Evaluating the Role of Green Infrastructure in Microclimate and Building Energy Efficiency

Amin Habibi, Nafise Kahe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates how permeable and cool pavements, green roofs, and living walls affect microclimatic conditions and buildings’ energy consumption in an arid urban setting: Shiraz. The study aims to evaluate the role of green infrastructure in mitigating urban heat island effects and enhancing outdoor conditions. By utilizing environmental modeling tools, specifically the ENVI-met 5.1.1 and Design Builder 7.0.2 software, a comprehensive analysis was conducted across various scenarios during both the summer and winter seasons. The results show that permeable pavements with 80% grass coverage reduced the mean average air temperature by 1.18 °C in summer mornings compared to the reference case. In both the summer and winter scenarios, the living wall intervention consistently emerged as the most effective strategy, showcasing substantial reductions in cooling consumption, CO2 emissions, and electricity consumption. With a 25% reduction in cooling consumption, a 14.7% decrease in CO2 emissions, and an impressive 53.4% decline in electricity consumption, the living wall excelled in its environmental impact, and it stands out for its substantial electricity savings. While the green roof and permeable pavement scenarios demonstrated more modest gains, their integration could offer a synergistic solution, warranting further exploration for optimized energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. These findings indicate the intrinsic connection between sustainable landscaping strategies and their influence on urban microclimate and building energy efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number825
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • building energy efficiency
  • climate-responsive design
  • environmental impact assessment
  • green roofs
  • living walls
  • microclimate
  • permeable pavements
  • sustainable urban practices
  • urban heat island
  • urban sustainability


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