Madrid, 29 (European Press)
A new study has revealed that cladding buildings with walls designed to be covered with plants can reduce the amount of heat lost through their structure by more than 30%.
The study, conducted at the University of Plymouth, focused on the Sustainability Center, a pre-1970s building on the campus, and compared how effectively two sections of its walls held heat.
Although at the same west-facing elevation, one of these sections has been updated with an exterior living wall facade, consisting of a system of sheets of flexible felt fabric with recesses allowing fertile soil and seeding.
After five weeks of measurements, the researchers found that the amount of heat lost through the modern wall with the living facade was 31.4% less than the original structure.
They also found that daytime temperatures inside the newly covered section remained more stable than the area with the exposed building, meaning that less energy was needed to heat it.
The study is one of the first to determine the thermal effect of living wall systems in existing buildings in temperate environments and was conducted by academics affiliated with the university’s Sustainable Earth Institute, according to a statement from the university.
Writing in the journal Building and Environment, they say that while the concept is relatively new, it has already been shown to bring a number of benefits, such as increased biodiversity.
However, with buildings directly accounting for 17% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and space heating accounting for more than 60% of total energy used in buildings, these new findings could be a game-changer to help the UK meet its net commitments. Zero.