Thursday, October 21, 2010

Green Roofs, Florida and Hurricane Wind Force Testing

Green roofs in Florida must be designed to withstand tropical storms and hurricane force winds.

Hurricane winds speeds can easily reach 130 mph.

Loose edges or other exposed corners, trays on a Florida green roof can be grabbed by the winds and flung across and off the building.

The photo below depicts the hurricane simulator at the University of Florida.  The system will be conducting a hurricane simulation test on a MetroVerde green roof panel.

Hurricane Simulator at UF - Testing MetroVerde Green Roof Panel

The tested panel is a mat based system.

We will be posting results soon.

As always, feel free to email us with your Green Roof or Green Roof Design questions.

Happy Green Roofing!



Unknown said...

Mr. Songer:

I would be very interested in the wind uplift simulation test results.

This has been a bit of a "mystery" to designers, and certainly to permitting jurisdictions. Your commitment to the long, and circuitous route for FM and Miami-Dade approvals is rather miraculous.

If results are favorable, it would provide benefit to Florida (and beyond) homeowners who seek environmental (and LEED compliant) solutions to common asphalt shingles which creat large areas of "Heat Island Effect", raising temperatures, and retaining that heat well into the evening.

The general population is (in my opinion) being duped into thinking white shingle roofs are "cool roofs", when in fact, they CREATE demand for energy as they regularly reach temperatures 100 degrees higher than ambient temperature, where vegetative systems remain constant, and even offer a measure of insulating value.

So, you would effedctively be lowering the roof surface temperature, and creating far less stress on attic insulation.

Many of the older homes in Florida can structurally support the vegetative systems, and hopefully you will successfully retain mat integrity and root system from wind tunnel testing.

And you are right about tray systems becoming airborne. I'm guessing the impact of a vegetative tray at 90 mph would be significant.

I would like to volunteer my time and resources in an attempt to help see this through.

Robert R. Solomon

Unknown said...

I commend your research efforts. I have a plastic tray system that locks together, and I would be very interested in seeing how it stands up to 130 mph winds! Living on the east coast, that is always the first or second question I get from everyone. I would love the chance to come down and test my system, so in the case it doesn't hold up, we can find a solution. The research and results that your producing is helping the entire green roof community, and I'd like to thank you for that.

Michael Whitfield
Green Roof Outfitters