Performance analysis of a simple roof cooling system with irrigated soil and two shading alternatives

David Pearlmutter, Sigal Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The use of passive cooling on roofs holds a significant unfulfilled potential in hot-arid regions. In this study, the contribution of a watered soil with two types of shading for roof cooling was assessed. Two test cells of approximately 4 m2 in area and 2.5 m high were monitored during the summer season. Both cells were covered with a 16-cm layer of soil. One was untreated while the other was watered and shaded consecutively by means of an overhead shading mesh and a layer of lightweight gravel. Temperature profiles were measured across the section of each roof, from the top surface of the soil to the ceiling inside the chamber, and embedded heat flux plates were also used to evaluate the cooling effect. A comparison of the two shading strategies demonstrated that while the mesh provided more cooling over a daily cycle, the daytime cooling potential, which is crucial in a desert climate, was higher with lightweight gravel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-864
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2008


  • Evaporation
  • Irrigated soil
  • Lightweight gravel
  • Passive cooling
  • Roof shading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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