A comprehensive study of the impact of green roofs on building energy performance

Green roofs have several environmental benefits, such as improving building energy efficiency.  The present paper provides a comprehensive study of the impact of a green roof on building energy performance. A model of green roof thermal behavior was coupled with a building code to allow the evaluation of green roof foliage and soil surface temperatures. Simulations were conducted for a single-family house with conventional and green roofs in a temperate French climate.  In the summer, the fluctuation amplitude of the roof slab temperature was found to be reduced by 30 °C due to the green roof. The heat flux through the roof was also evaluated.  In the summer, the roof passive cooling effect was three times more efficient with the green roof. In the winter, the green roof reduced roof heat losses during cold days; however, it increased these losses during sunny days.  The impact of the green roof on indoor air temperature and cooling and heating demand was analyzed.  With a green roof, the summer indoor air temperature was decreased by 2 °C, and the annual energy demand was reduced by 6%. The present study shows that the thermal impact of green roofs is not functionally proportional to the leaf area index parameter.  It also shows the high dependency of this impact on the roof insulation.  Finally, the simulations suggest that green roofs are thermally beneficial for hot, temperate, and cold European climates.

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Renewable Energy
Volume 43, July 2012, Pages 157–164

Source: Renewable Energy

Publication Date: July 2012

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