Caring about the future

GENESIS - Green roofs and walls ENvironmental Economic and SocIal Savings: Modelling uncertainty and investors / users preferences in all-inclusive cost-benefit analysis of green roofs and walls
Coordinator - Cristina Matos Silva
CESAM Responsible researcher - Ana Isabel Miranda
Programme - Programa Operacional Centro 2020; Programa Operacional Lisboa 2020
Execution dates - 2018-10-09 - 2021-10-09 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - Portugal 2020
Funding for CESAM - 13337 €
Total Funding - 239812 €
Proponent Institution - Instituto Superior Técnico
Participating Institutions
Universidade de Aveiro
Instituto Superior Técnico
Instituto Superior de Agronomia

Project Description
Nature based solutions/green infrastructures will play an important role in tackling urban challenges in a multifunctional
way. In this sense, green roofs/walls are one of the most promising alternatives as they can green the grey
infrastructure and value it. Yet, green roofs/walls have been generally confined to specific cities or countries. An
extensive use of green roofs/walls worldwide will happen when their economic merit is generally known and accepted.
Today, green roofs/walls real value is not clear since most studies on their economic merit show high variability and
contrasting results mostly because 1) it is a challenge to weigh environmental and social benefits with costs and 2)
distinct users/investors have different preferences.
The purpose of GENESIS is to develop a comprehensive and systematic model for balancing environmental, economic
and social benefits of green roofs/walls with the underlying extra costs, in a life cycle perspective.
The main strategy of the project is to enhance cost-benefit analysis of green roofs/walls by developing three major
improvements: i) include all environmental, economic and social benefits of green roofs/walls in the analysis and
convert them into monetary units to allow weighting different types of benefits and establishing a comparative basis of
alternative scenarios; ii) comprise an uncertainty model to cope with inaccurate forecasting of benefits/costs modelling
and climate change; iii) incorporate users/investors preferences through a multi-criteria model. This (all-inclusive)
model is a step forward in life cycle costs of green roofs/walls and crucial for a wide spreading of green roofs/walls
in buildings/cities.
Given the trans-disciplinary nature of green infrastructure, GENESIS project will call upon a multidisciplinary research
team, with complementary expertise in estimating green roofs/walls environmental, economic and social benefits and
performing accurate cost-benefit analysis. The contribution of practitioners and companies involved in the design,
creation and maintenance of green roofs/walls is planned. Additionally, multiple investors/owners from private and
public sectors will participate in the project by providing data for benchmark case studies with strong replication
and up-scaling capacity: two municipalities covering distinct realities (in Portugal and Australia), residential buildings,
public schools, tourist accommodations and transport infrastructures. This multidisciplinary approach will support the
proposed cost-benefit model for replication in different regions of the world and type of infrastructure.

Project webpage

CESAM members on this project
Ana Isabel Miranda



CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020