• Living walls can reduce heat lost from b

    From ScienceDaily@1337:3/111 to All on Wed Nov 24 21:30:34 2021
    Living walls can reduce heat lost from buildings by over 30%

    November 24, 2021
    University of Plymouth
    Retrofitting existing masonry cavity walled buildings with a green
    or living wall could be a game-changer in helping countries achieve
    net-zero commitments.

    FULL STORY ========================================================================== Retrofitting an existing masonry cavity walled building with a green or
    living wall can reduce the amount of heat lost through its structure by
    more than 30%, according to new research.

    The study, conducted at the University of Plymouth, centred around the Sustainability Hub -- a pre-1970s building on the university campus --
    and compared how effectively two sections of its walls retained heat.

    Despite being on the same west-facing elevation, one of those sections
    had been retrofitted with an exterior living wall fac,ade, comprised
    of a flexible felt fabric sheet system with pockets allowing for soil
    and planting.

    After five weeks of measurements, researchers found the amount of heat
    lost through the wall retrofitted with the living fac,ade was 31.4%
    lower than that of the original structure.

    They also discovered daytime temperatures within the newly-covered section remained more stable than the area with exposed masonry, meaning less
    energy was required to heat it.

    The study is one of the first to ascertain the thermal influence of
    living wall systems on existing buildings in temperate scenarios and
    was conducted by academics associated with the University's Sustainable
    Earth Institute.

    Writing in the journal Building and Environment, they say while the
    concept is relatively new, it has already been shown to bring a host of benefits such as added biodiversity.

    However, with buildings directly accounting for 17% of UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions -- and space heating accounting for over 60% of all energy used
    in buildings -- these new findings could be a game-changer in helping
    the UK achieve its net-zero commitments.

    Dr Matthew Fox, a researcher in sustainable architecture and the study's
    lead author, said: "Within England, approximately 57% all buildings
    were built before 1964. While regulations have changed more recently to
    improve the thermal performance of new constructions, it is our existing buildings that require the most energy to heat and are a significant contributor to carbon emissions. It is therefore essential that we begin
    to improve the thermal performance of these existing buildings, if the
    UK is to reach its target of net zero carbon emission by 2050, and help
    to reduce the likelihood of fuel poverty from rising energy prices."
    Supported by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund
    (ERDF), the three-year -L-2.6 million programme is exploring low carbon solutions through research and support for local enterprises.

    Specifically, this aspect of the project is looking to optimise the
    performance and sustainability of external living walls in sustainable
    building design through research on the thermal properties, and carbon sequestration, offered by different plant and soil types.

    ========================================================================== Story Source: Materials provided by University_of_Plymouth. Original
    written by Alan Williams. Note: Content may be edited for style and

    ========================================================================== Journal Reference:
    1. Matthew Fox, Jack Morewood, Thomas Murphy, Paul Lunt, Steve Goodhew.

    Living wall systems for improved thermal performance of existing
    buildings. Building and Environment, 2022; 207: 108491 DOI:
    10.1016/ j.buildenv.2021.108491 ==========================================================================

    Link to news story: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211124154121.htm

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