Waste geopolymeric binder-based natural vegetated panels for energy-efficient building green roofs and facades is an ongoing research project financed by FCT “Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia”, coordinated by João Castro Gomes, University of Beira Interior (UBI), Portugal.
Total Funding: € 152.832,00
Running period: March 2011 – February 2014. More information: http://geogreencmade.wordpress.com
Green roof utilisation has been known since ancient times both in hot and cold climates. Nowadays, it has been reconsidered at issue of energy saving and pollution reduction. Green roofs and facades delivery multiple benefits. It creates a modern, unique aesthetics and building envelope that is living and changing with time. It enhances building’s energy rating. It provides natural shading and cooling in summer and, in some cases, thermal insulation in winter through its external wall insulation layer.
Green facades and green roofs typically have different layers of construction; a protection layer, a drainage layer and a growing media (soil). The most important characteristics of the growing layer are its thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity, and density. Depending upon the type of vegetation used the growing media layer may be as thin as 5 cm or as thick as 1m, thus the media layer has significant implications for the construction of the building and roof or façade support system. Additionally, selection of adequate growing vegetation, irrigation system and water management, leakage-proof protection, among others, are also relevant aspects for thermal and energy performance, as well as construction details, of such passive cooling technologies.
Currently, there are numerous research works in progress in this field and a worldwide growing interest in utilization of green roofs and facades, particularly in Europe, as climate and energy security concerns have come to the forefront of EU policymaking. This is also CMADE research focus, contributing for the investigation of building materials and technologies environmentally sustainable, having multidisciplinary competences to tackle research in this field.
Therefore, this project will carry on an interdisciplinary original study for the development of green roof and facades. Originality of this proposal resides in the fact that research intends to develop an pre- fabricated panel, incorporating vegetation, as part of a modular building system, that can be easily adapted to new buildings and retrofitting, being as well, easy to replace and maintained in normal functioning.
Thus, the objectives of this research proposal are:
1) Designing of an original pre-grown vegetated panel modular-based system suitable for both new building and retrofitting;
2) Studying different combinations of layers composition; growing vegetation, drainage, water management and protection media, as a single composite panel were insulation properties in summer and heat storage in winter will be enhanced;
3) Studying use of indigenous or endemic vegetation for a specific climate having with large thermal amplitude (very hot summer- very cold winter);
4) Studying and production of various compositions for panel structure using non-conventional waste- based materials (waste geopolymeric binder-based), combining low density, porosity, strength, durability and fire resistance;
5) Carrying on real climate experimental measurements, numerical modelling, and thermal and energy performance, for different solutions, using an infrastructure developed and constructed with this project; 6) Proposing practical recommendations for the pre-fabrication of the developed system and its integration in modern urban areas and building retrofitting.
The project will be supported by a cell test infrastructure were real climate studies will be carried on. The cell test, during the duration of this project, will be placed at Beira Interior Region where occurs large temperature differences between summer and winter, which will be of particular interest to the application of this studies in both Portugal and Europe.
Project achievements will also contribute to sustainable development, particularly in terms of energy savings, waste recycling and use of low CO2 binders, as well for biodiversity, urban modernization and building retrofitting.