We know that modular construction is a greener solution for building or expanding. Some architects are building on the benefits of modular with a more literal approach to green building. Their answer: incorporating plants into modular designs.
Plants and trees produce oxygen and humidity, reduce pollution and radiation, absorb harmful carbon dioxide, and help with cooling. Incorporating self-contained ecosystems into new buildings also creates a sense of peace and relaxation for occupants.
Here are three examples of modular projects that give “green building” new meaning.
Milan Gets Vertical
Milan is one of Italy’s most polluted cities. To combat pollution, two modular towers — the Bosco Verticale — are being built to house up to nine hundred trees on its balconies. As the city is short on space, this vertical forest will provide the equivalent positive environmental impact of two-and-a-half-acres of forest.
The Urban Skyscraper of the Future
Engineering firm ARUP is planning an urban skyscraper made from modular units for the year 2050. It will have internal floors with vast plant life for contained parks and its modular design will allow components to be switched around according to need. With the world’s population expected to hit 9 billion by 2050, this self-sufficient “smart building” will recycle its own energy using wind turbines and bio-fuel pods that produce algae.
Singapore’s CDL Green Gallery
The planned CDL Green Gallery at Singapore’s Botanic Gardens will be the city’s first zero-energy gallery. The city is using modular to quickly construct the building, as well as hempcrete — a concrete made from hemp, which is resistant to mold, mildew, fire, and pests. The hempcrete modular sections will be poured offsite to minimize disruption to the attraction. It’s fitting given the museum’s purpose is to showcase Singapore’s half-century devotion to a greener world.
When planning a modular project, the structure is only half the plan. Incorporating plant life in, around, and even on a building improves both beauty and function.