Why so many buildings in Singapore are covered in plants

A residential apartment building, left, and the Oasia Hotel with its facade covered in plants in Singapore on June 19, 2018.

Singapore is trying to fight rising temperatures partly by making its buildings greener, literally.
This involves covering rooftops and vertical facades with gardens.
Plants absorb light, create shade, and release water that cools the air.

As the world heats up — and the urban built environment makes things worse — Singapore is at the leading edge of efforts to cool cities.

The hot and humid city-state is among the most densely populated in the world, and it’s seeing its temperatures rise particularly quickly. The country approaches this task in various ways — from designing buildings to facilitate airflow to painting rooftops with reflective coats. One central strategy is to literally make the city greener by covering rooftops and the facades of buildings with plants.

Cities often suffer from the urban heat-island effect, when the built environment makes cities hotter than neighboring rural areas. Buildings and asphalt absorb heat, while cars and other vehicles emit even more heat, and a lack of greenery in cities exacerbates the issues. Plants cool buildings and cities by absorbing sunlight, creating shade, and releasing water that cools the air. Of course, they also absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to the climate crisis. 

Under its Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme, Singapore pays property owners up to 50% of the cost of installing green rooftops and facades. This amounts to up to $200 a square meter for roofs and $500 a square meter for vertical plantings, according to the government.

The greenery also reduces buildings’ carbon footprint and saves property owners on air conditioning and other energy costs. And the green buildings can attract tourists looking to …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

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