First-ever analysis of green roofs' ability to keep buildings warm in winter

A Univerity of Toronto Professor will be presenting his findings on the abilty of green or "living" roofs to offer energy benefits during the cold season. Appropriately, his poster session will debute at the Toronto Design Exchange, featured in the "Design for Cold" exhibition. Professor Brad Bass' work is a vital element of spreading Green Building concepts. Because Green Building designs were pioneered in warm temperate zones, work like this is essential not only to validate performance merits in different settings but also to avoid getting arrows in our backs. The specializing-in-climate-change-denial Think Tanks are doubtless ready to draw their bows at whichever high profile green building project can be first claimed as a "failure", blaming TreeHuggers for idealogical over-reach. Key excerpts from the Univerity of Toronto press release follow:

"Everyone studies how green roofs operate in warm conditions," says Brad Bass of the U of T Centre for Environment. "No one else has looked at winter design." Bass analyzed a test roof built in Ottawa by Karen Liu of the National Research Council's Institute for Research in Construction, to offer the first conclusive data that winter green roofs can help reduce heat loss and energy consumption during cold months..."

"The winter green roof uses evergreens — juniper shrubs — and a thicker soil base than typical leafy green roofs, which generally provide passive benefits to the environment by reducing the need for air conditioning on hot days. The winter roof was installed on both a standard test house and an energy-efficient winterized house. Bass used environmental systems performance software to chart the indoor temperature fluctuations in both buildings".

"The results for the winterized house were good, and the results for the regular house were dramatic," says Bass. "The assessment opens up designers to considering winter roofs as part of a year-round energy efficiency strategy."...

Tip of the stocking hat to Professor Brad and his team, eh!