Solar Center Studies Green Roof Energy Savings

A 1600-square-foot “green roof” has been installed on the roof of a new section of the Student Union building on the University of Central Florida (UCF) campus as part of a multi-year research project to study low-impact best management practices. UCF’s Stormwater Management Academy is working to build and monitor the new roof that uses waterproofing and drainage systems that allow a layer of vegetation to grow there. The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) was brought in by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to team with the campus Stormwater Management Academy researchers to study the energy impacts of the green roof. In spite of the fact that FSEC researchers have extensively studied building heat gain through roofs and ceilings, few studies have been done on green roofs. Simulations of the technique have found that the energy savings can range from 1 to 25 percent, depending on the building and the plants and soil used on the roof. FSEC’s tasks will be to provide the energy related monitoring, analysis and reporting for this project.
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