(This is Part 2 of a two-part blog series on Green Roofs. Read Part 1 here.)

Green roofs are coming to a city near you! (It’s the law…)


American cities are jumping on the green roof bandwagon, passing into law ways to increase sustainability, become ‘greener’ and combat climate change. How are they doing this? Well, one way is by changing the cityscape from black to green from the top down; green roofs.

New York City is the most recent of American cities to sign into law, through the Climate Mobilization Act, that all new buildings or buildings undergoing renovation on their roofs, will need to implement a green roof.

There are some exceptions for rent-controlled buildings, smaller buildings etc. but for the most part, this will be a pretty significant change for the skylines of these metro areas; and where it concerns the environment, it should be for the better.

In 2017, Denver put into law that most larger new buildings constructed— and some existing ones, when their roofs are replaced — include rooftop gardens, potentially in combination with solar panels. The law has recently expanded to include ‘cool roofs’, but the sentiment is the same, developers need to think of rooftops sustainably.

STUDY: Are White Roofs Cooler and More Energy Efficient than Non-white Roofs?








Take Action, Measure Results

Implementing green roofs is a great, but in order to optimize efforts and prove green roof effects, the effort should be measured. How to do this? With a weather station of course! There is an ongoing need for weather stations on green roofs to optimize their design, manage irrigation, and prove green sustainability efforts for companies to show how they are going green.

Some Related Q & A:

1) In NYC; who is required to install a green roof?

All new residential and commercial buildings and those undergoing renovation that concerns their roof.

2) What cities have the most green roof implementations?



As of 2017, the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities organization says that Washington D.C., Newark, NJ, and New York City hold the top three spots for most green roofs in the city.

3) What are the benefits to having a green roof?

There are three main ways that a green roof can make a difference to your building an the greater environment:

  1. Mitigate stormwater runoff
  2. Reduce the urban heat island effect
  3. Offset interior heating and cooling costs

















You can read more about the benefits to a green roof in part 1 of this green roof series; ‘One Roof, Two Roof, Black Roof, Green Roof’.

4) How do you know that a green roof is making any difference to the environment?

So, you install a green roof, (either you have to by law, or you choose to), how do you know it’s making any difference? In this instance, the proof ins’t ‘in the pudding’ but via a data logging weather station, which is perfect for documenting green roof performance.

A weather station can measure rainfall, stormwater runoff, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and a host of non-weather parameters (such as soil moisture) on a continuous basis.

5) What is an optimal set up for a green roof weather station?

You’d first want a base to fix all your sensors on, so a tripod or mast. Then a data logging weather station (make sure it fits your communication needs, whether it be cellular, Wi-Fi or Ethernet). You may also want a solar panel for additional power.

And finally, the sensors for the parameters you want to measure. We’d recommend the below:

  • rain gauge
  • soil moisture
  • soil temperature
  • solar radiation + shield
  • air temperature/humidity
  • wind speed and direction

Click here to check out the Onset green roof monitoring system.

Still skeptical? Well then check out these green roofs applications using HOBO weather stations and data loggers:

Do you have a green roof implementation that you’d like to share with us? Email us at social@onsetcomp.com and tell us- you might be the focus of an upcoming blog post.







Pssst! This post is Part 2 of a two-part blog series on Green Roofs. You can check out Part 1 here: 'One Roof, Two Roof, Black Roof, Green Roof'.

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