Sustainable Living Concept
The Vertical Tower
Bosco Verticale, or ‘Vertical Tower’, is a sustainable living concept currently being put into action in Milan, Italy. The architect behind this project, Italian Stefano Boeri has designed an apartment structure that incorporates both urban and vegetation, to create a “device for the environmental survival of contemporary European cities.”
Milan is suffering from a large urban expansion that has caused rising emissions and poor air quality in the city. Boeri’s design for a unique apartment block opens the doors to the beginning of sustainable, environmentally-friendly living. Boeri’s plan includes two apartment buildings, 110 and 76 metres tall respectively, 361 and 250 feet, that will include 900 trees ranging in height from three to nine metres tall within the building structure. In addition, shrubbery, flora and fauna will also be added into the balconies, which in turn will hopefully increase the presence of birds and insects within the mini-gardens. With this plan, Boeri intends to balance out the city’s environmental damage, while also creating a self-sufficient and sustainable ecosystem. As it is, if the vertical trees were flattened, it would be equal to 10,000 square metres, 11,960 square yards, of forest area across the ground.
The two structures not only save energy and promote the environment, but they will also produce energy. The growing trees and shrubs will help filter air pollution within the urban environment by producing humidity, absorbing CO2 and dust particles, and producing oxygen. This improves the overall living conditions for the residents, as well as creating a protective canopy against radiation and noise pollution. Irrigation and filtering systems will be installed that will recycle the grey water from the building and use it to maintain the plants. Solar panels will also be installed, which will add to the building’s main design to create its own environmentally-friendly, self-sufficient energy source. This will ultimately create a ‘living’ building that will leave as small a carbon footprint as possible.
The concept of the ‘Vertical Tower’ is an easily accessible for other cities and countries that are facing similar environmental and sustainable issues. At a cost of EUR65 million (US$87.5 million), only around five percent higher than that of a typical skyscraper, and with plans to create a green belt of ‘living’ buildings around the city of Milan, Bosco Verticale is the start of what will hopefully become a stepping stone to sustainable, environmentally-friendly living across the globe.
Below is a visual representation of the design concept of the Bosco Verticale, currently being built in Milan: