Challenge: a liveable and climate proof city

Climate change, and more specifically the Urban Heat Island Effect, negatively impacts human well-being and the energy performance of buildings in the urban environment. Urban heat reduces human productivity, affects elderly and newborns and increases water and energy consumption for cooling of buildings. On top of that, rainstorms cause increased Urban Runoff due to all paved and build surfaces, causing costly damages to businesses, services and properties. Valuable rainwater is pumped out of the city, at great cost, both environmentally as well as economically, wasting a perfectly good useable source of free and clean water.   

With Blue-Green infrastructures, paved surfaces such as rooftops and podium decks, are transformed into growing green oasis, which cool the environment by means of reflecting sunlight and evaporating water. These oasis keep rainwater out of the sewer systems, offer a pleasant place to stay for humans and biodiversity and reduce the HVAC load of building underneath. However, up until today there is no data available on the exact quantity of water plants can evaporate from Blue-Green systems and the effect thereof on the ambient temperature or the energy flux into the building underneath. And exactly that is what we will research in Project Smartroof 2.0 in the coming years.

Images courtesy of Permavoid Ltd.