Effects of Vegetation on Urban Climate and Buildings

Vegetation can play an important role in the topoclimate of towns and the microclimate of buildings too. It is different according to the macroclimatic circumstances, but in any case vegetation can give a significant contribution to the climatic conditions.

Local climate is determined by atmospheric elements, such as net radiation, advection and convection, and by geographical factors, especially longitude and latitude, oceanity and aridity, the relief graduations and the factors of the urban surface and structure. Those factors ‘stress’ the atmospheric elements and form the urban topoclimate and microclimate.

The urban structures, volume and special surfaces alter the near-surface conditions of the atmosphere. They form special climatotopes. These urban types can be organized as poleotopes of different density and structures which build— more or less — their own topoclimate: therefore we call them ‘poleoclimatotopes’.

Each poleoclimatotope, industrial, commercial/city, residential/urban/suburban, and different kinds of open spaces in towns, has its own mean structure and percentage of vegetation surface. But also in the ‘choroclimatotopes’ — the climatotopes of the open landscape — as wood, grove, heath, farmland greenery, arable land, and open water surfaces — special styles of vegetation surface and structure can be found.

With buildings, some vegetative climatic effects can be made by combining green cover on walls, roofs, and in open spaces in the vicinity of buildings. According to the environmental conditions the different climatotopes show the effect of vegetation on the urban topoclimate and microclimate, regarding different styles of greenery at and around buildings.

Suggested citation or credit:

Fritz Wilmers, Effects of vegetation on urban climate and buildings, Energy and Buildings, Volume 15, Issues 3–4, 1990–1991, Pages 507-514, ISSN 0378-7788, 10.1016/0378-7788(90)90028-H. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/037877889090028H)

Source: Energy and Buildings

Publication Date: February 2003

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