Green Roof Monitoring

In order to verify that a green roof is providing the benefits to justify the investment, it’s important to monitor performance. For building projects participating in the LEED® Green Building Rating System, documentation of green roof performance is a requirement.

Onset offers a wide range of products for green roof monitoring, including our 15-channel, web-based HOBO Green Roof Monitoring System, which measures a range of parameters, to standalone temperature loggers and data logging rain gauges. Our products can be used in a variety of green roof monitoring applications, including:


During the preliminary design process, it’s prudent to collect environmental data in order to choose the best green roof design suited to the site. Rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and solar radiation all change seasonally, and can be affected by surrounding buildings and structures.

Stormwater Management

In order to verify that a green roof is helping to reduce the amount of stormwater released from a roof from a given rainfall event, it’s important to measure how much rain has fallen and how much has left the roof via downspouts and drains. In a green roof system, the roof runoff is equivalent to the total rainfall volume minus evapotranspiration and soil retention.

Heat Island Effect Mitigation

It is easiest to monitor the before-and-after heat island effects of green roofs on renovated roofs. Onset HOBO Weather Stations and surface temperature sensors to monitor pre-renovation roof temperature over time at several points on and above the roof.

Maintenance of Plantings

Whether a green roof is extensive, with low-growing succulent ground cover, or intensive, with shrubs and diverse, lush vegetation, you can better maintain healthy plant cover if you have ongoing, reliable conditions data. HOBO data loggers and weather stations can monitor soil moisture and rainfall, thus helping to make irrigation decisions, and a station with relay outputs can be used to automatically control an irrigation system.

Offset of Interior Heating and Cooling Costs

A green roof acts as insulation from the sun and wind, and during the growing season provides substantial evaporative cooling. The combination of added insulation and evaporative cooling can reduce a building’s interior heating and cooling requirements. In the case of a renovation, you can compare the before-and-after effects by deploying a HOBO Green Roof Monitoring System on the roof and indoor temperature loggers in the building’s top floor for a period of time before construction.