Green Roof Takes AMS

After a semester filled with exciting new projects and data analysis, the green roof project group took our findings to the American Meteorological Society Conference in New Orleans.

During the semester, we scanned through multiple data sets to find any interesting topics we can move forward in researching. We monitored the temperature heavily to see the effects that different weather events (rain, cloudy skies, clear skies, etc.) could have on the roof. We eventually settled with a research period between September 24 and October 1, in which there were various weather conditions to examine. Also, during this period, we had a rare opportunity to compare a bare soil plot with no vegetation (Greenroof2) and a plot with full vegetation (Greenroof1). We asked ourselves two questions:

  • How does vegetation affect the temperature of the roof and soil substrate compared to a non-vegetated plot? 
  • How is this effect modulated by clouds and precipitation?

We found that the bare soil plot heats faster and peaks higher than the vegetated plot. At it’s highest, we saw that the bare soil plot had a maximum difference of 3.5°C from the vegetated plot. This difference can be linked to an increase in cooling requirements and energy costs within a building equipped with a green roof system. On sunny days, the bare soil plot heats faster than the vegetated plot, while on cloudy days, the bare soil plot cools quicker. The adapted vegetation on the vegetated plot moderates the temperature more than bare soil, indicating the plants have a moderating influence on rooftop temperature.

As we look toward the future, we want to use these findings to dig deep into how well a green roof can modulate the temperature inside a building. Obviously, the green roof on top of the Langford Architecture Center is too small to really impact the temperature of the building in a large way, it will be interesting to see if there is any temperature change at all within Langford. We are installing and programming flux sensors to gage this proposal.

Follow us for more updates as we make strides in new findings throughout 2016.





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