Passive cooling of cement-based roofs in tropical climates Academic Article uri icon


  • In tropical climates, dwellings are made of cement-based materials like concrete to be able to withstand tropical storms and severe weather conditions. However, cement-based materials exhibit undesirable thermal properties including low thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity which make living conditions almost unbearable. The purpose of this research project was to investigate the impact of a newly designed passive cooling system which can minimize heat transfer through concrete roofs. The passive cooling system consists of a corrugated aluminum sheet with a unique orientation to promote heat dissipation. A layer polyurethane is also used to minimize heat transfer. Experimental results based on lab-scale prototypes show that the well-designed roof insulation system can reduce the typical thermal load by over 70%. The passive cooling system also shows a desirable slow response time to irradiation, which is a desirable characteristic necessary to effectively control thermal fluctuations and reduce thermal loads simultaneously. The results also indicate that the cement-based roof midpoint temperature can be modeled accurately using an appropriate empirical model. 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Energy and Buildings

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Alvarado, J. L., & Martnez, E.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Alvarado, Jorge L||Martínez, Edgard

publication date

  • January 2008