Sustainable architecture, otherwise known as green architecture, is taking centre stage in new concepts and projects.
This is primarily due to the fact that our homes and buildings have a significant impact on carbon emissions.
The United Nations Environment Programme recently confirmed that buildings are responsible for almost half of all global energy use. They also produce 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, consume 25% of all drinkable water, and account for 20% of all solid waste produced in developed countries. Architects are responding to the situation with sustainable design strategies that reduce energy consumption and minimise damage to the environment.
One popular example is the green wall on the Oasis of Aboukir, Designed by living walls inventor Patrick Blanc, this vertical garden encompasses the entire size of a five-storey block in Paris. The wall features 7600 plants from 237 different species, and covers the entire facade at the corner of Aboukir and Petits Carreaux streets.
Another sustainable project, this one by Swedish architecture firm Plantagon, is an office tower that also happens to be a farm. Known as the World Food Building, the 60-metre-tall building will consist of offices on one side and an urban greenhouse on the other.
In the greenhouse, food will be produced via a popular technique called hydroponic farming, which produces crops by submerging them in fortified water. The building is presently under construction in Linköping, Sweden, and is expected to be finished in 2020.