Cover Image

A litterature review of experimental setups monitoring thermal performance of vegetated facade systems

Elif Yuksel, A. Nil Turkeri


The decline of green spaces through urbanization, the urban heat island effect resulting from the use of materials with low albedo value, and the greenhouse effect occurring as a result of the consumption of fossil fuels all lead to an increase in ambient air temperature. Use of roof, facade, and pavement materials with high albedo value and vegetated surfaces play an important role in reducing the urban heat island effect. It is essential to use renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels and/or reduce energy consumption in order to decrease the greenhouse effect. There are various numerical and experimental studies in some countries of the world that investigate the contribution of vegetated facade systems (VFS) used as energy-efficient and sustainable systems to improve the thermal performance of the building envelope. However, in Turkey there has been no empirical study to measure and evaluate the thermal performance of VFSs. Therefore, a PhD thesis is being conducted at Istanbul Technical University to measure thermal performance of vegetated facade systems under Kocaeli climate (temperate humid) conditions. In the present study, a literature review investigating existing experimental setups has been conducted and experimental approaches are being complied, classified and tabulated. Hence, test assemblies, types of measured variables, sensors that have been used to measure different parameters, and location of the sensors within the assemblies have been determined. In addition, the resulting recommendations for further experimental studies have been put forward. The aim of the study is to explain and evaluate the existing experimental setups and, based on these and context-limitations of the thesis, put forward the details of experimental setup that will be used for the thesis.


Vegetated Facade Systems (VFS), living walls, thermal performance, experimental setup, test assemblies

Full Text:



Akbari, H., Kurn, D. M., Bretz, S. E. & Hanford, J. W. (1997). Peak power and cooling energy savings of shade trees. Energy and Buildings, 25, 139-148.

Basher, H. S., Ahmed, S. S., Rahman, A. M. A., Zaman, N. Q. (2016). The use of edible vertical greenery system to improve thermal performance in tropical climate. Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 13 (1), 57-66.

Cameron, R. W. F., Taylor, J. & Emmett, M. (2015). A hedera helix green facade- energy performance and saving under different maritime-temperate, winter weather conditions. Building and Environment, 92, 11-121.

Cheng, C.Y., Cheung, K. K. S. & Chu, L.M. (2010). Thermal performance of a vegetated cladding system on facade walls. Building and Environment, 45, 1779-1787.

Di, H. F. & Wang, D. N. (1999). Cooling effect of ivy on a wall. Experimental Heat Transfer, 12, 235-245

EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). Climate Change Science Overview. Retrieved from:, access date: 12.11.2015.

Eumorfopoulou, E. A. & Kontoleon, K. J. (2009). Experimental approach to the contribution of plant covered walls to the thermal behaviour of building envelopes. Building and Environment, 44, 1024-1038.

Haggag, M., Hassan, A. & Elmasry S. (2014). Experimental study on reduced heat gain through green facades in a heat load climate. Energy and Buildings, 82, 668-674.

Hoyano, A. (1988). Climatological uses of plants for solar control and the effects on the thermal environment of a building. Energy and Buildings, 11, 181-199.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. Retrieved from:, access date: 12.11.2015.

Jim, C.Y. (2011). Estimating heat flux transmission of vertical greenery ecosystem. Ecological Engineering, 37, 1112-1122.

Kontoleon, K. J. & Eumorfopoulou, E. A. (2010). The effect of the orientation and proportion of a plant-covered wall layer on the thermal performance of a building zone. Building and Environment, 45, 1287–1303.

Koyama, T., Yoshinaga, M., Hayashi, H., Maeda, K. & Yamauchi A. (2013). Identification of key plant traits contributing to the cooling effects of green facades using freestanding walls. Building and Environment, 66, 96-103.

Manso, M. & Gomes, J.C. (2015). Green wall systems: a review of their characteristics. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 41, 863-871.

Mazzali, U., Peron, F., Romagnoni, P., Pulselli, R. M. & Bastianoni, S. (2013). Experimental investigation on the energy performance of living walls in a temperate climate. Building and Environment, 64, 57-66.

