Hanging Gardens in Cities
Green roofs and walls are increasingly being incorporated in urban centers to enhance visual appeal and livability. However, holistic evaluations that quantify environmental, social, and financial implications of these measures are limited, as well as those that use a long-term perspective. At the same time, the discussion tends to revolve around the perceived benefits rather than the established or quantified ones. This paper, using a holistic evaluation of a project that received the Singapore Skyrise Greenery Platinum award in 2011, argues that the strength of the case for adopting or incentivising green strategies in high-rise buildings in the city-state is negative from a resource- and cost-footprint perspective. Assessment methods to quantify social values of the greenery strategies in buildings, such as therapeutic and biophilic benefits, are currently non-existent, as the established evaluation methods such as life cycle assessment focus on the production stages rather than the use phase. While the results reported here stem mainly from the inherited building characteristics, incorporating these greenery strategies at the early design stages and using a careful system design can reduce the burden.