Sustainability and “Going Green” are trends that have become popular in the past few years all around the world. It seems that everyone wants to be a part of the green trend, and businesses, cities, and countries are working hard to bring to the people new ways of travelling, eating, dressing, and living that will have their products cut down on carbon emissions, and provide their clients with a more comfortable way of living. Milan, Italy, is no exception to this idea, as it is currently building one of the greenest and most creative projects ever – an apartment building that will be the world’s first ever vertical forest.
The Bosco Verticale is being designed by the architecture firm known as Stefano Boeri Architetti, and it will be erected in the center of Milan, close to the Isola neighborhood. Both residential towers that are undergoing construction currently will measure 33 stories (110 meters) and 23 stories (76 meters) respectively and each building will hold about 900 trees of different species and height that will “surround” the building in green foliage. These two residential towers will have over 10,000 square meters of trees (if all the trees were planted on flat land), and will keep the CO2 emissions down for this urban area.
According to an article published by Inhabit.com, an architectural weblog that is devoted to the future of design while keeping the environment in mind, “The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect the building from radiation and acoustic pollution. This not only improves the quality of living spaces, but gives way to dramatic energy savings year round” (Diane Pham, Inhabit.com). This will allow for residents who wish to live in the buildings to feel comforted by the fact that their apartment’s energy will be clean, safe, and sustainable.
Another interesting feature of these two eco-friendly residential buildings is that all of the grey water from the apartments will be filtered and recycled throughout the building, which will dramatically cut down on costs of water for tenants. The trees will also help the residents save on money, as they will provide shade during the summer and more sunlight to be captured during the winter once the trees have lost their leaves.
The Bosco Verticale is only the first step in the architect’s vision of a greener Milan. He has an overall project entitled BioMilano, which will aim to create a ‘green belt’ around the city of Milan by incorporating over 60 abandoned farms that exist on the outskirts of the city and repurposing them for community use. The Bosco Verticale began its construction in 2007, and hopes to be finished constructing within a few years.
While the architects of Stefano Boeri Architetti seem to envision plenty for the city of Milan, the architect firm hopes that their green ideas will spark a wave of the implementation of more sustainable buildings and polices in other countries, so that everyone can start becoming more sustainable than they are today.
If you want to learn more about the Bosco Verticale idea, check out this news report done by an Australian media called “The Age”.
Renderings taken from Boeri Studio