Last edited 13 Sep 2016

Green building envelope

Green Building Envelope270.jpg

Contents

[edit] Introduction

In September 2016, Arup published ‘Cities Alive: Green Building Envelope’, a report examining the possibilities of cleaner, greener and healthier human ecosystems.

The report, written by a global collaborative team of Arup specialists, explores the application of green infrastructure to the surfaces of both new and existing inner-city buildings in five major cities; Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Hong Kong.

The wide-ranging conclusions of the report include:

[edit] Air pollution

  • Green facades can reduce local air pollution by 10-20%.
  • The level of reduction is dependent on the ratio of the building height to the street width.

[edit] Acoustics

  • Green facades could reduce sound levels from emergent and traffic noise sources by up to 10dB(A).
  • Green facades have a greater acoustical impact with increasing distance from the noise source.
  • When ambient noise levels are lower, such as during the night, green facades are likely to have a greater acoustic impact.

[edit] Urban heat island (UHI) effect

  • Green facades can remove 50% of solar radiation.
  • They are most effective at reducing the UHI in denser urban centres and in areas where there is more concrete and less planting.
  • Reductions in peak air temperatures of up to 10ºC are achievable, although for most areas, the mean reductions in UHI were a fraction of a degree compared to the peak.
  • Cities with wide streets and low-rise buildings could benefit from more greenery at street level.

To download the full report for free, see Arup.

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