Monday, November 29, 2010

Green Roofs at Mississippi State

This is my thesis research. I built these structures or “cubes” as I like to refer to them, in order to test temperature differences in buildings with and without green roofs. I wanted to keep the buildings small for several reasons: the first is cost, obviously, and then build time, and finally available space and resources.

all six roof systems
The cubes ended up being around three feet tall, by three feet wide on all sides. All six sides of the cube were insulated to regulate temperatures as much as possible. An access door was made to place and monitor the data recording instruments (data loggers).

Green roofs were built by Rob, another grad student, for a separate research project. The depth of the roofs on top of my cubes is around eight inches of growing media. The plants that were chosen were four different varieties of Sedums. Each was picked for its growth hardiness.  

data logger

A data logger was placed inside and on top of each structure, with one being tied to a pole around six feet up to record the air temperature. Data loggers were set to record every thirty seconds. At this interval the battery should have a life span of 11 months before needing to be replaced. This will hopefully be just enough time for me to collect data for almost six months, write my thesis and graduate.

Initial, results from the data loggers show reduced day time and warmer night time temperatures inside the building with green roofs. The maximum temperature difference was six degree Fahrenheit. This could translate to a reduction in energy costs.   

traditional roof for control

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