A wall made of plants, green architecture to re-imagine cities

Introducing plants into buildings to absorb CO2, eliminating indoor pollution and improving your mood. This is green architecture.

Cities are transforming, taking shape. We feel the urge to rethink space and architecture with a more sustainable vision. One solution is to introduce a plant component into new buildings being constructed. Architect Isacco Brioschi, who designs following the principles of green or sustainable architecture, tells us what this means.

What does green design mean? How is it done?
There are various methods. Rooftop gardens, that were already being used in Mesopotamia, are useful to absorb CO2 and contribute to prevent buildings from overheating. Then there are curtain walls: plant filters where bouganville or Virginia creepers can grow. There are also vertical forests, which are more spectacular but also more expensive, where the vertical apparatus is placed directly on the wall.

What’s the importance of green architecture?
It’s vital. We must reintroduce green space into cities. This also becomes a form of social architecture in degraded areas, where excessive urbanisation has removed plants, therefore we must absolutely focus on this form of architecture.

alberi in città green architecture
Planting trees and urban forests makes people happier and healthier © Aleksejs Bergmanis/Pexels

Furthermore, it is able to improve the city’s overall health: green areas absorb CO2, block particulate matter and prevent buildings from overheating. They also have many other beneficial effects.

Read more: Urban forests, cities’ answer to climate change (and much more)

Which ones?
A vertical forest, for example, can absorb the emissions generated by a car that travels 20,000 kilometres and can release water vapour which decreases temperatures and contributes to humidity. In fact, the humidity we feel in urban areas is often generated by asphalt that captures heat and then releases it into the air, increasing the temperature even more.

Read more: What is sustainable architecture: definition, concept and famous examples

What are the outlooks of green architecture in your opinion?
We must absolutely follow this approach now, a new design method that must be studied to prevent it from becoming just a temporary trend. Technology can help us, but we’re still unprepared. Other countries are slightly ahead, it’s a new field for us, we still have to experiment.

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