First Advisor

Graig Spolek

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Materials Engineering




Temperature measurements, Green roofs (Gardening), Heat -- Transmission -- Effect of temperature on, Buildings -- Thermal properties -- Measurement



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 55 pages)


Green roofs can be an effective and appealing way to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by providing active insulation. As plants in the green roof transpire, there is a reduction in heat flux that is conducted through the green roof. The R-value, or thermal resistance, of a green roof is an effective measurement of thermal performance because it can be easily included in building energy calculations applicable to many different buildings and situations. The purpose of this study was to determine if an increase in ambient temperature would cause an increase in the R-value of green roofs. Test trays containing green roof materials were tested in a low speed wind tunnel equipped to determine the R-value of the trays. Three different plant species were tested in this study, ryegrass (Lolium perenne), sedum (Sedum hispanicum), and vinca (Vinca minor). For each test in this study the relative humidity was maintained at 45% and the soil was saturated with water. The trays were tested at four different ambient temperatures, ranging from room temperature to 120ºF. The resulting R-values for sedum ranged from 1.37 to 3.28 ft²h°F/BTU, for ryegrass the R-values ranged from 2.15 to 3.62 ft²h°F/BTU, and for vinca the R-values ranged from 3.15 to 5.19 ft²h°F/BTU. The average R-value for all the tests in this study was 3.20 ft²h°F/BTU. The results showed an increase in R-value with increasing temperature. Applying an ANOVA analysis to the data, the relationship between temperature and R-value for all three plant species was found to be statistically significant.


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