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Title: Green walls : the thermoregulatory role of plants adjacent to brick walls in a temperate climate
Author: Taylor, Jane E.
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. The associated effect on energy demand is a key sustainability issue, not least as heat stress and fuel poverty are catalysts for poor health and increased rates of fatality. The results from this study support the thesis that vegetation adjacent to buildings can ameliorate temperature extremes and reduce year round energy consumption in a temperate maritime climate. In summer, mean air and cavity temperatures of un-vegetated walls were over comfort temperatures (24 DC) for 10.5 hours per day; conversely vegetated walls remained principally <24C^ . The hottest extremes presented the greatest difference; foliage shade cooled significantly, even without complete cover and/or evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration was an important factor in maximising cooling potential, if evapotranspiration were absent, rate of cooling could be halved. Overall rate of cooling was found to be strongly species specific, as was leaf area index in maximising leaves exposed to irradiance, and hence evapotranspiration potential. In winter, vegetated brick walls were significantly warmer than ambient overnight with weekly heat energy consumption 17 to 45% less than co-located un-vegetated walls; the full› winter mean being 38% less. Energy savings were maximised during precipitation events, high winds, and particularly in sub-zero temperatures, with microclimate, brick, and cavity wall temperatures all warmer behind both open and dense foliage; although efficacy was maximised behind substantive and consistent canopies. Loss of winter solar gain on south facing vegetated walls did not reduce diurnal efficacy as afternoon solar gain was lost by evening on un-vegetated walls.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available