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Resource Efficiency

The Green City

Nature is reclaiming the metropolis: urban gardening is creating little green biotopes that improve the microclimate and make us more conscious of nature and the environment.

Everywhere you turn, people are digging, planting, and harvesting—green is sprouting up in courtyards and on balconies. More and more people in the city are growing their own herbs, vegetables, and fruit, using every available surface to do so.

Their extraordinary location high above the hustle and bustle of the city make roof-top gardens a special treasure—in an ecological sense too: over 50 different species of honey and wild bees were counted on green roofs in Berlin alone. These green oases improve the microclimate as well. Rooftop terraces must be completely sealed off from the construction material itself, however, as they would otherwise severely damage the building fabric. Liquid polymer seals are very well suited to this purpose, as they conform to the substrate perfectly and provide absolute protection in drainage areas or railing mounts. For highly weather-resistant liquid seals that process well and easily, the formulations used are frequently based on silane-modified polymers such as TEGOPAC® or POLYMER ST from Evonik. In order to optimize yields, amateur gardeners are increasingly turning to plastic-sheet greenhouses, which help ensure stable, quality harvests. Adding aluminum silicate to the plastic sheeting at a concentration of a few percent during the manufacturing process improves the thermal barrier properties of the sheet, allowing the greenhouse to do a better job of retaining the heat stored there. This allows growers to plant earlier and to bring in the harvest even after the season has ended.

When powerful, direct sunlight enters the greenhouse, however, it can damage plants—especially when water droplets that have formed on the inside of the plastic sheet focus the sun’s rays like a magnifying glass. Accurel® AF brand additives can help. If incorporated into the plastic sheeting, these products reduce its surface tension so that water developing on the inside of the sheet forms a uniform film that scatters sunlight evenly.