Technology 3 min read

Vertical Forests, Real Concrete Jungles Produce Oxygen for 3,000 People

pisaphotography /

pisaphotography /

Around the world, some cities are promoting projects that incorporate the cultivation of lush vegetation into buildings, which offer more critical benefits than just eye-pleasing flora.

Cities are built to accommodate its residents with, at times, very little regard to fauna and flora. The integration of nature into urban tissues, in the form of vertical forests and gardens, could help to mitigate climate change, improve air quality and urban aesthetics, insulate buildings, and even reduce their maintenance requirements.

'Santalaia' and 'il Bosco Verticale' are two examples of Vertical Gardens.Click To Tweet

Designers and architects began implementing green roofs and living walls into buildings attesting to the viability of vertical gardens. Other than Singapore, which is perhaps the world’s leader in truly green buildings, other cities are following the trend. Such is the case of Bogota and Milan.

The Santalaia Building, Green Pillars Amid Concrete

Located in the Chapinero Alto neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia, the 3,117-square-meter (33,551 square feet) Santalaia building is the largest vertical garden in the world.

The execution time for this gigantic project, delivered in December 2015, took 16 months in total between planning and construction.

The 11 story vertical garden (2 stories underground) is covered with vegetation pillars that rise to the roof, composed of about 115,000 plants of 10 species, chosen to give a uniform green tone and volume.

This makes Santalaia  a gigantic air-purifying system capable of processing over 1,700 pounds of heavy metals, filter over 2,000 tons of harmful gases and also traps around 900 pounds of dust.

The green walls of Santalaia compensate for the emissions of 745 cars and provide oxygen for 3,000 people. The building also has irrigation and water recycling systems so that all of its water needs come from a combination of rain and soiled shower water.

il Bosco Verticale, the Twin Vertical Forests

Located in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy, il Bosco Verticale, or “The Vertical Forest” in English, is a residential complex consisting of two towers: Torre E, the largest, with 26 floors and standing 110 meters high; and Torre D, with 18 floors and standing 76 meters high.

Designed by Boeri, the twin green towers were completed in 2014 as part of a bigger urban renovation project for the district. The system hosts 900 trees and over 20,000 of shrubs and floral plants distributed over the facades according to specific sun exposures. Generating oxygen and humidity, and absorbing dust and CO2, the twin vertical forests creates a microclimate in a busy urban environment.

il Bosco Vertical is an example of eco-design that fosters urban biodiversity. These buildings are a welcome extension of nature inside a bustling world of concrete and metal.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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