Towers covered with greenery are not a new idea and the first ones are already getting built around the globe in an effort to fight the alarming pollution present in some cities. Now the Paris suburb of Villiers sur Marne is getting its own such tower. The so-called Forêt Blanche (which translates to White Forest) was designed by the famous architect Stefano Boeri, who is no stranger to proposing such vertical forest buildings. Towers based on his designs are already getting built in Switzerland and Milan, while a whole city of such towers is being planned in southern China.
Forêt Blanche will be made entirely of wood will stand 177 ft (54 m) tall. The exterior will be covered in 2,000 trees, shrubs and plants. It will feature apartment units at the top, while the lower floors will be taken up by offices and retail spaces.
The fours sides of the tower will be covered by a mix of balconies and terraces on which various plants and trees will be planted. According to the architects, this green covered area will be equivalent to one hectare of forest, which is 10 times larger than the actual footprint of the building itself. The project is still very much in the early stages, so a timeline for its construction and completion has not yet been decided upon.
However, it is a great idea, and one which more large cities should start entertaining. We must embrace nature and help it heal if we are to build a more sustainable future for our world. We will follow this project closely as new developments arise and keep you informed. Let’s hope it is just one of many such projects that we will get to report on in the next year.
The town of Hemel Hempstead, which is located about 24 miles from London, UK, might soon be home to the world’s most sustainable residential tower. The proposed building is called The Beacon and it will house luxury sustainable apartments. It will also feature on-site renewable energy generation and several energy conservation technologies. Judging by the renders, it will also be gorgeous. It was designed by the firm Wardman Brown.
The building will feature a central atrium, which will also function as a greenhouse. The tower will also have an efficient natural ventilation system in place. According to the designers, this ventilation system combined with the clean air created by the plants atrium garden will ensure that the entire building gets fresh, pure air. The balconies and roof will be fitted with solar panel arrays. There will also be grey water and rainwater collection systems, which will feed the toilets.
Heating and cooling will be provided via ground and air source heat pumps, while the apartments will feature underfloor heating. The windows will be triple glazed, while the building will also have excellent thermal and acoustic insulation.
In fact, the designers claim that the renewable energy harvested on-site will be sufficient for the entire tower to function completely independently of the grid. This will greatly reduce the carbon footprint of the building, and will result in very low monthly utility bills.
While the building will be constructed using concrete, they will ensure that it is produced as close to the build site as possible. They will also be using 35,000 tons of excavated chalk and clay to infill non-load-bearing walls of the tower.
The tower is currently still in the proposal stage. Overall, it seems a very ambitious project, but let’s hope it gets the go ahead.