Influence of blue-green roofs on surface temperature and indoor temperature on building scale


Blue-green roofs have been utilized and studied for their enhanced water storage capacity compared to conventional roofs or extensive green roofs. Nonetheless, research about the thermal effect of blue-green roofs is lacking.

The goal of this research is to study the thermal effect of blue-green roofs in order to assess their potential for shielding the indoor environment from outdoor temperature extremes (cold- and heat-waves). In this field study, we examined the differences between blue-green roofs and conventional gravel roofs from the perspective of the roof surface temperatures and the indoor temperatures in the city of Amsterdam for late 20th century buildings. Temperature sensor (iButtons) values indicate that outside surface temperatures for blue-green roofs are lower in summer and fluctuate less during the whole year than temperatures of conventional roofs. Results show that for three warm periods during summer in 2021 surface substrate temperatures peaked on average 5°C higher for gravel roofs than for blue-green roofs. Second, during both warm and cold periods, the temperature inside the water crate layer was more stable than the roof surface temperatures. During a cold period in winter, minimum water crate layer temperatures remained 3.0 o C higher than other outdoor surface temperatures. Finally, also the variation of the indoor temperature fluctuations of locations with and without blue-green roofs have been studied. Locations with blue-green roofs are less sensitive to outside air temperature changes, as daily temperature fluctuations (standard deviations) were systematically lower compared to conventional roofs for both warm and cold periods.

Reference Föllmi, D., Corpel, L., Solcerova, A., & Kluck, J. (2023). Influence of blue-green roofs on surface temperature and indoor temperature on building scale. Nature-Based Solutions, 4, Article 100076.
Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 1 December 2023

Publication date

Dec 2023


Dante Föllmi


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