4 Aug 2012

Ivy clad buildings are green!

I came across this from a Green colleague recently....most interesting.....English Heritage commissioned a team of Oxford University academics to research the likely effects of ivy on historic buildings.  In the three-year project, Oxford researchers analysed the effects of ivy growing on buildings in five different parts of England and discovered that the plant plays a protective role.  They found that an ivy canopy was like a thermal shield, combating the extremes of temperature which often cause
walls to crack.

They found that ivy acted as a thermal blanket, warming up walls by an average of 15 per cent in cold weather and cooling the surface temperature of the wall in hot weather by an average of 36 per cent.  The ivy was also found to absorb some of the harmful pollutants in the atmosphere.  Walls where ivy was growing were less prone to the damaging effects of freezing temperatures, temperature fluctuations, pollution and salts than exposed walls without ivy.

However while the findings suggest that ivy has protective qualities for buildings that are intact, they also showed that where walls are already damaged ivy rapidly finds its way into existing cracks and holes in walls.  See report at: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/professional/research/buildings/building-materials/ivy-can-protect-walls/

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