HS1.1.7 | Looking for resilience at building scale: Nature-based Solutions to face water related and energetic challenges
Looking for resilience at building scale: Nature-based Solutions to face water related and energetic challenges
Co-organized by ERE1
Convener: Elisa CostamagnaECSECS | Co-conveners: Francesco BuscaECSECS, Nils EingrüberECSECS, Bernhard PucherECSECS
Posters on site
| Attendance Fri, 19 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST) | Display Fri, 19 Apr, 08:30–12:30
Hall A
Fri, 10:45
The effects of climate change highlight the importance of developing a resilient design approach for buildings, both in dense urban areas and rural communities. Nature-based solutions (NBSs) can help in this as an adaptation measure, providing multiple benefits at building scale. Increasing the applications of green walls and green-blue roofs can reduce heat stress, improve rainwater and wastewater management and drive the communities towards the concept of circular economy and self-subsistence.

This session aims to share and discuss the most recent advances in NBSs that increase building resilience and sustainability in the urban environment. Therefore, we aim for a session including researchers from different fields such as engineering and architecture, natural sciences such as microclimatology and meteorology, and social/psychological science. We encourage also those involved in policymaking to submit a contribution, to have an integrated approach to buildings development.

Our focus will primarily be on solutions that not only improve routine building management but also make meaningful contributions to the mitigation s of extreme events, like extreme urban heat stress (UHI/heat events) or extreme precipitation events and local flooding. Submissions may include (but not restricted to) contributions on:

- Laboratory, field measurements and numerical modelling studies (like microclimatic or hydrodynamic simulations) on green walls and green-blue roofs and other NBSs for rainwater management, wastewater treatment, thermal control, edible vegetation production, energy production
- Qualitative research like user- or agent-based approaches that investigate the potentials and effects of NBSs for climate change adaptation and improving thermal comfort, and further challenges of the water-energy nexus on this small/building scale.
- Urban areas mapping (e.g. GIS applications) or modelling for buildings urban management (BIM applications)
- Investment and cost return of NBS application to buildings
- Life-Cycle-Assessment (LCA) analysis
- Quantitative analysis on possible sanitary risks innovative wastewater treatment and reuse solutions at local scale
- Buildings retrofitting projects or real-scale applications
- NBS social acceptance

In essence, our session aims to explore the multifaceted aspects of NBSs in the context of building resilience, with particular emphasis on their impact, feasibility, and sustainability.

Posters on site: Fri, 19 Apr, 10:45–12:30 | Hall A

Display time: Fri, 19 Apr 08:30–Fri, 19 Apr 12:30
Chairperson: Elisa Costamagna
Giacomo Falchetta and Enrica De Cian

Climate change impacts are increasingly felt, and a key hazard for human health is exposure to chronic and acute heat. Air conditioning is an effective indoor adaptation technology. However, it is widely regarded as a form of “maladaptation” due to its high energy intensity and the detrimental impact it has on urban outdoor temperatures and global greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, urban green space (UGS) is widely regarded as an effective green infrastructure with potential to mitigate the urban heat island effect. In this context, here we built on a global validated model based on street-level vegetation density, satellite imagery, and ancillary covariates to track UGS in a large sample of cities worldwide (Falchetta and Hammad, forthcoming) and derive a context-aware but generalized statistical linkage with buildings electricity consumption statistics. Based on the modelled relations, we derive future projection of the potential contribution of UGS expansions to energy demand reduction in buildings in different regions of the world. Our study advances the quantitative, globally relevant understanding of the intersection between climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the role of nature-based solutions to reduce the feedback impacts of adaptation while providing ecosystem service co-benefits.

How to cite: Falchetta, G. and De Cian, E.: Urban green space: global assessment of potential energy demand reduction in buildings, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1444, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-1444, 2024.

Yuxin Yin, Gabriele Manoli, and Lauren Cook

Urbanization and climate change are leading to an increase in urban heat, posing a threat to human health and well-being. Urban green spaces (UGS), such as parks and gardens, have been recognized as an effective strategy for heat mitigation because they dissipate heat within their boundaries and in the surrounding areas. The magnitude of the cooling effect of UGS varies across locations and is affected by various factors, such as background climate, urban fabric, and vegetation properties. However, previous research studying the effect of UGS typically focused on specific case study areas and particular aspects of driving factors.

