This study presents efforts to analyze how sustainable roofing technologies can contribute to the energy budget of buildings, and the resulting implications for heating and cooling energy use. The data analyzed in this study were obtained from a field experiment performed on a four story warehouse/office building in Portland, Oregon USA. The building’s roof includes a 216 panel, 45.6 kW solar photovoltaic array in combination with 576 m2 of vegetated green roofing. While most of the surface consists of green roof shaded by photovoltaic panels, the roof also has test patches of dark membrane, white membrane and un-shaded green-roofing. Interior and exterior surface temperatures were monitored over a period of two years and heat flux into the building is estimated using a finite difference conduction model.
On average, the black roof membrane was the only roof that caused a net heat gain into the building in the summer. In the winter, all four roofing technologies resulted in net heat losses out of the building. Both the PV-shaded and un-shaded green-roofs indicated a net heat loss out of the interior of the building during both the summer and winter. This latter effect is largely a result of green-roof evaporative cooling — which can benefit air conditioning demand in summer but may be undesirable during heating-dominated seasons.