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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2019

Sheila Conejos, Michael Yit Lin Chew and Fikril Hakim Bin Azril

Vertical greenery systems (VGS) have been a widely accepted design strategy that contributes to creating sustainable built environments. However, green building…

Abstract

Purpose

Vertical greenery systems (VGS) have been a widely accepted design strategy that contributes to creating sustainable built environments. However, green building technologies (e.g. VGS) have grown in complexity which poses maintainability challenges. Designing with maintainability in mind is crucial in delivering efficient and sustainable buildings. This paper aims to assist designers and allied professionals in terms of integrating maintainability and sustainable design in developing high-rise VGS directly from its design inception.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is grounded on the “Green Maintainability” concept which link maintainability, sustainability and facility management right at the outset. The Green Maintainability factors are translated into critical design criteria which are used to analyze the selected instrumental case studies to evaluate the high-rise VGS performance and maintainability potential. A qualitative approach via the triangulation of data collected from relevant literatures, field surveys and walkthrough interviews is undertaken.

Findings

Findings have shown that the major VGS defects which are mostly occurring in the case studies are issues concerning fallen leaves and dirt accumulation; safety issues during cleaning and repairs; insufficient maintenance access; algae/ mould growth; withering plants; water stagnation/ ponding; poor/faulty irrigation and water dripping and unavailability of natural elements. Best practices and lessons learned revealed few design oversight and technical issues concerning high-rise VGS façade implementation. While maintenance cost, biodiversity and lack of coordination among involved professionals are the additional issues which emerged during the stakeholders’ walkthrough interviews.

Originality/value

Current researches conducted on the maintainability of green building technologies (e.g. high-rise VGS) are still few. This research study is the first comprehensive assessment to determine the green maintainability potential and performance of high-rise VGS in tropical conditions.

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