Case study: Milan’s vertical green building | WindowArt

Situated in the north of Italy is the great city of Milan, regarded as the country’s capital of business, fashion, music and design. It’s home to the world renowned La Scala Opera house and the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. And now it’s home to this innovativegreen building Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), which is a world first.

What’s a vertical forest?

According to Dezeen, an architecture and design magazine, “Italian architect Stefano Boeri came up with the concept as a way to combine high-density residential development with tree planting in city centres.” According to the International Journal on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the pair of residential towers in the Porta Nuova district hosts approximately 13 000 different plant species, distributed across the towers façade in the correct relation to the sun. If the buildings were flattened out, it would create a forest of 7000 m².

The project took two years to complete, under the watchful guidance of botanists. All plants were grown specifically to suit the building environment. Within the time it took to complete construction the plants adjusted to conditions of living on the buildings. This is an important consideration, because some have raised concerns about the impact growing roots will have on other green building’s structures.

Milan is highly populated city, notorious for its air pollution. The green buildings run on a vegetal system that produces oxygen and absorbs CO² and dust particles. So these structures are more than just pretty to look at, they serve to reverse the damage caused by urbanisation.

A closer look at the Bosco Verticale’s design as a metaphor

The building, according to the journal the Bosco Verticale is an “active interface to the environment, with a special architectural quality.” The dynamics of the plant life and a combination of forms and materials on the buildings creates a truly magnificent structure. The buildings are a living façade because the plant life will change with the seasons, shaping a new exterior every few months, therefore, making the plants their own protagonists. Creating an “architectural story of great visual, environmental, and ultimately, social impact.”

Green building design in South Africa

The current generation of consumers are craving sustainability. And what better way to achieve this than with exemplary sustainability and beautiful design? South Africa is new to the green building industry, but we are making our mark, especially in the commercial landscape. According to the World Green Building Trends survey by the United States based McGraw-Hill, South Africa is the fastest growing green building market. In fact, the South African government is pushing for more buildings to be created using the green building technique. For more information on green buildings making strides in South Africa, read this blog.

You can have your own vertical forest


You can play your part in helping to reduce your carbon footprint in your office with our vinyl decals. Our film will retain heat in winter and reduce it in summer all leading up to reduced energy costs. Keeping in line with the theme of this blog, you can have your cake and eat it. Being more energy-efficient can be an attractive concept. We can bring the outdoors in with our nature-inspired vinyl decals to show everyone you really are energy conscious. If you want to learn more download our window covering guide.

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