Cooling Effect by Vertical Greenery System in a High Rise Building and Surroundings

Badrulzaman Jaafar1, Ismail Said2 and Mohd Hisyam Rasidi3 1 Phd Candidate, 2Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer3 Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Abstract Greening the wall of the building facade, known as vertical green system (VGS), has not been fully explored and exploited. Therefore, the widespread use of VGS not only reduces the potential impact of UHI in evapotranspirasi and shade, but it is also a transformation that affects the urban landscape. VGS appears to be a sensible strategy for greening cities, given the preponderance of wall space that is available in urban canyons. Such as green roofs, VGS is expected to reduce the heat, energy consumption and improve the cooling effect on the area around the building. It also has the potential to provide a larger space for the plants may be available on the external walls of buildings in urban areas, and plants growing on the walls can cause a vertical view of the green. The main purpose of this paper is to present research methods and approaches proposed to study the suitability of design and technology for cooling the building and surrounding areas. The effect of design parameters on the microclimate of the building and the cooling technology is discussed. A detailed study of the information revealed that apart from refrigeration, the study design green vertical system, evaluation of many factors such as physical structure, the dimensions of the main panel of species of plants and substrate, type of substrate, composition and moisture content affect the performance of the vertical green. Therefore, the use of VGS is possible to produce a cooling effect on the surface of the building and its surroundings. Experiment and simulation are recommended to confirm the success. In conclusion, the results of this study will help in elucidating the complex interactions between various parameters and the role played by each factor individually and together in the urban built environment. Keywords: Vertical greenery system, cooling effect, urban heat island, plant 1. Introduction

In today‟s world, the rapid pace of urbanization and the growing concern for climate change have led to the increasing trend of bringing nature back into cities (Chiang and Tan, 2009). Greenery has become a key element of urban transformation and the exterior surfaces of buildings have been deemed to hold vast opportunities for the insertion of greenery into urban-spaces; planting on roofs and walls has since become one of the most innovative and rapidly developing features of city planning, architecture and ecological landscaping (GRHC, 2008). Demand for office and housing space in ever diminishing land space has led to taller and taller buildings reaching for the skies in cities around the world. This shortage of land in many cities has unfortunately also led to a scarcity of natural vegetation in urban settings. If this situation is not handled properly, there would be an uncomfortable environment for local residents. Due to artificial urbanization, urban heat island has become a serious problem. Greenery is expected to be an effective countermeasure, and much research is available regarding green roofs, green walls, street trees, parks and woodland. Urban heat island is the effect of the increase measured in the ambient air temperature resulting primarily from the replacement of vegetation with buildings, roads and other infrastructure to absorb heat. Heat island effects can cause significant temperature differences between urban and rural areas (EPA, 2008). Heat island phenomenon can occur during the day or night. Givoni (1998) mentions that the greatest height of urban temperatures occur during the night was still clear and the air. In this case, the temperature elevation of about 35 ° C are common, but the ascent of about 80-10 ° C is also observed. Today, the majority of the cities is around 2 ° C warmer than rural areas and commercial areas and high density residential is warmer by 5 to 7 ° C (Bonan, 2002). There are several key parameters that influence the temperature rise in the cities and play an important role in it. Therefore, urban heat islands caused by other factors can be divided into two types: (1) weather factors, such as cloud cover, wind speed and humidity, and the city parameters (2) such as city and population size, heat and anthropogenic effects of urban canyons. 1


Reducing Temperature

Greenery can be used as a tool for mitigating the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect; directly by shading heat-absorbing surfaces and indirectly through evapotranspiration cooling (McPherson, 1994). UHI describes the built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. This effect can be felt in urban areas where buildings, roads and other infrastructure replace vast vegetative land areas that were once moist and permeable with hard surfaces that are dry and impermeable. The annual mean air temperature of city with 1 million people or more can be 1 to 30 C warmer than its surroundings (US EPA, 2008). Thus, greening of the facade of building walls, known as vertical greenery systems (VGSs), has yet to be fully explored and exploited. Simply due to the sheer amount of building walls, the widespread use of vertical greenery systems not only represents a great potential in mitigating the UHI effect through evapotranspiration and shading, it is also a highly impactful way of transforming the urban landscape (Wong et al. 2010).Vertical greenery represents a new dimension in greenery-related infrastructure, where plants are incorporated within the vertical surfaces of buildings. While the idea itself is not new and a few countries have already conducted research and development into this area, vertical greenery has yet to be implemented on an extensive scale. Given the large surface areas on buildings that available for retrofitting with these technologies, there is a great deal of latent potential worth uncovering by utilising vertical greenery for positive environmental change in already dense urban areas (GRHC, 2008). A report by Bass and Baskaran (2003) investigated the potential of even a newer technology, vertical gardens, essentially moving the vegetation from the roof to the walls, in an urban environment. Vertical gardens could refer to vine-covered walls, but they could also include additional infrastructure components to support the growing of vegetation on a wall or as part of a window shade. Both technologies were assessed using observations and modeling, and both were assessed with regards to the urban heat island and the reduction of indoor temperatures. The aim of this study is to analyse and assess the influence of VGS as a tool in reducing the surface temperature of the walls and enhance the cooling effect of the building and its surroundings. The objectives of this study include (1) studying the effects of VGS in lowering high temperatures in the wall of the building and its surroundings, and (2) comparing the effectiveness of using VGS tools through experiment and simulation to reduce the UHI effect. This paper will examine the assumptions about the use of live plants in the VGS on the surface of the building to reduce heat and provide a significant change in temperature. In addition, the study will be conducted to analyze the truth that the use of VGS is cooler than the exposed concrete surface because most of the absorbed energy is used to evaporate water rather than heat the surface and overlying air.


