Each year, we watch as more and more Earth is claimed by cities and towns. Trees are leveled to make way for villages. Hills are leveled to make way for roads. The soil is upended so that we can uncover precious rocks and minerals. Fortunately, there are a number of individuals who are trying to slow this process. Although they cannot not restore dead habitats or solve our deforestation crisis with new, technological innovations, they can (perhaps) make things a little better.
So meet the world’s tallest vertical garden. When completed in the next year or so, it will be 46 floors (about 460 feet or 140 meters) and house a total of 164 apartments. Most notably, the building is set to be home to over 10,000 square meters of forest that will be consist of some 21,000 plants and over 700 trees.
And this is more than just a place where we can replant trees and try and reestablish a bit of nature. All solid water (such as plastic, glass, paper etc.) will be separated at the ground floor and go our for recycling. This is anticipated to result in nearly zero percent solid waste generation. Moreover, by recycling the metal, the residence is able to generate income to further contribute to sustainability efforts in relation to the residence.
As these side-on views reveal, each home will have access to it's own garden. Special planning went into this design in order to ensure that the plants would have enough soil and access to water in order to survive. Moreover, special considerations were needed to protect the structure (and any unsuspecting individuals) from falling branches. Of course, keep in mind, these trees will be rather small--we certainly aren't talking about giant redwoods. Engineers also designed the structure to ensure that there will be no threat to the vegetation due to storms or high winds.
Recycled water will also be used for flushing in all bathrooms in order to minimize the amount of waste water that is produced and the amount of water that is consumed. Since each apartment has its own mini-garden, residence would also be able to grow their own fruits and vegetables from their patio--even if they are on the 33rd floor! Solar panels were also installed on the roof in order to provide enough energy to power the public and lobby lights, elevators, the grey water recycling system, the sewage recycling system, and other public utilities. And just as the recycling may help earn money for the residence, any excess power will be sold to the electricity grid using a net metering system.
In short, this won't solve all of our problems (or nearly all of them), but baby steps are better than no steps.