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Researchers Build Economic, Autoconstruible Green Roofs to Reduce Heat Inside Homes

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH) created economic and autoconstruibles green roofs, which keep the interior of the 17 degrees cooler than the outside homes.

The green roof is a garden that are placed on roofs and represent many advantages, as they are protective against solar radiation, and, as is the wider area of the house exposed to the sun and the roofs of reinforced concrete focus heat, these vegetable covers managed to reduce the temperature 17 degrees inside the house in relation to the outside.

In addition, this roof can replace the waterproofing, preventing an annual expenditure in that area. Besides being aesthetically if given proper care, it helps reduce the phenomenon known as heat islands in the cities, where concrete slabs heat the air. It also slows water runoff, helping to prevent flooding in urban centers and recovers rainwater.

Dr. Gabriel Castañeda Nolasco, professor UNACH and member of the research group called Components and conditions of housing, consisting of five professors of the Faculty of Architecture, said that in collaboration with the Research Program on Climate Change UNAM, the universities of Guadalajara and Sonora, as well as the autonomous of Guerrero, Benito Juarez of Oaxaca, Yucatan and Ciudad Juarez, designed green roofs that cost 13 percent less in relation to commercial.

"In our country, green roofs are very expensive because the materials used come from abroad. On average, the square meter costs 200 thousand pesos, while our design is about 150 pesos”, he said.

Among the contributions of this innovation is a system using recycled PET to trap the roots and prevent them break ceilings. Plastic bottles also serve to raise the substrate (ground) and have the advantage that they are lightweight.

A further advantage of this design is produced in the UNACH it is autoconstruible, which also reduces costs. The institution performs necessary for technology transfer possible training, explained the researcher.

This product, which has a proven track record of at least 14 years durability, can be placed on a concrete slab, which is common in social housing or wooden ceilings. It includes a layer that allows water to flow, a filter that prevents the substrate and topsoil running off.

The researcher explained that also helps in the conservation of local biodiversity, because in a green roof where carpet grass was planted in eight years were 22 different species of endemic plants, so that this innovation can help create a pleasant microclimate , especially in dry areas.

While this innovation is in the process of intellectual property protection, the main interest of this research group is its technology transfer.

Currently, the UNACH, the universities of Guadalajara and Sonora, and Ciudad Juarez Autonomous constituted a National Laboratory for Housing and Sustainable Communities that seeks to contribute to the impact of technological innovation in this sector.

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