By Cameron Chai
It has become a trend for most of the latest buildings to sport green facades and roofs.
The doctorate thesis of Marc Ottelé, a researcher from Delft University of Technology finds that green facades, which are created using upright type of plant growth, actually bring in a number of benefits to the building.
According to Ottelé, the vertical growing plants have become an integral part in the design of modern buildings. Growth of such vegetation improves the insulation properties of the buildings, adds to its biodiversity and betters its aesthetic look and also assists in filtering and cutting down polluting products such as carbon dioxide and fine specks.
In his research, he used image manipulating software and recordings collected from the electron microscope to find the accumulation of fine dust particles over the leaves and identified even the number of particles and their size. Dust particles of less than 10 µm size, which floats in the air in thickly populated cities bring in respiratory problems when inhaled deeply and the experiments by the researchers proved that that plants grown on outside walls absorb such fine dusts.
Ottelé’s research also found that green facades bring down ambient wind speed, and the green vegetation increases the insulating attributes of the building.
According to Ottelé, currently two types of vertical vegetation practices are performed over the buildings such as Green facades and living wall systems. While green facades grow directly over the building or use constructional assistance for such growth, the living wall systems are pre-fabricated type of systems that are included in the construction of the building with supporting type of frames to allow the plant to grow and take its root. He explained that the technology used in the living wall systems is relatively new and not much research has been performed on it.