Green Infrastructure Lowers Building Energy Demand
- Oct 7, 2021 10:33 pm GMT
When you hear the word “infrastructure,” what do you think of? Perhaps buildings, roads, bridges, and other built things — as well as the services, like energy, that make them work. But infrastructure can also include living organisms — that is, plants, which can be used as part of the urban landscape to “reduce local temperatures and shade building surfaces,” according to the EPA. Cooler indoor environments lead to lower energy demand and utilities should be aware of these strategies when collaborating with customers on energy efficiency options.
How It Works
When used as part of building infrastructure, trees can provide shading, windbreak, and evapotranspiration, all of which lower ambient air temperatures, reducing the demand for energy. Experts recommend that deciduous trees be planted along the south and east sides of a building to provide shade and reduce the cooling load in the summer, and allow sun into the building to reduce the heating load in the winter. Evergreen trees should be planted along the west and north sides of the building to create a wind block in the winter and contribute to shading in the summer.
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