Urban greening provides a wide range of ecosystem services to address the main challenges of urban areas, e.g., carbon sequestration, evapotranspiration and shade, thermal insulation, and pollution control. This study evaluates the environmental sustainability of a vertical greening system (VGS) built in 2014 in Italy, for which extensive monitoring activities were implemented. The life-cycle assessment methodology was applied to quantify the water–energy–climate nexus of the VGS for 1 m2 of the building’s wall surface. Six different scenarios were modelled according to three different end-of-life scenarios and two different useful lifetime scenarios (10 and 25 years). The environmental impact of global-warming potential and generated energy consumption during the use phase in the VGS scenarios were reduced by 56% in relation to the baseline scenario (wall without VGS), and showed improved environmental performance throughout the complete life cycle. However, the water-scarcity index (WSI) of the VGS scenarios increased by 42%. This study confirms that the installation of VGSs offers a relevant environmental benefit in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions and energy consumption; however, increased water consumption in the use phase may limit the large-scale application of VGSs.

Environmental sustainability of building retrofit through vertical greening systems: A life-cycle approach

Perini K.;Magrassi F.;Giachetta A.;Moreschi L.;Gallo M.;Del Borghi A.
2021

Abstract

Urban greening provides a wide range of ecosystem services to address the main challenges of urban areas, e.g., carbon sequestration, evapotranspiration and shade, thermal insulation, and pollution control. This study evaluates the environmental sustainability of a vertical greening system (VGS) built in 2014 in Italy, for which extensive monitoring activities were implemented. The life-cycle assessment methodology was applied to quantify the water–energy–climate nexus of the VGS for 1 m2 of the building’s wall surface. Six different scenarios were modelled according to three different end-of-life scenarios and two different useful lifetime scenarios (10 and 25 years). The environmental impact of global-warming potential and generated energy consumption during the use phase in the VGS scenarios were reduced by 56% in relation to the baseline scenario (wall without VGS), and showed improved environmental performance throughout the complete life cycle. However, the water-scarcity index (WSI) of the VGS scenarios increased by 42%. This study confirms that the installation of VGSs offers a relevant environmental benefit in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions and energy consumption; however, increased water consumption in the use phase may limit the large-scale application of VGSs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1050084
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