Model & Movement – Green skins on buildings
The abstract from the article below discusses the uptake of “green skins” on buildings – such as “garden rooftops, multi-levelled terraced gardens, lush foliage draping exterior walls and vast, internal, Babylonian hanging gardens”. What a sensible and beautiful idea! Why can’t cities but sites of production – ie. greenness producing clean air, possibly even food, rather than simply sinks of consumption?! Comments are welcome below. The full article can be accessed from http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23894388-5012694,00.html.
Abstract: “Green skins”, Greg Callaghan, The Australian, June 21, 2008
Garden roofs and leafy walls could be crucial steps in the fight against global warming, writes Greg Callaghan.
Take one glance at images of the eye-catching ACROS building in Fukuoka City, Japan, and you’ll have no trouble believing that a 21st-century office tower can be eco-friendly. Yes, it boasts a host of energy-saving features ranging from densely insulated walls to compact fluorescent globes, but this is a building that wears Mother Natureâ€™s theme colour on its sleeve â€“ or more specifically, on its back. On the street entrance side, it looks like an ordinary office building, all steel and shimmering glass; at its rear itâ€™s a 15-storey cascade of lush garden terraces pouring down to a park: a green, living oasis in a sea of dead, grey concrete.
Green is the right word to describe the flora-embracing features now being incorporated into new and old buildings across the US, Europe and parts of Asia. Weâ€™re talking garden rooftops, multi-levelled terraced gardens, lush foliage draping exterior walls and vast, internal, Babylonian hanging gardens. â€œLivingâ€ buildings, some call them â€“ and theyâ€™ve been credited with emitting far fewer greenhouse gases than their vegetation-free counterparts, even the most energy-efficient ones.
Not only do their green-clad exteriors freshen the surrounding air, insulate against heat and cold, and reduce flash flooding in the streets by soaking up rainfall, but theyâ€™ve also been found to better absorb street and plane noise, which magnifies as it bounces off hard metal roofs and concrete exteriors. Not to forget their warm and fuzzy aspect: built-in gardens create a soothing refuge for a buildingâ€™s residents and workers, taking the pressure off public parks. All of which explains why some of the worldâ€™s leading architects are designing buildings that can only be described as nature-loving, with built-in structures to support living walls and rooftop habitats that can range from grasslands to birch forests, which in turn can support bird and insect life.
The full article can be accessed from http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23894388-5012694,00.html.