The project aims to develop and validate new green roof and facade systems
The growth of cities has occurred with a clear reduction in the ratio between green areas and built-up areas. This fact has negative impacts on the environment and on populations, with emphasis on the increased risk of floods and the heat island effect. One of the strategies to counteract these effects is to promote green roofs and facades, if possible with increased concerns in terms of selecting more sustainable materials.
This project involves the conception, technical development, prototyping and final validation of multifunctional green roof and living façade (GRLF) systems. These solutions will be developed with sustainability in mind, aiming to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings through improved thermal insulation and by mitigating the effects of climate change, especially flood peaks and heat-waves.
Current roof and façade systems use synthetic materials to support plants and ensure drainage and water retention capacity. This project will develop a more sustainable system by using expanded cork agglomerate (ICB), which is made from industrial waste, in the conception of the inner layers of the system such as the water retention and drainage layers. Water retention will be ensured by the intrinsic ability of the cork granules to retain water within them. Drainage will be regulated by the interstitial space between the grains, which varies with the bulk density of the ICB. Introducing these natural elements in the urban space provides a pleasant architectural backdrop, cuts noise levels, slows rainwater run-off and reduces the energy consumption of buildings.
It is thus intended to create an innovative, sustainable system of high functional value in terms of devising and building green roofs and living façades of high commercial value and with high export potential.