A heart monitor for green roofs?
Agilewaves Inc. launches first product to monitor impacts of green roofs.
Agilewaves Inc. monitors the impacts of a living roof at a school in HillsboroughAgilewaves Inc. recently installed the nation's first green roof monitoring system at the LEED-Gold certified Nueva School in Hillsborough, Calif. Agilewaves' Resource Monitor measures the building's green roof as well as its gas, electricity and water usage, and the electricity generation from its 30-kilowatt solar system.
The monitoring device measures and displays information about the building's performance into a 3-D user interface that can be used by the school's teachers and facilities managers. Agilewaves worked with Rana Creek, the firm that designed the school's green roof, and the San Francisco Estuary Institute to determine the measureable impacts of the green roof. The Resource Monitor measures the temperature, humidity and soil moisture of the green roof to provide real-time data about the general condition of the roof for maintenance and management. It also looks at stormwater mitigation by monitoring the flow of stormwater through the roof. And it looks at stormwater filtration by monitoring the quality of the water coming off the living roof as the soil and roots filter pollutants.
The staff at the independent school plans to incorporate the information from the Resource Monitor into the school’s science curriculum. The facilities managers also plan to use the information to adjust the overall operations at the Nueva School, which was the winner of the 2007 AIA architectural design award.
Agilewaves is a privately held company based in Palo Alto, Calif. Three of its founders formerly worked for NASA. Agilewaves' Resource Monitors are designed for residential, small business and educational use. Each system is custom-made for the needs of the buyer. Depending on the size of the home or building and the number and types of features being monitored, the monitors can cost $3,000 to $5,000 at the low end, to a more typical $15,000 to $20,000 at the higher end.
The company installed its first Resource Monitor at a Palo Alto home in August 2007, and orders are rapidly accelerating, according to CEO Peter Sharer.