In an effort to reduce inner city smog without sacrificing valuable real estate, a residential block/vertical forest is being constructed in the heart of Milan.
The design, by Italian architect Stefano Boeri is known as Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), and will be erected in Milan as part of efforts to improve the air quality in one of Europe’s most polluted city. (In 2003 a medical study found that living in Milan and breathing its air was almost the equivalent to smoking a packet of cigarettes a day.)
The design, which will see two residential towers covered in a huge number of trees and shrubs, was approved a few years ago, and construction is now entering the final stages, with a completion date expected for later in the year.
Artist’s rendition of the completed Bosco Verticale. (Stefano Boeri Architetti.)
The first of the 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 smaller plants that will cover almost every vertical façade of the 365-foot and 256-foot towers, has already been planted in the deep concrete boxes located on each terrace.
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One of the first trees to be hoisted into place. (Stefano Boeri Architetti.)
The hopes are that the trees and plant life will help to consume CO2 and produce oxygen, reducing the dangerous levels of smog in the city and clearing the air. They will also provide new habitats for insects and birds, provide shade in the summer (which will reduce energy bills for air conditioning), and provide protection from storms.
When completed the two towers will provide the equivalent of more than 107,000 square feet of natural forest and 538,000 square feet of living space.
Original source: http://solar-energy.com/vertical-forests-being-constructed-in-milan
By. James Burgess