To do so, we integrate modeling, remote sensing datasets, and on-site measurements to assess the microclimate conditions of five different UGS (allotment gardens, public parks, private gardens, real estate yards, and ruderal sites.) in three Swiss cities with different biophysical conditions (Zurich, Geneva, and Lugano). Urban Tethys-Chloris (UT&C) model, a novel urban ecohydrological model with an explicit representation of urban canyon and vegetation properties, is applied to simulate the microclimate for each UGS and city. The models are validated using on-site measurements for air temperature, relative humidity, and surface temperature from July to October 2023. Preliminary results for Zurich show a good fit between simulation results and on-site measurements for both three variables, especially for air temperature and surface temperature with both R-squares larger than 0.8.

During the simulation period from June 21 to October 3, results will identify diurnal and daily patterns of microclimate conditions, including how different vegetation properties (i.e., height, canopy width, leaf area index, stomatal conductance) affect the microclimate. Subsequently, statistical regression will be employed to explore how the cooling effect of UGS is related to the distinct urban fabric and background conditions. Overall, the study will explain how various factors influence urban microclimate and provide insights on which factors will help to enhance the cooling effect in urban green space design.

How to cite: Yin, Y., Manoli, G., and Cook, L.: Assessing the microclimate conditions in urban green spaces and the effects of underlying driving factors in Switzerland, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16430, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-16430, 2024.

Giovan Battista Cavadini and Lauren Cook

As the impacts of climate change intensify, bringing an increase in the frequency and magnitude of heat waves, the interest around urban heat mitigation strategies is rapidly growing worldwide. Green roofs, defined as roofing systems that incorporate a vegetated layer, have been proved to reduce urban heat, thanks to their evaporative cooling and lower heat storage than conventional roofs. Thus, they are expected to become increasingly important in the future, given their potential to counteract the projected temperature increases associated with climate change.

Numerous studies emphasize the urban heat mitigation potential of green roofs, yet accurate quantifications of their temperature reductions under future climate are currently lacking. For instance, under climate change, higher temperatures and longer dry periods are expected in central Europe, conditions that can negatively affect green roofs. Recently, microclimate models are gaining traction in evaluating the efficacy of heat mitigation strategies, facilitating the quantification of urban heat reductions under various climate conditions. However, despite their increasing use in the literature, microclimate models are rarely combined with climate projections, due to the complexity of downscaling interdependent weather variables such as precipitation, air temperature and global horizontal radiation. Consequently, the heat reduction potential of green roofs under future climates is largely unexplored, particularly in comparison to their observed performance under current climate. Additionally, it is unknown whether specific roof parameters could contribute to further enhancing heat mitigation, such as plant characteristics, irrigation schemes, or substrate depth.

This study aims to investigate the heat mitigation potential under climate change on a green roof in Mendrisio, Switzerland (characterized by hot, dry summers) using an open source microclimate model developed by Meili et al. (2020), Urban Tethys-Chloris (UT&C). This model was selected because of the fully coupled energy and water balance, and the incorporation of plant-specific characteristics. Continuous year-long monitoring of the green roof enabled to collect surface temperature using infrared sensors. These measurements were used to calibrate and validate the microclimate model. To account for climate change, coupled, sub-hourly, future projections of precipitation, air temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity, and wind speed were used as input to the validated microclimate model. These projections were derived from a convection resolving climate model (COSMO forced by MPI-M-MPI-ESM-LR at RCP 8.5, worst-case emissions scenario) run over the European domain at a 2.2-km, 6-minute resolution for a 10-year period that was bias corrected through quantile mapping. Lastly, variations in key parameters like substrate depth, vegetation type, and green roof irrigation schemes were explored to analyze their impact on urban heat mitigation under climate change.

