David Sailor, Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1993
Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Portland is recognized throughout the nation for its green building technologies and architecture. So it was a natural destination for David Sailor, an expert in urban climates and how they're affected by buildings, energy consumption, and human activity.
Ecoroofs, or green roofs—roofs that have a layer of soil and vegetation to reduce energy consumption and storm water runoff—are a big part of Sailor's research. Until recently, there were no good tools to help architects design effective ecoroofs. Sailor implemented a model that precisely calculates the energy-saving outcomes of different designs. The model is now used in the U.S. Department of Energy's building energy design and analysis software.
"There is a big demand for green roofs, especially in a place like Portland. Before, people evaluated green roofs qualitatively—that is, the general benefits in terms of aesthetics, habitat, reducing runoff, and of course energy. Now we're able to quantify their benefits," he says.
Green roofs—seen by many as the next big thing in environmentally sound architecture—have many benefits that make them attractive from an economic and environmental standpoint. Their widespread use has the potential of cutting the "urban heat island" effect in typical cities.
Read about Sailor's current work in the PSU Green Building Research Lab at "Green Building Ideas Take the Test at Portland State."