Assessing the effectiveness of green roofs in enhancing the energy and indoor comfort resilience of urban buildings to climate change: Methodology proposal and application

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The effects of climate change on the built environment represents an important research challenge. Today, green roofs (GRs) represent a viable solution for enhancing energy and urban resilience in the face of climate change, as they can have a positive impact on the building's indoor thermal comfort and energy demand, as well as inducing various environmental benefits (easing urban heat island effects, improving the management of runoff water, reducing air pollution, etc.). Thus, it is important to be able to assess their effectiveness, both today and under future climate conditions, in order to evaluate whether they can also provide a valid long-term solution. In this paper, a simulation approach is proposed to evaluate the energy and indoor-comfort efficacy of GRs installed on a cluster of buildings with respect to climate change and demographic growth. To illustrate the proposed methodology, it has been applied to two European urban environments characterized by very different climatic conditions (Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg and Palermo in Italy) considering their behaviour over a period of 60 years (2020, 2050, 2080). Results showed that, with respect to standard existing roofs (i.e., without the presence of green coverage), and considering the rising temperatures due to climate change, during cooling seasons GRs enabled significant energy savings (ranging from 20% to 50% for Esch-sur-Alzette and from 3% to 15% for Palermo), improvement of the indoor comfort (reduction of the average predicted mean votes − PMVs) and attenuation of the ceiling temperatures (2–5 °C for both contexts) of the buildings' top floors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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