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Working with Solar Radiation: Four Sustainable Roof Systems (BSS737)

Course Description:

This course is about four different roof-top systems that respond to the challenge of sustainably addressing solar radiation. It begins by describing ways the solar radiation typically affects buildings, and some of the effects this has on their environments. It also reviews three metrics used to describe rooftop performance, the key one being the solar reflectance index (SRI), and explains what they measure. The core of the course is reviews of four roof-top systems that address solar radiation and provide sustainability benefits: cool roofs, green roofs, solar thermal systems, and solar PV systems.

Learning Objectives:

  • Solar radiation absorber, and two broad sustainable design strategies that address solar radiation
  • Describe what the solar reflectance index (SRI) measures, and why it is significant in gauging the sustainability of a roof
  • Describe what a cool roof is and list some of its benefits
  • Describe how three important environmental sustainability programs specify acceptable cool roof performance
  • Describe the two types of green roofing systems, and some of the considerations that inform the green roof design process
  • Describe how solar thermal systems work, and some of the best practices that guide their design and installation
  • Explain how PV systems generate electricity, and some of the basics of electrical systems
  • Describe factors that affect the amount and availability of solar radiation for generating electricity

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