Theoretical Framework

Research work is based on the results of the experiments, simulations and data collection. This study will use a quantitative approach. This study is a combination of experimental data and work to collect data in the field. Results of experiments and data collected will be used as a source of design simulation models. The focus of this study is given to the cooling effect. Therefore, data obtained from the materials and methods used to evaluate and predict the likely performance of the system resources and green vertical. Thus, this study will depend on three levels. First, the characteristics that affect the urban heat island (UHI) and the effectiveness of surface cooling in the building and its surroundings. Second, on-site data collection as a guide for the study. Third, the use of equipment such as GIS and Envi-met in this study as in Table 1. The core of this research involves the study of vertical greenery systems with the objective of evaluating the thermal impacts of various vertical greenery systems on the performance of buildings and their immediate environment based on the surface and ambient temperatures (Wong et al. 2010). This study represents the combined work of obtaining experimental data and simulation in the field. Both methods should be conducted to obtain data on the surface temperature of the building and its surroundings. Both the data obtained will be used as references in preparing the analysis of the results later.


Table 1. Research design - Theoretical framework.

The focus of the study was given only to the three parameters such as temperature, humidity and leaf area density (LAD). To answer the research questions, quantitative data will be gathered. Research and observation sites to obtain a clear picture of the relevant studies will be conducted on site. The factors identified were related to temperature, humidity and cooling effect on the surface of the wall of the building and its surroundings. The research work based upon the experimental results by field studies, simulation and data collection in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Proposed research design for dependent variable and independent variable.


In this study, the research design was divided into three study parameters as shown below. i) Temperature Data on the temperature will be taken from two main sources. Firstly, recent data obtained by collecting data on buildings PJ8. Second, in 2010 the temperature data obtained from the Meteorological Department. The study will be made on a fixed temperature of the VGS and ambient temperatures between the buildings. Humidity Relevant data on the humidity will be conducted in the building PJ8 using a thermometer. All data collected will be used as reference in designing the simulation later. Leaf Area Density (LAD) All data will be taken randomly using a measure of LAD of plant species found at level 3, PJ8 and around the building. This data will be used as basic information on plant density according to the width of the leaf where it will be included in the software Envi-Mat.




Materials and Methods

The proposed research consists of field experiments and simulation that includes data collection of temperature, humidity, plant density to be used for the data analysis. Field experiments will be conducted at PJ8 Commercial Centre, Section 8 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Meanwhile, the simulation will be carried out at the Laboratory of Landscape, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Skudai, Johor. 3.1 Data Collection and Acquisition - Field Experiments Plot used to study the field is located in PJ8 Commercial Centre, Section 8 Petaling Jaya. In general, the overall development of the PJ8 is 3.80 acres and 0.57 acres allocated for green areas. This development consists of 38-storey service suites, a 12-storey office suites, two 13-storey corporate office tower and 17-storey, respectively. 3.1.1 Materials VGS study will be made to assess the effectiveness of materials and structure to the cooling effect of the building and surrounding walls. Plot studies that will be built is a metal panel walls with planting box. It will be installed on the third floor and the main entrance to the building which is adjacent to existing VGS. The plot of this study consists of five wall-size 4 m by 5 m high and 0.300 m thick. Four green walls and a wall of the control (blank wall there) that established the two categories of green vertical system as follows in Plate 1 and Plate 2. i. ii. iii. Vertical greenery „carrier‟ system – Green facades (2 nos.) Vertical greenery „support‟ system – Living walls (2 nos.) A bare concrete surfaced wall without vertical greenery system (1 no.)

