26. September 2018
Ivy Helps Reduce Fine Dust

Building facades covered in ivy regulate the indoor climate while also filtering out fine dust particles, according to scientists in Cologne and Jülich, Germany.

“Green building facades are a very practical means of adapting to climate change, not only with respect to the urban temperature but also the problem of fine dust”, says Hans Georg Edelmann, a biologist at the University of Cologne.

Fine dust exacerbates symptoms in people suffering from pulmonary diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cities with a high building density and high traffic volume have a higher concentration of fine dust particles.

Edelmann is a proponent of green facades, even though they suffered from a poor image in Germany in the past. “Green facades improve both urban and indoor climates, reduce overheating and smog, produce oxygen, and help maintain and increase species diversity in cities”, says Edelmann.

Common climbing plants include ivy and Virginia creeper. Both are very adaptable and can withstand dry conditions.

Text: kf/ktg

Conference Notes
Biodiversität und Klima – Vernetzung der Akteure in Deutschland 
Guarnieri M, Balmes JR. Outdoor air pollution and asthma. Lancet. 2014;383(9928):1581-92
Press release
Pressemitteilung der Universität zu Köln
Begrünte Fassaden in den Städten helfen gegen Feinstaub, Stickoxide und Hitze