Preliminary, manual calibration of the microclimate model resulted in a good predictive ability (r2 = 0.71), which will be further improved with automatic calibration. In a current climate, the green roof was able to reduce maximum surface temperatures in Summer by approximately 15°C, with respect to an adjacent concrete roof. Further expected results will evaluate potential temperatures reductions in a future climate and determine whether green roofs can counteract increasing temperatures by exploring a range of alternative designs.

How to cite: Cavadini, G. B. and Cook, L.: Evaluating Green Roof Heat Mitigation Potential in a Changing Climate, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7729, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-7729, 2024.

Yannick Dahm, Karin Hoffmann, Oliver Schinke, and Thomas Nehls

Vertical greenery (VG) reduces the indoor heat hazard. To take advantage of their cooling effects, the underlying key design factors have to be understood. However, the influence of plant species, building type, and VG design on the thermal advantages has received limited attention in current literature.
Therefore, heat fluxes and temperature profiles for different ground based VG designs in the temperate climate of Berlin, Germany, were analysed using a process-based model. Indoor temperature profiles were integrated, assuming that air conditioning (AC) had been installed. Cooling effects have been simulated for six parameterised plant species of varying ages, across three different building types, and alternated air gap and crop thickness.
The results were compared, quantifying the cooling potential and the possible energy savings. They differ between plant species and building types. The diurnal variation of the indoor temperature resulted in maximum savings during the night. Fallopia baldschuanica showed the highest energy savings of approximately 23%. Thereby, it was multiple times more energy efficient than a Humulus lupulus.
This illustrates the significance of selecting the appropriate VG plant species. Considering factors such as growth rates and potential harm to buildings, VG can be strategically optimzed.

How to cite: Dahm, Y., Hoffmann, K., Schinke, O., and Nehls, T.: Simulating the impact of ground-based façade greenery design on indoor heat stress reduction, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6337, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-6337, 2024.

Karin A. Hoffmann, Rabea Saad, Björn Kluge, and Thomas Nehls

Green walls, facade greenery, living walls – vertical building greening as part of urban green infrastructure are measures for climate sensitive urban design, for water management and microclimate regulation. Strategic integration of green walls into local water and energy cycles requires prediction of evapotranspiration, considering the individual design, plant species, and building characteristics. Available models address horizontal surfaces but disregard vertical particularities and urban conditions, e.g., reduced direct radiation, spatial patterns of radiation on the wall due to building orientation and shading obstacles, and very heterogeneous wind fields that are influenced by rough surfaces, canyons, and adjacent wind barriers. We present a verticalization model, ET0vert, for the reference crop evapotranspiration ET0 (FAO) based on a sensitivity analysis. It comprises the adaptation of solar radiation and wind to the individual situations in front of a wall or facade. The accuracies of the model predictions are evaluated for (i) remote climate station data (horizontal reference plane), (ii) interpolated climate data (both horizontal and vertical reference plane) and (iii) on-site measured climate data (vertical reference plane, both not height-adapted and height-adapted) as input. We validate the model with data for a one-month reference period (25/07/2014 – 29/08/2014) from a weighable lysimeter with Fallopia baldschuanica greening of a 12 m high wall in Berlin, Germany.

Regarding individual meteorological input parameters, we found high relevance of both vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and solar radiation (RS) for the study area. Using VPD and RS, respectively, a linear model could explain 90 % and 85 % of daily ET0 variances. No such relationship could be detected for wind speed, but for maximum and minimum wind speed.

Compared to remote horizontal input data, verticalization of input data (RS and wind) reduced overestimations of ET from about 90 % to 14 % and 27 % for the daily and hourly resolution, respectively. If onsite climate data is available, deviations are reduced to 9 % and 5 % for the daily and hourly resolution. Height-adaptation of input data resulted in further improvements of the prediction accuracies (1 % and 2 % deviation for hourly and daily resolution).

We conclude that simply using remote horizontal climate data for calculating ET of green walls is not advisable. Instead, any input data, onsite measured or remote climate station data, should be verticalized and preferably height-adapted. The verticalized model predicts the hourly and daily evapotranspiration of green walls necessary for e.g., irrigation planning, building energy simulations or local climate modeling.

