How to Evaluate the Long-Term Benefits of Installing Green Walls in Urban Real Estate?

April 4, 2024

Over the past years, a transformative shift in urban design has been observed. It’s between the grey, concrete jungles we’ve been accustomed to, towards a greener, more sustainable future. Among the architectural innovations leading this charge are vertical green walls, also known as living walls. These walls, adorned with a variety of plants, are not just visually appealing, but they also offer a host of long-term benefits. However, how do you evaluate these benefits? What systems do you use? This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the long-term benefits of installing green walls in urban real estate.

Understanding Green Walls and Their Types

Before diving into the benefits and their evaluation, it’s instrumental to understand what green walls are and their types. Green walls, as the name suggests, are vertical surfaces, either part of a building or free-standing, that are covered with vegetation. There are mainly two types of green walls – green facades and living walls.

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Green facades are simpler, with plants growing directly on the wall or a trellis near the wall. Living walls, on the other hand, are more complex and have plants rooted into a structural support fastened to the wall.

Understanding these types is essential as each type has distinct benefits and considerations for installation, maintenance, and water requirements.

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Using Scholarly Resources for Benefit Analysis

When evaluating the long-term benefits of green walls, turning to scholarly resources like Google Scholar and Crossref is a wise move. These platforms house a vast range of research papers, studies and articles that provide scientific evidence on the benefits of living walls. They offer comprehensive analysis, covering a wide array of aspects from energy savings to environmental impact.

You can find statistical data, case studies, comparative analyses and even predictive models on these platforms. They can help you understand how green walls affect the building’s energy consumption, air quality, water management, and aesthetic appeal.

Evaluating Environmental Benefits

Green walls have significant environmental benefits. To evaluate these benefits, consider factors like air quality, biodiversity and urban heat island effect reduction.

Green walls can significantly improve air quality. Plants absorb toxins and release clean oxygen, reducing the carbon footprint of the building. Moreover, they attract various species, promoting urban biodiversity. Lastly, by providing natural shade and transpiration, green walls can reduce the urban heat island effect, thereby lowering surrounding temperatures.

To measure these benefits, you’ll have to monitor air pollutant levels, count species and measure local temperature changes over time.

Assessing Economic Benefits

Beyond environmental benefits, green walls also have economic advantages. They can reduce energy costs, increase property value, and even provide branding opportunities.

Green walls act as natural insulators, reducing the need for air conditioning in summers and heating in winters. This energy efficiency translates into tangible cost savings. Furthermore, properties with green walls tend to have a higher market value due to their aesthetic appeal and eco-friendly features.

To calculate these benefits, you can compare energy bills before and after the installation, assess property value changes, and quantify the branding value achieved through positive public perception and media coverage.

Reviewing Health and Wellbeing Benefits

Finally, green walls contribute to human health and wellbeing. They provide a calming environment, reduce noise levels and can even boost productivity.

Studies show that being near nature can lower stress levels, improve mood and increase productivity. Green walls can bring this beneficial nature into urban environments. They also act as sound barriers, reducing ambient noise levels.

To evaluate these benefits, consider conducting surveys on occupant satisfaction and wellbeing. You can also measure noise levels before and after the installation.

In conclusion, green walls present a compelling case for urban real estate. Their benefits encompass environmental, economic and health aspects. However, to accurately evaluate these benefits, a systematic review and analysis using credible resources and metrics are necessary. The process may be involved, but the results could pave the way for a greener, healthier and more sustainable urban future.

Measuring Impact on Building’s Thermal Performance

Assessing the thermal performance of buildings with green walls is another factor to consider. Green walls and green facades can significantly affect the building’s energy consumption levels, acting as a natural insulator and creating a microclimate around the building.

If you’ve installed a green wall system, you should monitor changes in energy consumption. To do this, you can compare utility bills before and after the installation of the wall. This comparison would provide a clear picture of how the green wall has improved the building’s thermal performance.

For a more rigorous analysis, you can use tools like Building Performance Simulation (BPS) to model the building’s thermal behaviour. This can provide detailed information such as how much energy is saved through reduced heating in winter and reduced air conditioning in summer.

Furthermore, you can also measure the surface temperature of the walls before and after the installation of the greenery systems. This can give an indication of how effectively the green wall or green facade is reducing heat gain or loss.

Comparing with Other Green Installations

To gauge the long-term benefits of green walls, a comparison with other green installations, such as green roofs or traditional landscaping, can be beneficial. This comparison would help understand the relative benefits of these different green installations.

For instance, while both green roofs and green walls contribute to reducing heat gain, green walls have the added advantage of not requiring additional structural support, unlike green roofs. Moreover, green walls, especially living walls, can host a wider variety of plants, thereby enhancing biodiversity more than green roofs.

However, when it comes to water management, green roofs might have an upper hand as they can better retain and manage rainwater. Therefore, comparing these aspects can help you make a more informed decision about the suitability of green walls for your specific urban environment.

Conclusion

In sum, green walls present a multitude of benefits for the urban environment. They not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of buildings but also contribute to environmental conservation, economic savings, and human wellbeing. From improving air quality to reducing energy consumption, from increasing property value to creating healthier living spaces, green walls are truly a marvel of sustainable urban design.

However, evaluating these benefits requires a keen understanding of the subject, access to reliable resources like Google Scholar and Crossref, and a rigorous analytical approach. Regular monitoring of changes in air quality, energy consumption, biodiversity, and thermal performance is paramount.

In addition, comparing the benefits of green walls with other green installations can provide a more comprehensive understanding of their long-term benefits.

With an increasing focus on sustainability and wellbeing in urban spaces, the adoption of green walls is likely to grow. The onus now lies on urban planners, architects, and real estate developers to make the most of these vertical greenery systems and contribute to a greener, healthier and more sustainable urban future.