HOBO tends government's green roofs
- By John Breeden II
- Nov 27, 2012
To become more environmentally friendly, government buildings, especially at the state level, are adding green roofs to their arsenal of weapons against climate change. A normal roof is a pretty hot place, baked by sunlight and assaulted by weather. A standard roof can cause HVAC units to run harder, sucking in more power, and contribute greatly to the overall heating of cities.
Why not add a well-maintained green space up there to reduce those costs, cool things down a bit, add more oxygen to the urban environment and even some advanced functions like collecting rain water for use in grey water applications?
The problem is that such a verdant environment requires maintenance, especially at first when the rooftop plants are trying to become established. The obvious solution is to hire a hobo to sit up there and monitor things.
Well, OK, not a real hobo. Instead of that, the new HOBO Green Roof Monitoring System from Onset Computer Corp. might be a safer bet. It’s a rugged set of instruments that’s based on a 15-channel system that can monitor everything from temperature, storm water runoff, irrigation scheduling, light intensity, rainfall, soil moisture, relative humidity, wind speed and overall vegetation health.
It provides constant access via the Web to rooftop data through the use of a HOBO U30 GSM-cellular data logger. Data display can be configured for use in dedicated kiosks to facilitate monitoring and ensure that the somewhat large initial investment in a green roof is protected so that it can earn its keep over time.
Onset is a leading supplier of data loggers. The company’s HOBO data logger and weather station products are used around the world in a broad range of applications, including building energy performance monitoring, water resources management, and ecological and agricultural research.
John Breeden II directs the GCN Lab.