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IV Ivy covered building.

Grallert
Grallert Member Posts: 524
Hi gang. I've been wonder about ivy. I work at one of those iconic New England boarding schools. You know the ones, exterior brick crawling with ivy. Grounds has been slowly removing it so as to not upset the folks who love the look. I wonder if the ivy has any effect on the heat holding capacity of the bricks. It seems that this could be possible. Has anyone else though this or looked into it?
Just something I've been thinking about as the temperature climbs in our non AC buildings.
Thanks for any thought.
M

Comments

  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,918
    I've heard cornfields referred to as "nature's air conditioners". They're shading the building, & doing useful work with at least some of the energy they're receiving. Near as I can figure (IANAP), they are indeed doing something. Of the magnitude of this effect, however, I have no idea.

    It's understanding that it does tear up the building. Ancient stone laid dry might last millennia under those conditions, modern masonry products, not so much.

  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 524
    Grounds is pulling it off for that very reason. That alone has been somewhat of a struggle because some many alumnae remember it and love it. So it comes off a little at a time to avoid the dramatic change.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,508
    The ivy is harder on window frames than on the raw brick. The tendrils will try to penetrate the joints around the windows, allowing some moisture in.
    It must provide some shade to the walls though.
    Replacing the ivy with a climbing vine which is non self adhering might be a possibility, although a trellis would be needed to support it.--NBC
    Grallert
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,025
    edited June 2017
    From the energy standpoint the ivy is helping, at least on walls exposed to the sun. How much is a good question -- but I think the brickwork underneath the ivy may be several degrees to even 10 degrees cooler. It will bring the brick down at least to the dry air temperature, and likely down to close to the dew point if the cover is thick enough.

    As @nicholas bonham-carter said, I doubt that it's hurting the brick much, though it is probably damaging the old wooden window frames.

    It would be preferable to just cut it clear of the windows -- but I daresay that that's too much like hard work.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Grallert
  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 524
    VDBLU thanks this is interesting reading. I saved the Oxford study. for a deeper look.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,508
    The ivy, or Virginia Creeper in our climate will always try to penetrate the brick underneath, so we did the National Park Service method, without the disconnect feature. Twining varieties of creeper were put in, and so far no problem.
    Trumpet vine, bittersweet, and honeysuckle did well, apart from constantly covering the wall lights. This wall had no windows or doors, but was stuccoed. We wanted to prevent the weight of the vines from pulling off the stucco, and exposing the lime mortar joints underneath.--NBC
    Grallert