Ecologically Inspired Design of Green Roof Retrofit
Schumann, Laura Marie
Tilley, David R
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Green roofs are becoming popular in the United States for their runoff and energy reduction abilities. However, current designs have high installation costs, heavy load-bearing requirements, and restrictions to low-sloped roofs. We designed a novel retrofit technology, the green cloak, which uses fast-growing vine species and a trellis to suspend vegetation above a roof. We conducted field experiments, prototype testing, and mathematical modeling to determine the effect of the green cloak on stormwater runoff and indoor summertime building temperature reduction. We assessed energy and monetary cost-benefits. The green cloak reduced July indoor building temperature by 11.3°C which saved 73% of cooling energy costs. The green cloak delayed the peak storm runoff from a 0.15mm/min storm by 100 minutes. The green cloak costs 38% less than a green roof. The green cloak demonstrated great potential for mitigating runoff impacts of impervious surfaces, reducing summer temperatures of buildings, and creating urban greenery.