Mitigating urban heat island and enhancing indoor thermal comfort using terrace garden

Sci Rep. 2024 Apr 27;14(1):9697. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-60546-0.

Abstract

The United Nations advocates for sustainable urban planning and design, emphasizing green infrastructure initiatives to mitigate urban heat island effects and enhance the resilience and livability of cities globally. To address urban heat challenges, a study was conducted in Chennai, India, from April to June 2023. The study focused on assessing temperature dynamics on a building's terrace by comparing a well-maintained garden area with an exposed region. Temperature and humidity sensors were deployed in both the garden and exposed areas of the terrace, as well as within rooms beneath it, to monitor hourly temperature fluctuations. The findings indicate a significant reduction in internal room temperatures in areas with rooftop gardens, ranging from 4 to 11 °C, depending on the time of year and sun's position, compared to rooms with fully exposed roof configurations. Additionally, simulation studies were performed to validate these findings, suggesting that optimizing the distribution of soil beds and plant density across the roof could yield an additional temperature reduction of 3-4 °C, resulting in an overall difference of up to 14-15 °C. The study highlights the efficacy of rooftop gardens in providing cooling effects during daylight hours and maintaining temperature parity post-sunset. Through analysis of sensor data, the research elucidates the intricate relationship between green infrastructure and thermal comfort, offering insights for energy-efficient building design and resilient urban planning. The findings underscore the potential of rooftop gardens in fostering a more comfortable, energy-efficient, and sustainable urban living environment.