Weather effect on thermal and energy performance of an extensive tropical green roof

Chi Yung JIM, Lilliana L.H. PENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the weather effect on thermal performance of a retrofitted extensive green roof on a railway station in humid-subtropical Hong Kong. Absolute and relative (reduction magnitude) ambient and surface temperatures recorded for two years were compared amongst antecedent bare roof, green roof, and control bare roof. The impacts of solar radiation, relative humidity, soil moisture and wind speed were explored. The holistic green-roof effect reduced daily maximum tile surface temperature by 5.2°C and air temperature at 10cm height by 0.7°C, with no significant effect at 160cm. Green-roof passive cooling was enhanced by high solar radiation and low relative humidity typical of sunny summer days. High soil moisture supplemented by irrigation lowered air and vegetation surface temperature, and dampened diurnal temperature fluctuations. High wind speed increased evapotranspiration cooling of green roof, but concurrently cooled bare roof. Heat flux through green roof was also weather-dependent, with less heat gain and more heat loss on sunny days, but notable decline in both attributes on cloudy days. On rainy days, green roof assumed the energy conservation role with slight increase instead of reduction in cooling load. Daily cooling load was 0.9kWhm -2 and 0.57kWhm -2, respectively for sunny and cloudy summer days, with negligible effect on rainy days. The 484m 2 green roof brought potential air-conditioning energy saving of 2.80×10 4kWh each summer, equivalent to electricity tariff saving of HK$2.56×10 4 and upstream avoidance of CO 2 emission of 27.02t at the power plant. The long-term environmental and energy benefits could justify the cost of green roof installation on public buildings. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Jim, C. Y., & Peng, L. L. H. (2012). Weather effect on thermal and energy performance of an extensive tropical green roof. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 11(1), 73-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ufug.2011.10.001


  • Cooling load
  • Energy conservation
  • Extensive green roof
  • Heat flux
  • Passive cooling
  • Thermal performance


Dive into the research topics of 'Weather effect on thermal and energy performance of an extensive tropical green roof'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.