Saturday, April 12, 2014

Houston Greenroof

Read more here about this relatively new roof on the Johnson Space Center.  Environmental data being collected  are reported every 1 minute and the average logged every 5 minutes; soil temperature and moisture data (Echo-TM, Decagon Devices, Inc.) are collected on a 15-minute basis along drainage transects on each roof.  Data are transmitted via EM50G nodes every six hours to a cloud server (Decagon Devices, Inc.); data are downloaded and imported from the internet at the University of Maryland in College Park (UMCP). 
Greenroof researchers Portland State University (PSU) and UMCP are analyzing the data from the Texas roof as well as similar data sets from locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Oregon. A major goal of this work is to determine whether the mechanistic model these researchers developed to predict greenroof performance is robust across different climates. The Houston roof will be an especially interesting case study because of the anticipated high wind speeds there as well as the summer heat. As the researchers work to refine their models, they will be able to make predictions about how things like roof design features and irrigation scheduling can be fine-tuned in order to optimize greenroof benefits associated with stormwater management, energy efficiency, and possibly even wildlife habitat.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Portland State Greenroof Research

So there are many links that belong here pertaining to the subject of greenroof research at PSU, but I'll add those in a later post.
First, let me document some recent visits to some projects on campus, which I now consider current or future pilot sites:
On the SRTC, a study by David Sailor and Todd Rosenstiel about the interaction between greenroofs and photovoltaics (GRiPV)

We have already begun to repurpose some of these modules for a pilot investigating the potential of "urban epiphyte communities" as greenroof plants (ie mosses, liverworts, lichens? etc)

One more recent trip was to a site on top of Cramer Hall where the engineers without borders group has installed several very large modules with different planting depths and materials. It remains to be seen whether useful data can be gleaned from these sites due to some problems with the experimental design. Still, we are considering re-purposing these roofs for a study on greenroofs as habitat....

Monday, October 14, 2013

noble rot

Last night I did some rooftop agriculture "research" at a place called Noble Rot. Of course I had to sample the menu as well... 

I've moved!

I'm an asst. prof at portland state university now! I hold quite a unique position that entails both teaching very specialized courses as part of the urban honors program, mentoring undergraduate research projects, and continuing my studies on green roofs and urban ecology.  More info about the program can be found here:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Green roof temperature

This summer, Paul Ellis, of Montgomery Blair HS will be measuring the temperature above the experimental roofs at UMD in order to determine how different roof treatments might affect the air entering hvac systems and thus the energy demands of these systems...
Here he is installing several temperature sensors at different heights above a platform planted in S. kamtschaticum:

More UMD research

Here's a view of an experiment comparing solar panel function with and without green roof supplementation... ala Scott Tjaden et al.