Urban Vertical Garden: ways to improve living conditions by applying green façades in buildings refurbishment at semi-arid climate

Project: Research

Project Details


This research aims to improve work conditions in office buildings by implementing vertical greenery systems such as green façades and living walls in semi-arid climates. Since building energy performance is characterized by their electrical systems and thermal exchanges through the building envelope, which is primarily defined by glazing systems in the façades, covering glazed façades with a vegetation layer can play a key role in the energy-saving and thermal comfort of buildings. This research evaluates, through the building simulation method, the influence of green façades in thermal comfort, energy consumption, and the heating and cooling loads of an office building in Denver city with a semi-arid climate condition. Furthermore, the psychological and physical performance of vertical gardens as a nature-based solution and, from the perspective of biophilic cities and philosophy has been assessed through a review of previous studies related to the effect of greenery systems in office buildings. A green façade can also be used as a retrofit option for office building refurbishment. A case study was created as a building model to investigate the influence of green façades and green façade configuration on their performance prediction in semi-arid climates. Additionally, for a better understanding of vertical garden performance in semi-arid regions, simulation case studies in Barcelona with a Mediterranean climate (as articles) and Denver with a semi-arid climate as the context of this dissertation were conducted and their results were compared together. The information generated from the simulation of bare and green façade configurations as a double-skin façade was in- corporated into qualitative theories trying to predict human comfort aspects in the work environment. For balancing energy-saving measures through green façade refurbishment, four qualitative criteria serve as the foundation for occupant psychological and physical comfort, and their impact on productivity has been established. These criteria are: the requirement for appropriate indoor air temperature, indoor air quality, daylight availability for the psychological performance of users, and perceived control over the façade by a vegetation layer in workplaces. Finally, a new concept of vertical gardens was introduced by integrating biology and technology in architecture, which may solve the issue of weather conditions and water scarcity in some climates, such as semi-arid climates, for implementing vertical gardens.
Effective start/end date25/01/1924/01/22


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