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Life my Building is green

: Portugal
: Alentejo
: 31,551 km²
: 705,478 (Eurostat, 2019)
: 2019
: 4 years
: Ongoing
: Yes
: LIFE Program
: 38.7277
: -6.5365
Increased infiltration, water retention and flood protection
Yes, a living wall absorbs rain water because the plants and substrate act as a water buffer. This delays the discharge of rainwater to the sewage system, purifies the rainwater, and water also evaporates through the plants. So this all helps to stabilize the groundwater level, reduces the peak load on the sewage system and therefore contribute to providing flood protection benefits to the surrounding areas. (Sempergreen, 2020)
Reduced drought risk, cooling effect, urban heat island mitigation
Yes, the project aims to analyse the impact of nature-based solutions as measures to adapt to climate change (CIMAC, s.a.). Covering walls with plants can significantly reduce the ambient temperature during hot summer months. Overall, it means a 3°C reduction in the area. Living walls not only shield grey surroundings from direct sunlight (50% is absorbed and 30% reflected), but ‘evapotranspiration’ (a combination of evaporation of water and release of water vapour) by plants also helps cool walls. (European Commision, 2013; Sempergreen, 2020).
Biodiversity conservation or increased biodiversity
Yes, green walls and roofs promote the habitat of birds, butterflies and insects, especially in the urban environment which is mainly concrete and asphalt and enhance the potential for urban biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning (Sempergreen, 2020; Threlfall et al; 2017).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, the project aimed to increase green infrastructure around and in three pilot buildings (two schools and a social services center) through implementation of native species from the Mediterranean and Atlantic areas (CIMAC, s.a.).
Sustainable urbanisation
Yes, NbS prototypes will be installed on facades and partitions, roofs, external surfaces and parking lots for each pilot building selected. In addition, this facility will be complemented by the implementation of sustainable measures for induced natural ventilation, seasonal shading (natural and artificial) and the choice of native species from the Mediterranean and Atlantic areas (CIMAC, s.a.).
Improved aesthetic value
Increased access to green infrastructure
Increased willingness, participation, investment in NBS
Provision of health benefits
Yes, a significant improvement in the thermal comfort of the citizens is expected through an increase in the capacity of older buildings to suppress the effects of high temperatures. It should be noted that the buildings to be covered in this operation are occupied by students and education professionals at all levels, by social service professionals and by the general public that regularly occupies these centers between 70 and 75% of their time. (CIMAC, s.a.).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, the project focuses also on the ability to apply the knowledge acquired in practice through the demonstration and dissemination of workshops because the measures adopted can be replicated in other buildings (CIMAC, s.a.).
Drought and heat risk
Yes, according to the study "Inter-General Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Central Alentejo" (PIAAC-AC), the current climate marked by the increase in annual average temperature between + 1,5 °C to + 2,2 °C and in the number of heatwave days between +7 to +17 days and the decrease in average annual rainfall between -6% and -10% (CIMAC, CEDRU, IDN, 2018).
Low availability of green infrastructure
Low aesthetic value
Negative environmental impacts on human health
Temperatures inside buildings reach 32 °C during during heat waves (May - October), causing serious health problems and thermal stress for children, the elderly and the disabled - groups considered at risk (CIMAC, s.a.).
Limited knowledge about biodiversity
Yes, there is a need to promote the urban biodiversity and greenery.
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Yes, by improving the capacity of old buildings located in the city to overcome the effects of heat waves and high temperatures reached inside and outside these buildings (CIMAC, s.a.).
Climate action, resilience, mitigation and adaptation (SDG13)
Yes, by increasing the capacity of buildings to suppress the effects of heat waves and high temperatures (CIMAC, s.a.).