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Green Wall Systems

  • 1 May, 2020
  • Wageningen University, Landscape Architecture
  • dr dipl. ing. S Lenzh√∂lzer
  • Cortesao

Green facade systems (GFS) are an efficient solution for mitigating detrimental urban climate effects, especially urban heat stress. Current GFS are renowned for their short life span materials, high costs, and high embodied energy. This research will generate an optimized GFS, which has lower embodied energy and, costs while improving urban outdoor microclimates. More specifically, regarding the urban climate, the study will investigate at the microclimatic scale the effect of the GFS in reducing urban heat stress during summer and its impact on outdoor thermal perception. The thermal effects of the prototype in winter will also be investigated. Summer and winter effects will be tested. Based on this testing prototypes will be created with optimal thermal characteristics.
The study will follow a research through design (RTD) methodology integrating quantitative and qualitative research approaches. The integrated research will be carried out with the industrial partner ZinCo GmbH in Germany. In the early design phase, various virtual prototypes will be developed in Revit. The design variants of the prototypes will be compared and further improved through 6 iterations testing the design criteria (costs, embodied energy, design, technology, microclimate and perception). Therefore, the results of the virtual iterations will provide a tailored solution to eventually assemble an optimal physical prototype that meets the design criteria defined.
The prototype design will first explore cost-effective, low embodied materials which will be evaluated through a life cycle and costs analysis. Furthermore, to examine the visual impact of the prototypes, surveys with potential users and experts in the design field will be conducted. Technical information of the prototypes will be then acquired through design workshops with mechanical and structural engineers. Additionally, a microclimatic analysis of the virtual prototypes will be conducted through the micrometeorological simulation model ENVI-met. The objective is to compare the effect of the GFS prototypes outdoors at the microscale for three spatial typologies. In the last stage of the virtual prototyping, a survey will be conducted to understand users expected outdoor thermal sensation and preference with photorealistic representations of the new prototypes.
After the design phase, the performance of the GFS will be assessed through long-term microclimatic monitoring to analyse the influence of vegetation on the reduction of ambient temperature, mean radiant temperature, surface temperature and validate its contribution to improving the microclimate. Therefore, the physical models will be continuously monitored on microclimatic parameters (ambient temperature, mean radiant temperature, surface temperature, wind, and relative humidity).
The result of the project will be a new advanced GFS that is economically feasible, possesses low embodied energy, is modular and adaptable, and contributes to improving outdoor urban microclimates.

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Researcher

Maricruz Solera Jimenez

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