Effects of Increased Green Surface on a Densely Built Urban Fabric: The Case of Budapest

Urban greenery has multiple positive effects both on the city and its residents. Apart from the visual advantages, it changes the micro-climate by cooling and shading, also increasing vapor and oxygen, reducing dust and carbon-dioxide content at the same time. The above are all critical factors of livability of an urban fabric. Unfortunately, in a dense, historical district there are restricted possibilities to build green surfaces. The present study collects and systemizes the applicable green solutions in the case of a historical downtown district of Budapest. The study contains a GIS-based measurement of the eligible surfaces for greenery, and also calculates the potential of oxygen production, carbon-dioxide reduction and cooling effect of an increased green surface.  It can be concluded that increasing the green surface has measurable effects on a densely built urban fabric, including air quality, micro-climate and other environmental factors.

A Review on the Development and Challenges of Green Roof Systems in Malaysia

Green roof system is considered a relatively new concept in Malaysia even though it has been implemented widely in the developed countries. Generally, green roofs provide many benefits such as enhancing aesthetical quality of the built environment, reduce urban heat island effect, reduce energy consumption, improve stormwater attenuation, and reduce noise pollution. A better understanding on the implementation of green roof system in Malaysia is crucial, as Malaysia’s climate is different if compared with the climate in temperate countries where most of the green roof studies have been conducted. This study has concentrated on the technical aspect of green roof system which focuses on i) types of plants and method of planting; ii) engineering design for green roof system; iii) its hydrological performance on reducing stormwater runoff; and iv) benefits of green roofs with respect to energy. Literature review has been conducted to identify the development and obstacles associated with green roofs systems in Malaysia. The study had identified the challenges and potentials of green roofs development in Malaysia. This study also provided the recommendations on standard design and strategies on the implementation of green roofs in Malaysia in the near future.

Temperature Control & Comfort Level of Elementary School Building with Green Roof in New Taipei City, Taiwan

To mitigate the urban heat island effect has become a global issue when we are faced with the challenge of climate change. Through literature review, plant photosynthesis can reduce the carbon dioxide and mitigate the urban heat island effect to a degree. Because there are not enough open space and parks, green roof has become an important policy in Taiwan. We selected elementary school buildings in northern New Taipei City as research subjects since elementary schools are asked with priority to build green roof and important educational place to promote green roof concept. Testo175-H1 recording device was used to record the temperature and humidity differences between roof surface and interior space below roof with and without green roof in the long-term. We also use questionnaires to investigate the awareness of comfort level of green roof and sensation of teachers and students of the elementary schools. The results indicated that the temperature of roof without greening was higher than that with greening by about 2°C. But sometimes during noontime, the temperature of green roof was higher than that of non-green roof probably because of the character of the accumulation and dissipation of heat of greening. The temperature of the interior space below green roof was normally lower than that without green roof by about 1°C, showing that green roof could lower the temperature. The humidity of the green roof was higher than the one without greening also indicated that green roof retained water better. Teachers liked to combine green roof concept in the curriculum, and students wished all classes can take turns to maintain the green roof. Teachers and students whose school had integrated green roof concept in the curriculum were more willing to participate in the maintenance work of green roof. Teachers and students who may have access to and touch the green roof can be more aware of the green roof benefit. We suggest architects to increase the accessibility and visibility of green roof, such as use it as a part of the activity space. This idea can be a reference to the green roof curriculum design.

Sustainability Analysis and Quality Assessment of Rainwater Harvested from Green Roofs: A Review

Most people today are aware that global climate change is not just a scientific theory but also a fact with worldwide consequences. Global climate change is due to rapid urbanization, industrialization, high population growth and current vulnerability of the climatic condition. Water is becoming scarce as a result of global climate change. To mitigate the problem arising due to global climate change and its drought effect, harvesting rainwater from green roofs, an environmentally-friendly and versatile technology, is becoming one of the best assessment criteria and gaining attention in Malaysia. This paper addresses the sustainability of green roofs and examines the quality of water harvested from green roofs in comparison to rainwater. The factors that affect the quality of such water, taking into account, for example, roofing materials, climatic conditions, the frequency of rainfall frequency and the first flush. A green roof was installed on the Humid Tropic Centre (HTC) is a place of the study on monitoring program for urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia (MSMA), Eco-Hydrological Project in Kuala Lumpur, and the rainwater was harvested and evaluated on the basis of four parameters i.e., conductivity, dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and temperature. These parameters were found to fall between Class I and Class III of the Interim National Water Quality Standards (INWQS) and the Water Quality Index (WQI). Some preliminary treatment such as disinfection and filtration could likely to improve the value of these parameters to class I. This review paper clearly indicates that there is a need for more research to address other microbiological and chemical quality parameters to ensure that the harvested water is suitable for use potable water for domestic purposes. The change in all physical, chemical and microbiological parameters with respect to storage time will be a major focus of future studies in this field.

