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Study estimates buildings potential to receive green roofs

Innovative research uses a methodology based on modeling and 3D analysis to quantify the green area at soil level and it’s potential if applied on a rooftop.

Local authorities are responsible for implementing strategic guidelines in their cities to promote sustainability and energy efficiency, based on renewable sources. In this context, remote sensing technologies can be an effective source of up-to-date geo-information on the urban environment. Nowadays, the geographic data modeling obtained by LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensors allows three-dimensional (3D) analysis of the urban surface on a large scale.

Information on potential green areas in urban environments can be used to promote low-carbon urban development actions that go far beyond the permeable area at the ground level.

A group of researchers from CICS.NOVA and the Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental  (CIMAR) of the Porto University propose an approach that quantifies, in Lisbon, the potential of the buildings to receive green roofs. It is intended to demonstrate the green area gain for the city of Lisbon, considering the areas of buildings able to receive green roofs. It is assumed that the conversion of the tops of the buildings into green roofs promotes the comfort and the environmental quality of the city, being also a mitigation factor of the climatic changes and a conservation action of the biodiversity.

In order to quantify the green potential in tops of buildings, the following factors were considered:

·       Number of hours of sunshine available;

·       The characteristics of buildings tops such as absence of tile, slope of roof and available area

The variables, based on 3D laser scanning information (LiDAR) and a WordlView-2 satellite image, result in a model that allows estimating the potential to receive green coverage of urban buildings. In this way, it is demonstrated the usefulness of data obtained by LiDAR and satellite for the production of information useful to urban planning, in a context that is intended to be sustainable.

The study now published results from the continued search for useful tools for urban management and urban planning, which began with the study of the photovoltaic potential of buildings in Lisbon. Knowing the best locations for certain uses, it is possible to choose sustainable policies and create strategic lines that encourage the conversion of the tops of the buildings into green areas.

Read the study at the “Sustainability” magazine

2017-07-28 14:52
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