SIMULATION-BASED ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF GREEN ROOFS ON THERMAL PERFORMANCE OF BUILDINGS IN A TROPICAL LANDSCAPE
Keywords:Urban Heat Island, Thermal comfort, Kumasi, Urbanization, Climate change
Apart from the ever- increasing population of most tropical urban cities, high ambient temperature, deteriorated comfort conditions, highly polluted environments are but a few of the problems these cities are confronted with. In the long run, increase energy demands both for production and the provision of comfortable spaces becomes necessary even though it’s a very scarce resource. It is widely known that Urban heat island (UHI) can significantly affect building’s thermal performance and as such, this study was conducted to find out how green roof which is a mitigating factor can reduce the thermal discomfort in indoor spaces. By means of dynamic simulation in EnergyPlus software, a numerical comparative analysis between eight scenarios was done in a tropical climate of Ghana, taking into account climatological, thermal, and hydrological variables. Two factors: Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Soil depth were the main determinants of the comparative analysis. From the results, 5 out of the 8 scenarios was seen to all have performed better leading to a 1.5°C temperature reduction. Out of the 5, LAI5/70-150mm and LAI2/500mm suggest that at every point, there could be a reduction in indoor temperature if either LAI is larger or substrate depth is deep. A larger LAI and a deeper depth could also produce a favorable results (LAI5/500mm) though after a certain threshold, their effect weakens. Based on the findings, it is highly recommended that green roofs becomes part of the solution towards the fight against indoor thermal discomfort and not mechanical ventilation which could have a dire consequence on an already scare resource which is energy.
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