Pollution in some cities around the world is alarming. CO2 emissions far exceed the established maximum levels. For this reason, leaders of certain countries have had to take environmental measures to curb the deterioration of the environment.
In Europe, many countries propose major changes in energy issues but also changes that may seem insignificant but very effective. One of these changes is the simple fact of proposing or forcing green spaces to the top of buildings.
One of the countries where they have decided by law to force gardens into the roofs of newly built buildings is France. According to French experts, plants at the top of buildings can help to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions, emissions which currently in France are four times the maximum levels set. In addition, it is estimated that more than 20,000 people die each year in France because of pollution.
Copenhagen, which was not named European Green capital 2014 by chance, already has many initiatives in place to improve air quality, including green roofs. The Danish capital has decided to make them compulsory with the aim of achieving zero CO2 emissions by 2025.
The city of Toronto, Canada, was the first city in America to implement a similar law that has created 1.2 million square meters of green roofs in shopping malls, institutional buildings, private homes and apartment complexes. It has also generated an annual energy saving of more than 1.5 million kWh. Later, Chicago, New York and Buenos Aires also joined the car and took similar measures.
Against pollution and in favour of savings
The fact is that having plants and green areas on the roofs of buildings helps to combat urban pollution. According to the company of integral systems for Sustainable Construction Danosa, the presence of plants in a landscaped area at the top of the building can help reduce up to 50% of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.
In addition, the environmental benefits of setting up roof gardens are not the only advantages. It has been shown that plants help to isolate the building and thus keep the house cooler in summer, the so-called” awning effect ” and isolate it from the cold in winter, thus allowing energy savings. In fact, according to data from Danosa, it can be a measure of savings of up to 30% in the cost of air conditioning of the building.
According to this company, the most practical solution to improve the savings and sustainability of community buildings is to install a thermal insulating pavement along with an ecological landscaped cover solution, which will provide vegetation. “The combination of these two comprehensive solutions will not only improve the building’s aesthetics but also make it more energy-efficient,” Danosa says.
Practical cases in Barcelona
The Pompeu Fabra University transformed less than a year ago the cover of the Mercè Rodoreda building of the Ciutadella campus into a green space. The proposal, which is part of Barcelona’s commitment to climate, aims to contribute to making urban spaces in the city more ecological and sustainable.
UPF is a very urban university with very little green space. We want to do our bit to make a city more sustainable, and we are committed to expanding the green areas and vertical gardens at the University
In addition, the green cover is used as experimental spaces where substrates, constructions and plants with more suitable for this type of space are studied.