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Supervisor: Professor Koen Steemers

Kanchane Gunawardena


Research overview:

Environmental thermal loading on urban buildings is expected to increase owing to the combined influence of a warming climate, increasing frequency and severity of extreme heat events, and the urban heat island (UHI) effect. As means to address such urban heat-related risks, green infrastructure enhancements have been widely supported by an expanding body of research findings, as well as urban planning policies encouraging greater implementation. The challenge of implementing enhancements in densely built cities however has necessitated the consideration of alternative approaches such as surface greening. Early efforts promoted horizontal greening (commonly referred to as ‘green-roofing’), although in recent years vertical greening has gained increased prominence in efforts to exploit the underutilised and abundant vertical surfaces of urban buildings. My project examines this latter typology of vertical greening to characterise its microclimate modification performance in outdoor and sheltered urban conditions. This is achieved through the utilisation of a range of quantitative and qualitative methods to answer five key research questions, which in turn characterises the value such interventions may present to the agenda of enhancing urban climate resilience. 



Kan-chane is a RIBA Chartered and ARB Registered Architect. He qualified with First Class Honours for his PART I, Distinctions for both PART II and PART III, and completed his architectural reading at the University of Bath and Bartlett UCL. After practicing as an Architect in London, he later joined the Department of Architecture and completed his research training, graduating from the MAUS programme technical stream in 2015. Kan-chane’s past research projects have considered overheating risk and associated energy implications in urban dwellings, and urban greening influence on heat island mitigation. His PhD is funded by the EPSRC