Enhancing Green Infrastructure and the Thermal Quality of Bare walls through Vertical Greenery Technology: The Case of Institutional Plots in Addis Ababa, EiABC campus

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Globally, flooding and Urban Heat Island effect (UHI) increase are among the alarming environmental problems of urban centers. Ethiopia, as part of the global temperature increase, is facing the challenge several times. In addition to the global increase in temperature, Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia experiences the UHI effect phenomena in recent times. The rapid construction of buildings and lack of sufficient Green Infrastructures in the city are contributing to UHI formation. Specifically, the existing bare walls on buildings and other gray infrastructure, without local climatic consideration during their design and development process, contribute to UHI effect formation. The research mainly investigated how to enhance the Green Infrastructure of the city and thermal quality of bare walls through innovative and cost-effective vertical green design and technologies. To realize this, the research first tried to identify bare walls of selected buildings which are the main source of UHI effect; secondly to design living block prototypes for living wall construction and finally to develop the scale-up strategy by taking a case area of the public buildings for their UHI effect reduction and stormwater management effectiveness. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied in the study by selecting sample buildings within the EiABC compound. In addition, a case area was selected for scale-up strategies. The selected buildings as a case in EiABC campus consist of Urban Building, Library Building, Student Café and Dormitory Building and Workshop with the potential to recompense 49%, 12%, 58% and 45% of their footprint respectively by changing their bare wall into a living wall using the proposed prototype design. The scaling up test is carried out on sample condominium building blocks, which is typical in Addis Ababa, reveals that the design can utilize 16.4% of their annual roof rainwater runoff and can decrease their surface temperature by 11 Degree Celsius by changing their bare walls into the Living Wall. Finally, the study concluded that bare walls of buildings, fences, shear walls and retaining walls are among major structure with huge potential for Green Infrastructure development in order to reduce the impact of flooding and local climatic modification in Addis Ababa and other densely developed cities. Motivating vertical greening practices, setting regulations for bare walls to be green with further researches on the structural stability of living blocks is the major part of the recommendations of the study. Key Words: Stormwater Management,


This thesis is submitted to the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC) and to the School of Graduate Studies of Addis Ababa University in the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Urban Design and Development.


Stormwater Management, Living Block, Building Footprint, Scale-up Strategy