Influence of temperature and moisture content on thermal performance of green roof media




Shao, Bohan

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Numerical estimates of the ability of a green roof to reduce energy consumption in buildings are plagued by a lack of accuracy in thermal properties that are input to the model. An experimental study into the thermal conductivity at different temperatures and moisture contents was performed using four different commercially available substrates for green roofs. In the unfrozen state, as moisture content increased, thermal conductivity increased linearly. In the phase transition zone between +5 ºC and -10ºC, as temperature decreased, thermal conductivity increased sharply during the transition from water to ice. When the substrate was frozen, thermal conductivity varied exponentially with substrate moisture content prior to freezing. Power functions were found between thermal conductivity and temperature (when shifted up by +10.001ºC). Two equally sized, green roof test cells were constructed and tested to compare various roof configurations including a bare roof, varying media thickness for a green roof, and vegetation. The results show that compared with the bare roof, there is a 75% reduction in the interior temperature amplitude for the green roof with 150mm thick substrate. When a sedum mat was added, there’s a 20% reduction in the amplitude of the inner temperature as compared with the cell without sedum mat.



Green roof, Thermal conductivity, Moisture content, Heat flow meter, Thermal performance, Frozen soils