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Are you seeing more greenery, both in and on buildings? If so, you’ve seen a work of biophilic design. Biophilia is the idea that humans love life and the living world and want to be connected to nature. One way to do this is by integrating nature more deeply into architecture or incorporating sustainability into design. It’s bringing nature to us in our modern cities and buildings. Let’s explore this in action, shall we?

a forest in the city

The Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) in Milan, Italy is an example of biophilic design. One of its defining aspects is greenery, which appears all over the two residential towers that make up the Vertical Forest. Designed by biophilia pioneer Stefano Boeri, it’s seen as a model for a sustainable residential building.

In this beautiful, verdant forest, there are 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs and 15,000 plants; hence the name Vertical Forest! Only, this “forest” isn’t located on the ground; it’s been transplanted to these towers and it lives on every floor. The total number of trees equates to about 215,000 sq ft of forest. Simply walk out to the balcony and there are trees and plants all around. Much more aesthetically pleasing than gray concrete!

sustainable living

Close proximity to nature is just the beginning though. A lot of thought has gone into improving the Vertical Forest’s sustainability. It uses solar panels, a renewable energy source, and repurposes wastewater for the plants.

All of the trees and plants are great for reducing air pollution. They’ll be able to transform 44,000 lbs of carbon dioxide into oxygen each year, helping to purify the air of pollutants. Dust particles in the air will be absorbed, which also improves air quality.

Dense greenery provides shade and insulation in the summer, so cooling costs are lowered. It also absorbs sound, reducing noise pollution.

With 23 species of trees and 94 species of plants represented, the Vertical Forest has attracted more species of birds and insects, increasing the area’s biodiversity. Biodiversity is having a large variety of living species, including animals, plants, and microorganisms. There just isn’t as much wildlife in cities, but here, there are 20 bird species who have nests in the towers. All life forms, from the tiniest to the largest, play a role in creating a robust, healthy ecosystem.

better quality of life

Last, but certainly not least, being amongst all that green has great benefits for your general well-being. Being in nature, or feeling like you are, has a calming effect, and it improves mood by reducing stress. It’s a quick way to escape for a little while and can help improve the community’s general public health and quality of life.

This fascinating project does so much good for both people and the environment! To learn more, check it out here: https://www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/en/project/vertical-forest/.

Sources: Stefano Boeri Architetti; Green Roofs


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