What can you do to make the built environment cooler?
The Netherlands, Germany and the rest of the world are experiencing a spike in summer temperatures – over 40 degrees in Europe and over 50 degrees in Asia (The Guardian). Today may well be the hottest day ever in the Netherlands. What can we do with Cloud Garden to make it more pleasant in and around a building?
Heat island effect mainly observable in urban areas
Cities in particular are heating up. Due to the current urban design, citizens experience the “urban heat island effect” (Kleerekoper). Little fresh air, a warm built environment and only a few shady spots make life a daily challenge. This causes heat stress, health risks, mental health problems and diseases of the respiratory and kidney (WHO). That is why it is extremely important to tackle this problem quickly and to bring nature back to places where it is highly urbanized.
Include more greenery in urban spaces to reduce heat stress
One of the solutions to reduce the urban heat island effect is to include more greenery in urban spaces (also known as urban green infrastructure) (Zölch et al). Studies have shown that greening of facades “offers a cooling potential on the building surface” (Sheweka). Up to 15 degrees lower temperatures have been found on greenered facades compared to bare walls (Hoelscher). Up to 10% less heat is felt around green facades, resulting in an improvement in thermal comfort for pedestrians and citizens (Zölch et al).
While the benefits of urban heat island reduction have just been highlighted, when talking about vertical greenery (BUGG), the support of local biodiversity, the purifying properties of plants and the reduced risk of flooding should not be forgotten.
Green facades have great potential!
As research has shown, green facades have great potential to combat climate change. Urban planners should see it as an essential strategy in the fight against climate change. They must vertically integrate greenery into the urban built environment to reduce the risk of heat stress and improve the urban climate in summer.
Would you like to know more about the advantages of green facades? Or do you have plans to apply green facades in the built environment to make the living environment more pleasant? Please contact us by filling in the contact form below.