Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Green planning needed to maintain city buildings

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Green spaces in towns and cities need extra consideration as they may be damaging buildings in the area, according to new research. When organic chemicals from trees and vegetation mix with air pollutants the resulting corrosive gas can increase the erosion of building materials, including stone, concrete and steel, researchers say.

Green spaces in towns and cities need extra consideration as they may be damaging buildings in the area, according to new research from the Universities of Southampton and Surrey.

When organic chemicals from trees and vegetation mix with air pollutants the resulting corrosive gas can increase the erosion of building materials, including stone, concrete and steel.

Southampton's Dr Abhishek Tiwary, who is based within the Centre for Environmental Sciences, and Dr Prashant Kumar, from the University of Surrey, found that heritage buildings, built from limestone and sandstone, are particularly at risk.

Local authorities have been encouraged to invest in green spaces, which can reduce greenhouse gases, cut down exposure to pollution and provide mental health benefits. However, the effect on buildings from the mix of pollutants and organic chemicals has not been previously accounted for.

The damage is mainly caused by ground level ozone, which is formed when volatile organic compounds given off by plants are broken down in sunlight and react with the common pollutant nitrogen dioxide.

Using mathematical simulations, the research team investigated the effect of green vegetation on limestone and steel structures during different seasons.

"Species like sycamore maple and Douglas fir (both commonly found in cities) produced organic compounds which, combined with high levels of ground level ozone during the summer, heightened the concentration of ground level ozone," says Dr Tiwary.

"The effects of green infrastructure vary, depending on building material and the particular pollutant. Limestone, for example, found in the buildings like Westminster Abbey or the Houses of Parliament, is strongly eroded by increased levels of ground level ozone."

Copper, zinc and carbon steel are also corroded by levels of air pollutants and local climatic conditions.

Despite their damaging effect on buildings, the researchers recognise the importance of green areas in urban centres. "In the future, city planners should look into the species of vegetation they plant in green spaces," says Dr Tiwary. "Such consideration might improve the structural longevity of buildings of historical importance."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Abhishek Tiwary, Prashant Kumar. Impact evaluation of green–grey infrastructure interaction on built-space integrity: An emerging perspective to urban ecosystem service. Science of The Total Environment, 2014; 487: 350 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.032

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Green planning needed to maintain city buildings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094531.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2014, June 30). Green planning needed to maintain city buildings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094531.htm
University of Southampton. "Green planning needed to maintain city buildings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094531.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise, held in custody by the Russian authorities since September last year, has departed the Russian city of Murmansk en route for its home port of Amsterdam. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins