Recent studies have shown that vertical greenery systems (VGS) carry a significant fire threat when not properly looked after. Building on this, the fire hazard of VGS was compared to two other thermally efficient building façade systems (TEBFS), namely external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS) and double-skin façade (DSF). Numerical simulations were conducted in the fire dynamic simulator (FDS). A fire initiated as a room fire of 1 MW followed by a window-ejected flame on a 12 m tall and 9 m wide front façade with a TEBFS. Three scenarios for each TEBFS were simulated for better comparison. Rapid upward fire spread (UFS) was observed in the VGS scenarios, recording average UFS rates of 8.97, 5.51 and 2.86 cms−1 compared to the scenarios of the other 2 TEBFS where the flame failed to reach the top of the façade within the stipulated simulation time of 300 s. The maximum temperatures reached along the façade in VGS scenarios were much higher than those in the other two TEBFS. In conclusion, the fire hazard of VGS in certain conditions is much higher compared to the fire scenarios of ETICS and DSF that are scrutinised by building codes in many countries for fire safety.
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|Published - 12 May 2023