Green building envelope
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:
- 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.
- 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.
 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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
With a new government consultation underway, ICE look at creating a smarter, more flexible energy system.
International Ethics Standards Coalition publishes first set of ethics principles for built environment professionals.
British Antarctic Survey announces research station is to relocate 23km due to growing crack in the ice shelf.
A great example of mimetic architecture with the Fish Building of India.
Could e-bikes be a solution to congested and polluted urban centres?
Government publishes details of £500bn investment pipeline in infrastructure, described as the 'most comprehensive ever'.
Top of new skyscraper trimmed down by 30m to avoid interfering with City Airport flights.
A new concept unveiled to tackle the lack of sports facilities in inner cities.
'Open hand' designs revealed for a new entertainment complex in China.
Modernist architecture and its many international variations explained.
Work set to begin on 'one of America's greatest parks', which will be 10 times bigger than Central Park.
One of our most popular articles - RSHP's Mike Davies writes about the concept design process.