The Study of Groundcover for Heat Reduction

This research investigated groundcover on the roof (green roof) which can reduce the temperature and carbon monoxide. This study is divided into 3 main aspects: 1. Types of groundcover affecting heat reduction 2. The efficiency on heat reduction of 3 types of groundcover, i.e. lawn, arachis pintoi, and purslane 3. Database for designing green roof. This study has been designed as an experimental research by simulating the 3 types of groundcover in 3 trays placed in the green house for recording the temperature change for 24 hours. The results showed that the groundcover with the highest heat reduction efficiency was lawn. The dense of the lawn can protect the heat transfer to the soil. For the further study, there should be a comparative study of the thickness and the types of soil to get more information for the suitable types of groundcover and the soil for designing the energy saving green roof.

Eco-Roof Systems in Subtropical Climates for Sustainable Development and Mitigation of Climate Change

The benefits of eco-roofs is quite well known, however there remains very little research conducted for the implementation of eco-roofs in subtropical climates such as Australia. There are many challenges facing Australia as it moves into the future, climate change is proving to be one of the leading challenges. In order to move forward with the mitigation of climate change, the impacts of rapid urbanization need to be offset. Eco-roofs are one way to achieve this; this study presents the energy savings and environmental benefits of the implementation of eco-roofs in subtropical climates. An experimental set-up was installed at Rockhampton campus of Central Queensland University, where two shipping containers were converted into small offices, one with an eco-roof and one without. These were used for temperature, humidity and energy consumption data collection. In addition, a computational model was developed using Design Builder software (state-of-the-art building energy simulation software) for simulating energy consumption of shipping containers and environmental parameters, this was done to allow comparison between simulated and real world data. This study found that eco-roofs are very effective in subtropical climates and provide energy saving of about 13% which agrees well with simulated results. 

The Effects of Roots Action of Tropical Green Roofs–Replication of German FLL in Singapore

Green Roofs offers numerous advantages, including lowering ambient temperature, which is of increasing interest due to global warming concerns. However, there are technical problems pertaining to waterproofing to be resolved. Currently, the only recognized green roof waterproofing test is the German standard FLL. This paper examines the potential of replicating the test in tropical climate and reducing the test duration by using pre-grown plants. A three year old sample and a new setup were used for this experimental study. The new setup was prepared with close reference to the FLL standards and was compared against the three year old sample. Results showed that the waterproofing membrane was damaged by plant roots in both setups. Joints integrity was also challenged.

Air Conditioning Energy Saving by Rooftop Greenery System in Subtropical Climate in Australia

The benefits of rooftop greenery systems (such as energy savings, reduction of greenhouse gas emission for mitigating climate change and maintaining sustainable development, indoor temperature control etc.) in buildings are well recognized, however there remains very little research conducted for quantifying the benefits in subtropical climates such as in Australia. This study mainly focuses on measuring/determining temperature profile and air conditioning energy savings by implementing rooftop greenery systems in subtropical Central Queensland in Australia. An experimental set-up was installed at Rockhampton campus of Central Queensland University, where two standard shipping containers (6m x 2.4m x 2.4m) were converted into small offices, one with green roof and one without. These were used for temperature, humidity and energy consumption data collection. The study found that an energy savings of up to 11.70% and temperature difference of up to 4°C can be achieved in March in subtropical Central Queensland climate in Australia. It is expected that more energy can be saved in peak summer days (December/February) as temperature difference between green roof and non-green roof is higher in December- February.

The Investigation of Green Roof and White Roof Cooling Potential on Single Storey Residential Building in the Malaysian Climate

The phenomenon of global warming or climate change has led to many environmental issues including higher atmospheric temperatures, intense precipitation, increased greenhouse gaseous emissions and increased indoor discomfort. Studies have shown that bringing nature to the roof such as constructing green roof and implementing high-reflective roof may give positive impact in mitigating the effects of global warming and in increasing thermal comfort sensation inside buildings. However, no study has been conducted to compare both types of passive roof treatments in Malaysia in order to increase thermal comfort in buildings. Therefore, this study is conducted to investigate the effect of green roof and white painted roof as passive roof treatment in improving indoor comfort of Malaysian homes. This study uses an experimental approach in which the measurements of temperatures are conducted on the case study building. The measurements of outdoor and indoor environments were conducted on the flat roof with two different types of roof treatment that are green roof and white roof. The measurement of existing black bare roof was also conducted to act as a control for this study.

Evaluation of Green Roof System for Green Building Projects in Malaysia

The implementations of green roof have been widely used in the developed countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Green roof have many benefits such as aesthetic and economic value, ecological gain which are optimization of storm water management, urban heat island mitigation and energy conservation. In term of pollution, green roof can control the air and noise pollution in urban cities. The application of green roof in Malaysian building has been studied with the previous work of green roof either in Malaysia or other Asian region as like Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and several other countries that have similar climate and environment as in Malaysia. These technologies of adapting green roof have been compared to the Green Building Index (GBI) of Malaysian buildings. The study has concentrated on the technical aspect of green roof system having focused on i) waste & recyclable materials ii) types of plants and method of planting and iii) green roof as tool to reduce storm water runoff. The finding of these areas will be compared to the suitability in achieving good practice of the GBI in Malaysia. Results show that most of the method are based on the countries own climate and environment. This suggests that the method of using green roof must adhere to the tropical climate of Malaysia. Suggestion of this research will be viewed in term of the sustainability of the green roof. Further research can be developed to implement the best method and application in Malaysian climate especially in urban cities and township.