Thermal assessment of extensive green roofs as passive tool for energy savings in buildings
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Sustainability trends for buildings require new construction systems to foster energy efficiency and environmentally friendly buildings. Green roofs are interesting construction systems because they provide both aesthetic and environmental benefits. This paper continues a long-term research in order to evaluate and improve the thermal behaviour and sustainability of extensive green roofs. Simultaneously this research provides experimental data for specific Mediterranean continental climate conditions. The experiment consists in evaluating the energy consumption and thermal behaviour of three identical house-like cubicles located in Puigverd de Lleida (Spain), where the only difference is the roof construction system. The roof consists of a conventional flat roof with insulation in the reference case, while in the other two cubicles the insulation layer has been replaced by a 9 cm depth extensive green roof (comparing recycled rubber crumbs and pozzolana as drainage layer materials). The electrical energy consumption of a heat pump system was measured for each cubicle during 2012 and part of 2013. Both extensive green roof cubicles show less energy consumption (16.7% and 2.2%, respectively) than the reference one during warm periods, whereas both extensive green roof systems present a higher energy consumption (6.1% and 11.1%, respectively) compared to the reference cubicle during heating periods.