Plate 1. The vertical greenery systems fall into two broad categories such as “support” and “carrier”. 4

Plate 2. Green Facade (left) and Living Wall (right).

3.1.2 Indicators for Comparative Purposes (Temperature) Temperature and humidity readings are taken at the study plot on the third floor. It includes readings for the area around the pool, the main entrance and around the wall of the existing installed VGS. The purpose was carried out to obtain current readings for comparison. All data collected will be used later to simulate the temperature.

3.2 Data Collection and Acquisition - Simulation Apart from the experimental temperature of the building, a simulation model will be made for the purpose of reviewing the effectiveness of VGS to cool the area around the building. For the purposes of simulation, Section 13 Petaling Jaya was chosen because it is an area that has been designated as a mixed development zone business more than 10 levels. Simulations are performed to determine the effects of vertical greenery systems on thermal comfort and energy consumption of a building (Wong et al., 2009). 3.2.1 Software All data will be processed with software Envi-MET. It will be used to show the effects of heat and cool area of Section 13 Petaling Jaya (See Plate 3). In addition, the coolness of the temperature of the building will also be analyzed based on year 2010 data obtained from the Meteorological Department through simulation. This is because the temperature of the surroundings and the internal temperature of the building is a key indicator of the study.

Plate 3. Envi-Mat used for image simulations showed the rate of heat 5

3.2.2 Model A model will be provided in accordance with the appropriate scale of development in the area of Section 13. The purpose of this model is to reflect existing conditions at the site and the proposed rehabilitation of buildings and surrounding areas. 3.3 Data Analysis All data from the laboratory and field experiment were directly inserted into Statistical Process for Sosial Science (SPSS) version 17. 3.3.1 One Way Between Groups ANOVA To compare the means of more than two groups or levels of an independent variable. 3.3.2 Duncan‟s Multiple Range Test (DMRT) To compare differences among means where significant differences were observed. 3.3.3 Post Hoc Test To determine any significant effect of vertical greenery system on the water retention. 3.3.4 Tests of Between-Subjects Effects To compare the significant difference of various subjects.



A growing city, buildings and surface-paste pasted changed the landscape. Hard inert surfaces absorb heat, causing their temperature to increase further with increasing exposure, dark-colored surfaces such as roofs, roads and parking spaces to absorb the largest amount of heat, the mass of the buildings asphalt, concrete and steel to absorb and store large amounts of heat which in turn emitted into the environment. Therefore, this study will be to find and identify issues related to the failure to introduce new rules to a vertical green infrastructure to create a conducive environment. Therefore, this study will help landscape architects, designers and developers to understand and appreciate the potential and effectiveness of the vertical green infrastructure approach to the green alternative to reduce urban heat islands and cool the temperature of the wall.

5. References Vertical Greenery System Bass B., Baskaran B. (2003) Evaluating Rooftop and Vertical Gardens as an Adaptation Strategy for Urban Areas, Institute for Research and Construction, NRCC-46737, Project number A020, CCAF Report B1046, Ottawa, Canada, National Research Council. GRHC (2008) Introduction to Green Walls Technology, Benefits and Design. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Kelly Chiang and Alex Tan (2009) Vertical Greenery for the Tropics, CUGE Research, National Parks Board, Singapore. US EPA, (2008) Houstan Downtown Management District‟s Vertical Garden Grant Program. (Jan. 20, 2009) Wong N.H, Tan A.Y.K , Tan P.Y, Kelly Chiang and Wong N.C (2010) Acoustics Evaluation of Vertical Greenery Systems for Building Walls, Building and Environment 45 (2010) 411–420. 6

Wong N.H, Tan A.Y.K , Yu Chen, Kannagi Sekar, Tan P.Y, Derek Chan, Kelly Chiang and Wong N.C (2010) Thermal Evaluation of Vertical Greenery Systems for Building Walls, Building and Environment 45 (2010) 663–672. Wong N.H, Tan A.Y.K, Tan P.Y.T, Angelia Sia and Wong N.C (2009) Perception Studies of Vertical Greenery Systems in Singapore, Journal of Urban Planning and Development. 10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000034. Wong N.H, Tan A.Y.K, Tan P.Y and Wong N.C (2009) Energy Simulation of Vertical Greenery Systems, Energy and Buildings 41 (2009) 1401–1408.

Urban Heat Island Effect Bonan G (2002), Ecological Climatology, Cambridge University Press. __________(2008), United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, DC 20460 Givoni B (1998), Climate Considerations in Building and Urban Design, Canada, John Wiley and Sons.


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