Cold-season solar input and ambivalent thermal behavior brought by climber greenwalls

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Most greenwall studies focus on cooling and energy conservation in the warm season, and tropical cold-season has received little attention. This field-experimental study in humid-subtropical Hong Kong evaluated winter thermal behavior of climber greenwalls. Orientation and weather factors regulated solar-irradiation regimes with critical impact on vegetation thermal responses. Temperature differentiation occurred mainly on sunny day, with subdued variations on cloudy and rainy days. The south greenwall on sunny day received the highest solar-energy input, bringing divergent surface temperature in three climber species. The daytime descending cooling sequence was: Control-air > Pyrostegia venusta > Bauhinia corymbosa > Ficus pumila > Control-surface. Heat-sink effect related to foliage-thickness and moisture-content influenced climber thermal responses. Exceeding a solar- irradiance threshold of 500 Wm⁻² was a prerequisite for notable solar-warming and transpiration-cooling, bringing well-differentiated climber-surface temperature. Cooling of vegetation-surface and Anterior-ambient-air was contrasted by warming behind the greenwall. Posterior-airgap with trapped stagnant air and Posterior-concrete-surface were warmed consistently above control concrete-surface on sunny and cloudy days. This winter passive warming mechanism denotes a new dimension in thermal benefits operating behind the greenwall. The thermal-gradient can transmit heat into indoor space, with benefits on human comfort, health and energy conservation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-938
Issue numberPart 1
Early online date22 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


Jim, C. Y. (2015). Cold-season solar input and ambivalent thermal behavior brought by climber greenwalls. Energy, 90(Pt. 1), 926-938. doi: 10.1016/


  • Mesh-climber and veneer-climber greenwalls
  • Solar-irradiance threshold
  • Posterior-airgap
  • Winter passive warming
  • Double heat-retention layers
  • Ambivalent thermal behavior


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