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The Vegetated Building Facades and their Contribution to Environmental Sustainability

Authors:

Buddhi Chathuranjeli De Silva ,

City school of architecture, Colombo, LK
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Nihal Perera,

City school of architecture, Colombo, LK
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Nandika Denipitiya

City school of architecture, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

The number of people who are affected by urbanization has radically increased. However, the economic boom over the past decades has escalated the environmental problems. Among other solutions, environmentalists have proposed vertical greening, which refers to allowing vegetation to grow on the vertical surface of a building. With other sustainability-oriented strategies, vertical greening is thought to help resolve current environmental issues, as well as current health issues. It may prevent the cities from being unbearable during locked downs which impacts human’s mental health due to social distancing measures. Green walls are an option for cities for people to engage with Nature. Known for their pleasantness to the senses and earthy qualities, they boost human health and improve air quality. Plants can thrive on walls, making it a popular trend globally and also welcomes antidotes to stress and isolation. Plants which contain day-to-day supply of nutrition and anti-germ characters, could be incorporated with green walls. However, more knowledge is needed to reap the potential benefits from it.

 

With the demand for sustainability, green walls are increasingly appearing on clients’ requirement lists but mostly as a visual and aesthetic representation of sustainability. This sensibility of clients, what architects provide, and what is eventually built, questions whether the current vertical gardens deliver the intended benefits. Are these walls environmentally-friendly or are they just being a trend that takes advantage of the concern for the environment and human fondness to Nature?

 

In this research, certain measurements were used to assess the above gap. During the observation periods, for an example, number of utility bills were examined and thermometers were checked frequently. Structured interviews ascertained the people’s perceptions. Research shows that there is a gap between what is actually proposed and what is practiced in Colombo in green walls. The study identified the gaps, such as the lack of adaptation to the local environment, proposed what each individual needs to improve to curtail the shortcomings.
How to Cite: De Silva, B.C., Perera, N. and Denipitiya, N., 2021. The Vegetated Building Facades and their Contribution to Environmental Sustainability. Cities People Places : An International Journal on Urban Environments, 5(1), pp.24–78. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cpp.v5i1.53
Published on 12 Aug 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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