Kenniscentrum faculteit Digitale Media & Creatieve Industrie

What is the thermal effect of 'blue' in blue-green roofs?

A quantitative case study on the insulative effects of blue-green roofs in Amsterdam for the RESILIO Project

Samenvatting (abstract)

Green roofs received increased scientific attention with respect to climate adaptation in urban environments for their hydrological, biodiversity and insulative capacities. Yet, the thermal properties of roofs with an additional water layer underneath the vegetation substrate (blue-green roofs) are not well represented in scientific research.

In this field study, we examined the impact of surface temperatures, indoor temperature and insulative properties of blue-green, green, and conventional gravel/bitumen roofs in the city of Amsterdam for early 20th century buildings. Temperature sensor (IButtons) results indicate that outside surface temperatures of blue-green roofs were more stable than for conventional roofs. For instance, for three warm periods during summer (2021) surface substrate temperatures peaked much higher for gravel roofs (+8 oC) or bitumen roofs (+18 oC) than for blue-green roofs. On top of that, during a cold period in winter average water crate layer temperatures remained 3.0 oC higher and much more stable than substrate temperatures of blue-green roofs and conventional roofs, implicating that the blue layer functions as an extra temperature buffer. The effect of lower daily variation of surface temperatures in winter and summer is also reflected by inside air temperatures. Inside temperatures showed that locations with blue-green roofs are less sensitive to outside air temperatures, as daily temperature fluctuations (standard deviations) were 0.19 and 0.23 oC lower for warm and cold periods, respectively, compared to conventional roofs. This effect seems rather small but comprises a relatively large proportion of the total daily variation of 24% and 64% of warm and cold periods respectively.

Reference Föllmi, D., Corpel, L., Solcerova, A., & Kluck, J. (2022). What is the thermal effect of 'blue' in blue-green roofs? A quantitative case study on the insulative effects of blue-green roofs in Amsterdam for the RESILIO Project. Abstract from EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria.
1 May 2022

Publication date

May 2022

Author(s)

Dante Föllmi
Lisanne Corpel

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