The construction industry in a constant mode of change. With the changing era and requirements, the industry moulds itself into coming up with solutions that run parallel with the changing times. Sustainability has gained a prime momentum in recent years. More and more designers with time have started realizing its potential and have now started adopting it as a conscious method.
Although green walls and roof gardens are often assumed to be an expensive affair, they are indeed a long term investment. They are both aesthetically pleasing and practically sound methods. Vertical gardens, roof gardens, green terraces have proven to be an efficient method to benefit several aspects of building design.
Green roofs can be of two types- intensive and extensive roofing. Intensive roofs have a depth of 200 mm or less and can be used to grow small shrubs and plants. Extensive roofs, on the contrary, have a larger depth and can be used to grow larger trees and shrubs.
Some of the benefits of having a green roof are: –
- Noise reduction – Green roofs help in blocking high-frequency sounds due to the vegetated covering over the surface. The noise reduction impacts the interior atmosphere in making it more comfortable for the users.
- Improved air quality – The green roof helps in curbing air pollution within a constraint space.
- Power savings – Green roofs can provide thermal insulation to the building interiors which ensure a lesser use of power, thus saving it in the long run.
- Stormwater runoff – This roof helps in slowing down the runoff speed of the stormwater, which acts as a sustainable method that also helps in irrigating the green roof.
- A green roof also ensures the well-being of the residents as the air is much cleaner than a regular concrete building. Psychologically, they have a calmer effect on the user; this, in turn, affects the overall workability of a structure by making it more proactive and inclusive.
- Urban farming and agriculture can be a viable option to ensure clean and pesticide-free vegetables for usage at a micro-level.
- The green roof ensures a much longer life span.
- Green roofs also ensure good insulation against weathering.
Green walls can be both inside or outside the building. Stacked pots or growing mats can achieve them. The main advantage of having these walls is that they act as evaporative air conditioners. Green walls can be made as facades, active or passive forms. Active facades have soil or growing medium that runs up the wall. These façades are aesthetically appealing; they also give good sound insulation in the interiors. They are also moisture resistant and have huge durability. It is an active sustainable method that ensures a peaceful atmosphere within the interior.
Some of the examples of green walls and roofs are: –
- Auto family House, Poland
Designed by the firm KWK for a client who is an art collector, this house amidst the green landscape acts as a blend within its surroundings. The continuous green roof with its angled form looks seamless and serene.
- Chongqing Taoyuan Community Centre, China
This continuous green roof connects three structures serving cultural, athletics, and public health facilities. Designed by Vector Architects, the roof acts as a public spectacle and an active communal space for the localities to unwind.
- Espace Bienvenue, France
French architect Jean Phillipe Pargade designed a research engineering center. This 650-foot-long concrete building is covered with an accessible green terrace. The landscape architect David Besson Girard was behind the ideation of this structure.
- LOTT Clean Water Alliance Regional Services Centre, China
This structure is designed by the Miller Hull partnership studio, the studio has been at the forefront in designing green and sustainable solutions. The roof is irrigated by the reclaimed water to save water.
- Tree House, Singapore
This massive green wall installation acts as a major air filter within the structure.
With more and more architectural practices realizing the importance of having a sustainable design aspect to their designs. The advent of green roof gardens and green walls has proven to be a beneficial solution to the upcoming future in the construction industry.