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Moss Greening to Curb Urban Heat Island Effect

Moss Greening to Curb Urban Heat Island Effect

Greening projects using moss have been conducted at many sites in Japan in recent years in order to deal with the heat-island effect (abnormal warming of the urban atmosphere due to the heat concentration). In addition to its features of absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) outputs and lowering the surface temperature of buildings, a moss panel can be easily attached and does not require maintenance efforts. An increasing number of companies are using these panels for greening buildings.

Moss has various benefits: 1) it is easier to grow than grass; 2) it allows quick construction by using handy, light-weight panels; 3) maintenance is easy and watering is not required beyond collecting rainwater; 4) it allows the greening of rooftops, slanting surfaces and wall surfaces; 5)it absorbs large amounts of CO2; and 6) it provides insulation against heat and noise.

Green Alliance, a Japanese non-profit organization, has been promoting moss greening since 2006 by utilizing an exterior insulation greenery panel called "Woolly Moss." It is a panel using "sunagoke" moss (rhacomitrium canescens) and "haigoke" moss (hypnum plumaeforme), as well as insulation materials made of carbonized corks and mudstones. Fifteen constructions have been performed to date and more are expected in the future. Similarly, another non-profit organization, Moss Green Eco, has been working to revitalize rural mountainous areas by producing moss in degraded lands, fallow fields or unused lands since 2007.

source: Japan for Sustainability

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