By buffering rainwater, a balance can be created in the amount of rain that falls during the course of a year. The De Pluvert project researched how this natural water balance could be applied to the façade area of buildings. The result is a low-cost, nature-based principle that combines a smart drainage and storage system for rainwater runoff – called the Rainmate® – with various greening options. The special feature of the system is that it works entirely passively. The even, vertical water distribution works without pumps, as do the growth facilities for plants.
plus + vert in the city
The global rise of temperatures results in rapidly changing climate patterns. Regions now are faced with water abundance or water scarcity, or both in some cases.
Cities experience the biggest impact of these changes, as these places are densely built areas which leaves less space for natural soil infiltration. They are extremely vulnerable for heath accumulation (urban heat island effect) and increased risk of flooding.
One of the strategies to reduce the impact of climate change in urban areas is restoring the urban water balance with a more natural one. One where precipitation is captured and used for natural greening which has a cooling effect as well.
The Pluvert is a research project with a focus on the potential of creating an urban water balance in the building facade. The facade is an area which leaves plenty of opportunities for additional vertical greening as streets and roofs in most cases offer only few options.
The result is a low-cost nature-based adaptation strategy for buildings with a combination of innovative water technology (Rainmate®), water storage and plant growth modules. Based on a specific water balance for each building a simple replacement of downspouts and an add-on storage and plant growth system can be applied on almost every building.
What’s special about this solution compared to other projects, is the complete passive functionality of the whole system. Runoff water is statically equally divided over stacked reservoirs, which then becomes available for plant growth. This opens up a whole new set of possibilities for densely built areas to reduce flood risk, heat stress and transform the urban environment into a more biodiverse healthy place, and can be part of any adaptation strategy for regions with an annual spread of precipitation.
Being green was never so easy