MCCAR (Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report). The Changing Climate and Its Impact, Retrieved from:, access date: 12.11.2015.

Mir, M. A., (2011). Green facades and building structures (Masters dissertation).

Nuruzzaman, M. (2015). Urban heat island: causes, effects and mitigation measures - a review, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis, 3(2),67-73.

ÖkoKauf Wien. Arbeitsgruppe 25. Grün- und Freiräume. Leitfaden Fassadenbegrünung. Jürgen Preiss, Retrieved from:, accessed date: 13.05.2016.

Olivieri, F., Olivieri, L. & Neila, J. (2014). Experimental study of the thermal-energy performance of an insulated vegetal facade under summer conditions in a continental mediterranean climate, Building and Environment, 77,61-76.

Papadakis G., Tsamis, P. & Kyritsis, S. (2001). An experimental investigation of the effect of shading with plants for solar control of buildings, Energy and Buildings, 33,831-836.

Perez, G., Coma, J., Martorell, I. & Cabeza, F.L. (2014). Vertical greenery systems (vgs) for energy saving in buildings: a review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 39,139–165.

Perez, G., Rincon, L., Vila, A., Gonzalez, J. M. & Cabeza, L.F. (2011). Behaviour of green facades in mediterranean continental climate, Energy Conversion and Management, 52,1861-1867.

Perini, K., Ottele, M., Fraai, A. L. A., Haas, E. M. & Raiteri, R. (2011). Vertical greening systems and the effect on air flow and temperature on the building envelope, Building and Environment, 46,2287-2294.

Rahman, A. M. A., Yeok, F. S. & Amir A.F. (2011). The building thermal performance and carbon sequestration evaluation for psophocarpus tetrogonobulus on biofacade wall in the tropical environment, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 76, 86-94.

Safikhani, T., Abdullah, A. M., Ossen, D. R. & Baharvand, M. (2014). A review of energy characteristic of vertical greenery systems, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 40,450-462.

Sternberg, T., Viles, H. & Cathersides, A. (2011). Evaluating the role of ivy (hedera helix) in moderating wall surface microclimates and contributing to the bioprotection of historic buildings, Building and Environment, 46,293-297.

Susorova, I., Angulo, M., Bahrami, P. & Stephens B. (2013). A model of vegetated exterior facades for evaluation of wall thermal performance, Building and Environment, 67,1-13

Susorova, I., Azimi, P. & Stephens, B. (2014). The effects of climbing vegetation on the local microclimate, thermal performance, and air infiltration of four building facade orientations, Building and Environment, 76,113-124.

Taha, H. (1997). Urban climates and heat islands: albedo, evapotranspiration, and anthropogenic heat, Energy and Buildings, 25(2),99-103.

WHO (World Health Organization). (2003). Climate Change and Human Health: Risks and Reponses. McMichael, A.J., Campbell - Lendrum, D.H., Corvalán, C.F., Ebi, K.L., Githeko, A.K., Scheraga, J.D., Woodward A., Geneva, 2003. Retrieved from:, access date: 13.11.2015.

Wong, N. H., Tan, A. Y. K., Chen, Y., Sekar, K., Tan, P. Y., Chan, D., Chiang, K. & Wong, N. C. (2010). Thermal evaluation of vertical greenery systems for buildings wall, Building and Environment, 45,663–672.

Yüksel, E. & Türkeri, A. N. (2016a). Bitkilendirilmiş cephe sistemlerinin farkli iklim bölgelerindeki isıl performanslarinin değerlendirilmesi, 2.Ulusal Yapı Fiziği ve Çevre Kontrolü Kongresi, 04-06 May 2016, İstanbul Technical University.

Yüksel, E. & Türkeri, A. N. (2016b). Sustainable Facade System: Types of Vegetated Facade Systems Designed and Constructed in Turkey, In Proceedings of SBE 16 İstanbul – International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment, 13-15 October 2016, İstanbul.


Copyright (c) 2017 Elif Yuksel, A. Nil Turkeri

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

JFDE . ISSN 2213-3038