The potential of building envelope greening to achieve quietness
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2013

Reduction of noise is one of the multiple benefits of building envelope greening measures. The potential of wall vegetation systems, green roofs, vegetated low screens at roof edges, and also combinations of such treatments, have been studied by means of combining 2D and 3D full-wave numerical methodologies. This study is concerned with road traffic noise propagation towards the traffic-free sides of inner-city buildings (courtyards). Preserving quietness at such locations has been shown before to be beneficial for the health and well-being of citizens. The results in this study show that green roofs have the highest potential to enhance quietness in courtyards. Favourable combinations of roof shape and green roofs have been identified. Vegetated facades are most efficient when applied to narrow city canyons with otherwise acoustically hard facade materials. Greening of the upper storey's in the street and (full) facades in the courtyard itself is most efficient to achieve noise reduction. Low-height roof screens were shown to be effective when multiple screens are placed, but only on conditions that their faces are absorbing. The combination of different greening measures results in a lower combined effect than when the separate effects would have been linearly added. The combination of green roofs or wall vegetation with roof screens seems most interesting.


urban canyons


energy performance

Noise reduction

Green roofs

life-cycle assessment

Numerical simulations

Urban sound propagation




equivalent sources method


Green walls

road traffic noise


T. Van Renterghem

Universiteit Gent

Maarten Hornikx

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

Jens Forssén

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Teknisk akustik

D. Botteldooren

Universiteit Gent

Building and Environment

0360-1323 (ISSN)

Vol. 61 34-44