WIT Press

Selection of nature-based solutions to improve comfort in schools during heat waves


Free (open access)


Volume 6 (2021), Issue 2



Page Range

157 - 169

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Guadalupe Gómez, Borja Frutos, Carmen Alonso, Fernando Martín-Consuegra, Ignacio Oteiza, Fernando de Frutos, Marta M. Castellote, Jesús Muñoz, Salustiano Torre, Jose Fermoso, Teba Torres, Miguel A. Antón, Teresa Batista & Nuno Morais


Climate change impacts particularly affect vulnerable populations such as children. Therefore, addressing the adaptation of educational buildings is crucial in avoiding these negative effects on school performance. In this paper, three educational buildings, located in Badajoz (Spain), Evora (Portugal) and Porto (Portugal), serve as pilot samples to study the suitability of nature-based solutions (NBS), chosen for each one of three climatic zones. The NBS selected include green roofs, vertical structures with vegetation to shade holes, outdoor trees and free-cooling ventilation. The scenarios of the different NBS implemented in the three models were simulated with the software EnergyPlus, which allows optimising the appropriate decision before renovation operations begin. The results obtained from the simulations suggest energy performance improvements after applying the most adequate NBS selection to each one of the three buildings tested. Particularly, a reduction in radiation on both roofs and facades is required in the case of Evora and Badajoz, where both climate zones have similar features, that is, warm and dry. While in Porto, milder and more humid than the former ones, it is very effective to operate mainly on the roof, complemented by small ventilation operations.


climate educational buildings, energy efficiency, heatwaves, indoor environmental quality, nature-based solutions.