Green roofs and facades: A comprehensive review
Based on United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), building sector accounts for 40% of total energy consumption. In European countries, 36% of total greenhouse gas emissions is attributed to buildings. In this respect, green roofs are considered to be one of the most appropriate sustainable solutions to resolve the urban heat island-related issues. Roofs account for nearly 20–25% of overall urban surface areas. Energy saving, thermal insulation, shading and evapotranspiration features highlight the key role of green roofs in overall thermal performance of buildings and microclimatic conditions of indoor environments. Within the scope of this research, the concept of green roofs and facades is comprehensively analysed in a holistic and thematic way. Following a historical overview of the technology, the research is split into various subfields such as energy saving in buildings through greenery systems, multifunctional thermal benefits including evapotranspiration, thermal insulation, shading and thermal comfort features, evaporative cooling for reducing cooling demand and minimising wind driven convection losses. The results achieved from the literature survey clearly indicate that green roofs and facades are key solutions to mitigate building-related energy consumptions and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the previous works, heat flow through the building roofs in summer can be reduced by approximately 80% via green roofs. The green roofs are reported to consume less energy in the range of 2.2–16.7% than traditional roofs during summer time. A similar tendency is observed for the winter season depending on regional and climatic conditions. The temperature difference between conventional and greens roofs in winter is found to be about 4 °C, which is remarkable. Energy demand of buildings in summer is highly dependent on the plant intensity as it is reported to be 23.6, 12.3 and 8.2 kWh/m2/year for extensive, semi-intensive and intensive greenery surface, respectively. Greenery systems are also capable of providing thermally comfortable indoor and outdoor conditions. It is underlined that the annual average accumulation of CO2 reaches the level of 13.41–97.03 kg carbon/m2 for 98 m2 of vertical greenery system. The results of this research can be useful for dwellers, builders, architects, engineers and policy makers to have a good understanding about the potential of green roofs and facades to mitigate building-related energy consumptions and carbon emissions in a renewable, sustainable, energy-efficient and cost effective way. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
SourceRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
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