A green roof model for building energy simulation programs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

480 Scopus citations


A physically based model of the energy balance of a vegetated rooftop has been developed and integrated into the EnergyPlus building energy simulation program. This green roof module allows the energy modeler to explore green roof design options including growing media thermal properties and depth, and vegetation characteristics such as plant type, height and leaf area index. The model has been tested successfully using observations from a monitored green roof in Florida. A preliminary set of parametric tests has been conducted on prototypical 4000 m2 office buildings in Chicago IL and Houston TX. These tests focus on evaluating the role of growing media depth, irrigation, and vegetation density (leaf area index) on both natural gas and electricity consumption. Building energy consumption was found to vary significantly in response to variations in these parameters. Further, this response depended significantly on building location (climate). Hence, it is evident that the green roof simulation tool presented here can serve a valuable role in informing green roof design decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1466-1478
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Building energy
  • Ecoroof
  • Energy model
  • EnergyPlus
  • Green roof
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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