Objectives of the project

The aim of the project is to generate basic, product-neutral, generally valid, coordinated and proven fire protection solutions for the application of façade greening in multi-storey buildings, taking into account the level of protection to be maintained, and to make them available to the general public. This contributes directly to the urgently needed climate-neutral building and the sustainable design of urban living spaces of the future.

These solutions should simplify the use of green facades in Germany in the future. For the most commonly used systems and plant species, the project has produced concrete results on how they affect the level of fire safety. Furthermore, initial measures have been investigated that can ensure this level of protection. These basic principles can also be transferred to other systems in the future and can be further developed accordingly.

It is crucial that the results are comprehensible, practicable and acceptable to all representatives and groups such as the fire brigade, building supervisors, planners and practice partners. This is ensured by involving the stakeholders in the actual research project at an early stage. By involving the building supervisory bodies, the first project results can even be implemented within the term of the project and fundamental fire protection concerns about façade greening can be examined and, if necessary, invalidated. The result is measurable in that green facades can be used more easily after the project, and the necessary measures to prove the safety level are known in principle through the project.

Research gap and core thesis

Based on the effects of climate change and the accompanying discussion on the overheating of cities, as well as in the discussions on the appearance of the city of the future, green building surfaces have been gaining in importance in recent years. Although cities occupy only two percent of the global land area, more than half of the world's population lives in cities and urban agglomerations. Three quarters of Europe's population live in urban areas and this proportion is forecast to increase sharply in the future. The resulting need for sustainable urban development requires a sufficient amount of green space.

However, the increasing lack of residential space often stands in the way of the creation of new public green spaces and thus presents the responsible authorities with major challenges. An important solution can be the greening of the numerous existing horizontal and vertical building surfaces. This not only enhances the social and ecological aspects of the city as a living space, but also has positive aspects, such as counteracting the overheating of buildings and cities in summer (urban heat island).

Only very limited knowledge is available on the fire behaviour of green facades and the resulting question of possible fire propagation via the facades. This situation leads to misgivings on the part of building supervisory authorities, specialist planners and building owners and consequently to non-application or costly and protracted decisions in individual cases. This severely inhibits the necessary and widespread use of greening on facades, especially in multi-storey construction in building classes 4 and 5 in urban areas. Evaluations of fire incidents on greened facades showed that there was demonstrably an accelerated and large-scale spread of fire as a result of the facade greening.