Both Sioen’s GreenTecStyle® living walls and Tensile Architecture structures can alleviate heat stress in the urban environment. GreenTecStyle® offers solutions for a greener environment with planting vegetation, while Sioen Tensile Architecture provides shade.
GreenTecStyle® is a textile-based green building skin that may be part of an effective solution against the effects of climate change, more specifically urban heat stress. Whereas conventional concrete and brick walls exacerbate urban warming, GreenTecStyle® living walls can cool their environment via both passive cooling (= via shading) and active cooling (= via water evaporation). GreenTecStyle® reduces the amount of solar energy facades can build up because both the textile and the plants shield the walls of a building from the sun. The textile composite and its plants evaporate water, thanks to active irrigation with rainwater and its wet-sensor system.
Additionally, the GreenTecStyle® living walls provide thermal and acoustic insulation. In summer, your building will stay cool, while it keeps the heat inside in winter. Finally, the plants that are used for the living wall reduce CO2 from the atmosphere.
Quantifying the cooling potential of GreenTecStyle®
To measure the cooling potential of GreenTecStyle® living walls, the Sioen R&D department measured the Physiological Equivalent Temperatures (a heat stress index) in front and adjacent to their living walls. These measurements were performed at three different locations: the Sioen Headquarters in Ardooie, at Sioen Coatex in Poperinge and at Denis Plants in Lochristi, which is one of SIOEN’s preferred partners.
Compared to an adjacent wall, GreenTecStyle® living walls have been shown to cool the surrounding environment by up to 5°C. More recently, GreenTecStyle® has been shown to completely omit the heat typically irradiated by conventional walls altogether. As a result, the typical street canyon effect of urban heat islands may be a thing of the past with GreenTecStyle® living walls.
The GreenTecStyle® living bench concept
It might not always be easy to find a public space where a living wall can be put up, as most of the building walls surrounding a public space are privately owned. That is why GreenTecStyle® is proposing a world-first living bench concept for public spaces that does not require a wall to mount.
The living bench concept requires little care and maintenance compared to the traditional flower beds, which need watering as frequently as every two days. The GreenTecStyle® living bench concept, however, is autonomous for weeks owing to its built-in water reservoirs.
Follow our GreenTecStyle® social media for future announcements on this product range.
Sioen Tensile Architecture solutions
The Sioen Tensile Architecture and textile facade range is perfectly suited for providing shade in buildings and can thus be used for cooling down cities and towns. A facade is a second skin that is placed against the building’s original wall. Next to shading, the meshes or scrims can also be used for weather protection, visual sheltering, building aesthetics, direct sunlight screening and publicity.
The Tensile Architecture ranges are commonly used for aesthetical structures that provide shade and shelter against the rain. It is ideal for public spaces, such as sports venues, terraces and playgrounds, as you do not have the inconveniences of trees, such as falling leaves.
More information on Sioen Tensile Architecture as a best practice for the Cool Towns project follows in a separate article.