Retro-fitting green façades

News /
11 February 2014

Achieving higher environmental performance and reduced energy use in existing buildings does not have to mean costly refurbishments. Tensile Design and Construct have a cost-effective option, with customised green façades created using tensile architecture.

"Green façade cut heat gain and improve a building's environmental performance and amenity," said Tensile Design and Construct Director, Peter Bottero. "When you look at the data from the Property Council and the Real Estate Institute, higher green values translate into higher rents, One Bligh Street is a good example. By adapting what we have done for new projects like One Central Park to existing buildings, the owners can achieve higher environmental amenity."

The direct benefits include a 57% reduction in solar radiation from green façades with a 73% leaf coverage, and the additional cooling effect from evaporative transpiration. Indirect benefits include improved aesthetics and outlook for occupants and from the street. During the development of the One Central Park green façades, which are an intrinsic element of the project's dramatic design, Tensile Design and Construct undertook extensive studies to understand the impact of wind loading on the plants and its ramification for the underlying façade and structure. The data that resulted can now be applied to projects of any scale.

A current example of the system's ability to dramatically improve the built environment is the green façade trial being undertaken by Tensile Design and Construct at Sydney's Goulburn Street Car Park, proof from an engineering point of view that the system is applicable in some form to any structure without the need for major structural modifications or interruption to existing activities. Tensile Design and Construct provide an end-to-end solutions, first carrying out an analysis of the structure and client needs and wants, then deciding on cable design layout, appropriate species and planters.

During the first 12 months, regular maintenance is carried out , and within a year the system is generally well-established with growth rates of up to four meters a growing season - roughly over one storey - regularly achieved. It is possible to incorporate pots for edibles such as tomatoes, beans and passion fruit within the overall tensile green façade, giving a new dimension to programs for healthier staff and buildings.

"Three years ago people were doing green façades because they were beautiful, now they are part the building's systems. This is a new way to revitalise old building stock, " said Peter Bottero.
Tensile Design & Construct

Tensile Design & Construct supplies tensile architectural systems. From structural cables and rods, to tensioned mesh, bracing cables and green facades.

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Tensile Design & Construct

PO Box 967

Mona Vale, NSW, 2103

Phone: 0424 176 ...