With urban air pollution becoming a huge problem in many major cities around the world, engineers, scientists and architects are testing and trying numerous unconventional ideas and solutions. One such project comes from a Denmark-based company, 3XN, where lead architects have designed buildings that act as trees. The so-called Grove Towers will erect in Mumbai, and will be covered by vertical gardens, which should clean the city’s air.
The project is truly one of a kind. Not only that the buildings will be multi-functional, meaning they will have office spaces and residential apartments with incredible views over the city, but they will also be a home for mangrove trees. The towers themselves will be impressive in size too. Spreading over a floor space of 77,000 sq m (828,000 sq ft), and reaching a height of 136m (446 ft), there will be no way they remain unnoticed. Covering an area of 2,500 sq m (27,000 sq ft), the vertical gardens will cut down the carbon dioxide concentrations of the air around the buildings. In addition, the impressive facades will reduce direct solar heat and boost ventilation.
The construction should be finalized in 2017, when the architects are planning to apply for the prestigious LEED Gold standard of energy certification.
Of course, any project of such size would trigger skepticism and attract a fair share of non-believers, who might have a point, but I better let you judge. Some time ago, in line with the announcement of the opening of two residential towers covered with trees in downtown Milan, Italy, Tim De Chant, a blogger, expressed quite a strong view. He argues that architects plant trees on buildings so that they seem sustainable, but they are not necessarily so. He claims that trees on buildings are actually the exact opposite of sustainable, as they need special environment to grow, they need a lot of water, and they, as well as the watering systems, are very heavy. You can read the complete article here.
Nevertheless, to end on a positive note, vertical gardens, and other approaches to green-up urban areas, are becoming increasingly popular. Not so long ago we told you about two great initiatives, indoor vertical gardens and green rooftops farms, both proving to be an incredible success.
Image (c) 3XN