Escola Superior de Biotecnologia

Urban Green Roofs

Friday, December 09, 2015 - 15:53

Under the frame of the conference 1st European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference held on 23 and 24 November 2015 in Vienna, Austria, and inserted into the theme Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services helping to adapt cities to climate change was presented by Eng. Paulo Palha (founder of the National ANCV-Association of Green Roofs and CEO of Neoturf), in collaboration with a joint team of researchers from the College of Biotechnology of the Portuguese Catholic University (Cristina Monteiro, Cristina Calheiros, Paula Castro) and the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (Sara de Freitas and Nuno Ramos), the work that has been developed in the field of green roofs in urban environment, in particular, the effect of vegetation on the surface temperature of the covers.

The construction of green roofs (vegetation use on top of buildings) has been increasing in recent years, in order to overcome various environmental problems that are felt in large urban areas caused in particular by the reduction of green spaces and it is being target of investment and legislation in various countries around the world. On the other hand, green roofs appear as a possible solution to reduce the temperature variations of the roofs of buildings, featuring both economic advantages (and it may contribute to energy efficiency and to increase the service life of the components) and environmental (contributing for water retention and decrease of the effect of "heat island").

In studies conducted in two pilot garden covers in the premises of ESB were tested different substrates and different species of indigenous aromatic plants of the Mediterranean climate to assess its effect on the temperature of the cover, making use of infrared thermography. In addition to the water retention capabilities already stated, this new study demonstrates through thermographic tests that the presence of vegetation on top of buildings exerts an influence on the environment, contributing to the reduction of surface temperature. This study contributes to the spread of this type of coverage.

The study potentialities of infrared thermography application to green roofs aromatic plants surface temperature evaluation can be found in the summary format and in poster format, which also is the caption for the picture above.