to replace the old, dysfunctional ones.

To start off the semester the living plants and weeds were counted, and then the weeds were pulled. Then Instructor Jose Franco figured out which modules thrived the best, and we helped consolidate them into the first plot.

All of the non thriving plant modules were placed onto the second plot, and all of the plants were removed. Next, the soil was cultivated in preparation for planting. To do this, fertilizer and more soil were added to the modules, and a large variation of winter vegetables, fruits, and herbs were planted. The purpose of growing these types of plants for the first time on the green roof was to monitor how well they would survive. In an attempt to receive the highest yield and best results possible,  plants were removed where too many were sprouting and more were planted in places where seeds did not sprout. Strawberries and some other plants were also planted in one of the Living Walls to see if they could thrive.

The next step was to diagnose the condition of all the current sensors. To help with this, the sensors and their wires were labeled individually. Also, the terminal wire housing was concealed in a new water-proof terminal box to prevent the penetration of moisture, which can damage the wiring and corrupt the sensors.  This was to prevent last year’s problem of sensor damage due to a faulty terminal box.

The newly labeled sensors were wired up in the terminal box. To assure proper wiring, voltmeters were used to check for proper voltage and current. The next step was to implement the new sensors into the code. Each sensor needed to be assigned a unique name that it could be called by in the code. To do this, a Pro-checker was used.  The assigned names were then called in the code and verified by checking that the data showed up on the spreadsheet.

To summarize this semester for Green Roof, we set out with two primary goals: 1) to maintain, upkeep, and improve the Green Roof, 2) implement the new sensors to replace the old, dysfunctional ones.

As described in this blog, we were successful in both of the goals and look forward to completing more tasks in the future.

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