For more information: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2023-22

How to cite: Hoffmann, K. A., Saad, R., Kluge, B., and Nehls, T.: Modelling reference evapotranspiration of green walls (ET0vert), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15912, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-15912, 2024.

Christina Tsai, Yu-Kai Chiu, Ching-Hao Fu, and Yao-Wen Hsu

Water consumption is a fundamental global need.  Water production consumes lots of energy and emits plenty of greenhouse gases.  Determining the carbon footprint of water can offer various benefits. Reducing water use and conserving water can lead to lower energy consumption, lower carbon emissions, lower monthly water and energy costs, and less demand for water.  As carbon neutrality gradually prevails, low carbon emissions have become the future global trend and goal.  Therefore, it is crucial to understand the relationship between water consumption and carbon emissions.

As most countries struggle to reduce their carbon emissions in response to global warming, investments in water conservation, efficiency, and reuse are among the most cost-effective energy and carbon reduction strategies.  Urban water infrastructures have been demonstrated to contribute to global CO2 emissions significantly, and buildings account for a large portion of most urban water consumption.  Notably, while there is abundant rainfall in Taiwan, there appears to be a frequent water shortage crisis.  Such a crisis is aggravated by climate change because of the more unpredictable seasonal changes.  Climate change is linked to excessive anthropogenic carbon emissions. 

This study focuses on five types of buildings with various missions and usage on the National Taiwan University campus.  These infrastructures are typically deemed as having significant water consumption at National Taiwan University: (1) Residential buildings, (2) Experimental buildings, (3) Experimental farms, (4) the Department of Animal Science and (5) Lecture halls.  The specific objectives of this project are to uncover the nexus between thermal comfort and water consumption and the relationship between water consumption and hydro-meteorological and anthropogenic factors.


How to cite: Tsai, C., Chiu, Y.-K., Fu, C.-H., and Hsu, Y.-W.: Sustainable Water Consumption Strategies in a Changing Climate, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17003, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-17003, 2024.

Matteo Carollo and Ilaria Butera

Rainwater harvesting for indoor uses could be a useful practice for a sustainable management of urban water. The realization of a rainwater harvesting system strictly depends on the costs and the required space so that an accurate design is necessary, especially in the tank sizing step. The volume of the tank is an important element of the system which impacts not only important environmental issues such as the volumes of saved potable water and the reduction of rainwater volumes to the sewerage system, but also the costs and the practical realization of the rainwater harvesting system. Nevertheless, while the professional world seeks solutions that are easy to apply (e.g. simplified sizing methods), from a scientific point of view several aspects are still to be clarified, among these the role of the temporal variability of rainfall in the tank sizing step, that is the object of the present study.

Rainfall temporal variability is quantified by the Coefficient of Variation (CV) of rainfall datasets. This analysis is carried out through numerical simulations and it is focused on the national Italian territory. Daily rainfall data of 3436 rainfall gauge stations located on the national Italian territory are considered and buildings with different catchment area and number of persons are taken into account. Our computations show that the majority of rainfall gauges in Italy has a rainfall CV in the 2.5-3.5 range, with higher values in the South and in the main islands. The role of the temporal variability of rainfall is clear: the same building in locations with the same mean annual rainfall depth, can require different tank sizes according to the rainfall coefficient of variation of the specific location. As an example, to reach the same water saving, a medium rise building located in Ascoli Satriano (CV=2.42) should be equipped with a tank size of 2700 litres, while in other locations which have the same mean annual rainfall depth but different CV, like Casale Monferrato (CV=3.41) and Muravera (CV=4.83), the required capacity is 3400 litres and 6800 litres, respectively. This underline the importance of taking into account the rainfall temporal variability in the tank sizing.

The analysis made use of non dimensional parameters, i.e. the storage fraction and the demand fraction, so that the results, obtained from different buildings over the Italian territory, are comparable, allowing in this way to build a unique graph that contains all information: the water demand, the mean annual rainfall depth and the rainfall coefficient of variation, as well as the number of inhabitants and the roof area of the building.

How to cite: Carollo, M. and Butera, I.: Rainfall temporal variability and rainwater harvesting efficiency: an analysis over the Italian territory. , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12889, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-12889, 2024.