Session 19 // Exploring the Benefits of Green Infrastructure

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No Prerequisite Required
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1) The Economics of Biofiltration
Biofiltration is a proven way to improve indoor air quality. This single outcome creates three important economic benefits: reduced energy costs, improved occupant well-being, and increased property value. Reduction in energy costs can easily be quantified for each unique building and weather climate. Meanwhile, the less tangible benefits of occupant well-being and increased property value are more challenging to quantify. There are, however, several methods of evaluating these important benefits for property stakeholders. In this presentation, we will illustrate various methods to predict the economic gains generated by these three important benefits. These economic benefits will then be used to estimate the return on investment and a payback period for a biofilter used in the New York climate.

2) Integrated microclimate: the Bronx River House vertical eco-system
Bronx River House represents a unique approach to a performative integration of building and landscape, creating its own microclimate and putting stormwater to productive use. The headquarters of the Bronx River Alliance, the 7,000 sf building includes offices, classrooms, community rooms and storage for boats. Photovoltaic roof monitors provide all the building's energy, and are part of an extensive daylighting system with seasonally shaded windows. Ground source heat pumps with radiant floors provide efficient conditioning. The most innovative feature of the project is the double-layer living wall system, consisting of an inner irrigated cement board rain screen plus an outer metal vine screen. Covered by mosses and vines, the fully-grown system will have a total leaf area similar to a native forest. All irrigation is designed to be with rainwater collected from the roof and surrounding hardscapes. Post completion, the project will be monitored to assess the performance of the local microclimate and its effect on the building's energy consumption and occupants' comfort. Finally, validated numerical modeling of the façade thermal performance will be carried out to extend the results of the experimental campaign and evaluate the energy and air-quality benefits of the system for other urban applications.
New York City, NY
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Energy Conservation / Renewable Energy
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
1) • Understand the design integration of biofilters into high performance buildings
• Learn about the energy savings related to biofiltration
• Understand the monetary benefits of increased occupant well-being
• Understand the monetary benefits of increased property value
• Learn how to calculate return on investment and payback period for a specific building and climate

2) • Understand the energy and health benefits of a transpiring/seasonal shading green wall system
• Review integrated rainwater harvesting/vertical wall drop irrigation system
• Review energy benefits of net zero energy via PV roof light monitors and ground source heat pumps
1) Laura Kennedy - Nedlaw Living WallsMitchell Cowburn - Nedlaw Living Walls2) Gregory Kiss - Kiss + Cathcart Architects
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Course Codes
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

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