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Influence of plant and soil layer on energy balance and thermal performance of green roof system

He, Yang, Yu, Hang, Ozaki, Akihito, Dong, Nannan, Zheng, Shiling
Energy 2017 v.141 pp. 1285-1299
energy balance, evaporation, evapotranspiration, field experimentation, green roofs, insulating materials, leaf area index, models, shade, soil depth, summer, thermal properties, transpiration, winter, China
This paper aims to make clear the effects of two important parameters, namely thickness of soil layer and leaf area index of plant layer, on green roof energy and thermal performance. Based on a coupled hygrothermal transfer model validated by field experiments in Shanghai area, energy balance of plant and soil layer is analyzed. Then 18 cases are simulated for different combinations of soil thickness and leaf area index, the results show that soil thickness has a significant effect on long term thermal performance of green roof in both summer and winter, while the effect of leaf area index is only great in summer. Compared with the hypothetical case without evaporation and transpiration, it is found that evaporation of soil layer makes a greater contribution in summer but a less one in winter compared with insulation effect of soil layer. For plant layer, shading is the main cooling way of roof deck while transpiration plays a minor role. Finally, based on the simulation results of long-term thermal performance, two new indexes are proposed to evaluate the relative thermal characteristic of green roof. And the influences of soil thickness, leaf area index and evapotranspiration on the two indexes are analyzed respectively.