Green buildings

Green oriented to buildings

Image credit: Copijn Tuin en Landschapsarchitecten

Prevent cold winter winds near the building

Coniferous windbreaks planted between cold winter winds and a building reduce heat loss inside buildings. Wind speed can be up to 70% less directly behind a planted structure. Avoid dense trees in the direction of cooling summer breezes. The reduction of relatively low wind speeds (max. 4m/second = 1.5-10mph) can mean an annual savings of 10% on energy consumption for heating.

Prevent excess sun from reaching the building

Trees planted on the east and west sides of buildings block summer sun before it enters the building, therefore reducing the need for air conditioning. Large deciduous trees not only block summer sun but also allow winter sun to filter through the empty branches and warm the building. Temperatures are also reduced by transpiration in the warm growing season.

Prevent air pollution from entering the building

Trees planted outside may act as a pre-filter for the air that eventually enters the building. The air has already gone through a filtering process by flowing through the tree canopy first. Place planting structures close to buildings so polluted air rises above the building or is led alongside the building.

Place planting near ventilation ducts

Place evergreen plants near the in-going ventilation ducts of a building. This improves the quality of the air that enters the building. Deciduous plants also help shade and cool the areas around the ventilation ducts in summer and allow the sunlight to warm the ingoing air in the winter.

Use trees to filter background pollution

Do not only place trees to filter pollutants next to the source of pollutants (industry, streets, etc.) but also around sensitive objects such as schools, hospitals, elderly homes, etc. These are the groups most susceptible to the health hazards of air pollution.

Improve the microclimate around and in buildings by placing trees and green structures strategically outside buildings.



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Did you know?

Adjacent green reduces the energy demands of buildings by up to 10%

Benefits of adjacent green

  • Reduces the energy demands of buildings by up to 10%
  • Reduces the use of air conditioning in the summer
  • Reduces the use of heating in the winter
  • Maintenance on building facades is less if shielded from excessive wind and sun
  • Indoor ventilation and climate are improved


New and existing developments

In new development:

Include green around buildings as a sustainable building technique used to calculate the energy coefficient. Calculate green into the budget for new buildings because of the integral role it plays in meeting these standards.

In existing development:

Plant trees in the right place to change the microclimate directly outside a building so fluctuations in sun and wind are less dramatic, resulting in a more consistent indoor climate.