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Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2431; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072431

Potential of Particle Matter Dry Deposition on Green Roofs and Living Walls Vegetation for Mitigating Urban Atmospheric Pollution in Semiarid Climates

1
Department of Construction Engineering and Management, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
2
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Bucaramanga 681007, Colombia
3
Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7520245, Chile
4
Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
5
School of Architecture, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7520245, Chile
6
Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católicade Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
7
School of Geography, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8331051, Chile
8
Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetated Roofs and Walls)
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Abstract

In the last two decades, the incorporation of green roofs and living walls in buildings has increased significantly worldwide because of their benefits such as building energy savings, promoting biodiversity, controlling water run-off, mitigating urban heat island effect, improving indoor and urban air quality, and connecting people with nature. However, few studies have quantified the impact of green roofs (GRs) and living walls (LWs) on mitigating air pollution, especially in semiarid climates where airborne particle matter (PM) levels are high. Therefore, the aim of this paper is quantifying the dry deposition of PM10 and PM2.5 by several vegetation species commonly used in GRs and LWs in semiarid climates. Five species (Pitosporumtobira, Lavandulaangustifolia, Lampranthusspectabillis, Sedumalbum, and Sedumreflexum) for GRs and four species (Apteniacordiflora, Erigeronkarvinskianus, Sedumpalmeri, and Sedumspuriump.) for LWs were tested in an experimental facility—through washing, filtering, and weighing—to quantify the dry deposition of PM2.5 and PM10 on vegetation leaves as well as PM captured by the leaf wax. The main result is that a significant amount of PM is deposited on the typical vegetation used in GRs and LWs in semiarid climates. However, large differences in PM dry deposition were found among species, ranging from 0.09 μg/cm2∙h−1 to 1.32 μg/cm2∙h−1 for PM2.5, 0.48 μg/cm2∙h−1 to 4.7 μg/cm2∙h−1 for PM10 and 0.41 μg/cm2∙h−1 to 25.6 μg/cm2∙h−1 for leaf wax. The species that showed the highest potential to capture PM were S. album, S. reflexum, S. palmeri, and L. spectabillis. This study shows this green infrastructures can contribute to mitigate air pollution, thus GRs and LWs have the potential for being included in decontamination plans. View Full-Text
Keywords: particulate matter (PM); air pollutants; green roofs; living walls; air quality; sustainable urban development; vegetation species; PM2.5; PM10; wax; dry deposition; PM capture particulate matter (PM); air pollutants; green roofs; living walls; air quality; sustainable urban development; vegetation species; PM2.5; PM10; wax; dry deposition; PM capture
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Viecco, M.; Vera, S.; Jorquera, H.; Bustamante, W.; Gironás, J.; Dobbs, C.; Leiva, E. Potential of Particle Matter Dry Deposition on Green Roofs and Living Walls Vegetation for Mitigating Urban Atmospheric Pollution in Semiarid Climates. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2431.

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