Ivy is the best plant to reduce heat in buildings, UK research reveals

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The Royal Horticultural Society and the University of Reading in England have carried out a research that reveals how common ivy is the plant that best helps reducing the heat of buildings during the warmer months when used as facade cover.

The research investigates the role of the green coverings used on the outer walls of a building in changing its temperature and relative humidity. Three plant species have been involved in the study: common ivy (Hedera helix), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) and climbing hydrangea (Parthenocissus tricuspidata).

The three species helped reduce the temperature of the air both inside and outside the building by at least 1 degree Celsius if compared to buildings without green facades. However, common ivy proved more efficient in that the temperature measured on the internal wall dropped by 7.2°C and by 5.2°C on the external one during summer months. Over winter, instead, during warmer afternoons the indoor relative humidity was 5.7% lower if compared to buildings with bare outer walls.

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