Institute of Physics in Berlin-Adlershof - Urban Ecological Model Project

Green Façades

Façade with Wisteria
Façade with Wisteria

Green façades are expected to provide an active solar shading system. As a "side effect" they illustrate the changing seasons. Ten types of climbing plants have been planted in 150 planters on nine different building façades. Façade greening is closely related to the effort of optimising energy efficiency of the building. Plants provide shade during summer, while in the winter the sun's radiation is able to pass through the glass front. The greening also harnesses evapotranspiration to improve the microclimate inside and around the building.

In selecting the climbing plants an emphasis was placed on types that can grow in planter boxes under extreme conditions. Of the various plants tested the Wisteria sinensis has proven to do the best. In addition, a special system of irrigation and different substrates have also been applied and studied. A factor in the selection was an adequate capillary climbing capacity. A layer of insulation was provided to some of the planter boxes to compensate for large shifts in temperature and to help protect against very low winter temperatures. A comparison with boxes without insulation revealed significant differences in the growth of plants according to their location.

Planters with substrate on the façade
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