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Developing a green maintainability framework for green walls in Singapore

Michael Y.L. Chew (Department of Building, National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Sheila Conejos (Department of Building, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 8 August 2016




The use of green wall technology in green buildings is a growing trend; however, more research is required about their maintainability, taking into account that maintainability at the design stage is a valuable strategy in achieving building efficiency and sustainability. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to determine the issues in operating and maintaining green walls, particularly in tropical areas like Singapore, leading to the development of a green maintainability framework.


This research uses a qualitative method that combines a thorough and systematic literature review, multiple case studies, field observation surveys and selected instrumental case studies with building plan appraisal and interviews to investigate the potential issues associated with the maintainability of green walls in tropical areas like Singapore.


The findings show that technical and environmental issues/defects are prevalent in the operation and maintainability of green wall technologies applied in green buildings located in tropical regions. Proper considerations of these findings will encourage green building designers and facilities managers to collaborate in the effective implementation of operations and maintenance of green building technologies.


This research gives new and significant information while identifying a clear knowledge gap. The paper recommends the formulation of a green maintainability framework with a set of design criteria that will serve as a benchmark in the future design of green walls. The green maintainability framework would be a valuable addition to green facilities management in ensuring the long-term maintainability and sustainability of existing and new green walls in tropical areas specifically in Singapore.



The authors would like to thank the Maintainability of Facilities students who were undertaking vertical greenery system projects during the 2008-2012 terms and to Mr Ashan Asmone and Mr Toh Jing Kai, for assisting in the literature review and in the preparation of the tables and figures of this research.


Chew, M.Y.L. and Conejos, S. (2016), "Developing a green maintainability framework for green walls in Singapore", Structural Survey, Vol. 34 No. 4/5, pp. 379-406.



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