1. Green Walls
Considering the issue of new wall paint, the only thing that will get you closer to nature is an actual green wall. A green wall is simply a wall that is covered in vegetation. These can range from the classic ivy you see growing up the side of a city building, to the specially designed living walls you can see inside the house of an adventurous resident. Being that most North Americans spend 80-90% of time indoors, the major priority benefit to incorporating a green wall into your home will be the improved air quality and energy efficiency. This is because a living wall will trap a layer of air within the plant mass, which in turn limits the movement of heat and wind between building walls.
2. Rooftop Gardens
For some people, going green doesn't stop at the ceiling. Rooftop gardens are gaining popularity in urban areas where any amount of deck or patio space is a luxury. Green roofs can act like urban backyards, covering the entire roof space of a building and made available to the public. It provides an escape from the concrete jungle below, and has been shown to provide many mental and physical benefits to its users.
3. Vertical Farming
Taking rooftop gardening to the next level is the concept of "vertical" or "high-rise" farming. Think of a skyscraper full of tomato plants. In order to combat rising global population, the dream of scientists and architects is to grow crops ranging from produce to staple foods in high-rise buildings. While it remains a dream today, the concept is already being implemented on a smaller scale with community gardens, urban farms see how a Tokyo corporation grows food for its employees here and our next topic: Pinkhouses.
4. Natural light and heat regulation
Green architecture also combats issues regarding heat. The Reichstag is Germany's parliament building that was retrofitted in 1999 to create more natural lighting. Designed by Norman Foster of London, the new dome uses glass and mirrors which reflects daylight throughout the main chamber. This system also helps to ventilate heating within the building.
5. Highly efficient modular construction
Design company Perkins+Will have created a cutting edge K-12 education building in Washington, DC, called Sprout Space. This building will provide a healthy learning environment to its students through its "high-performance, healthy and modular classroom." These rooms incorporate an integrated rainwater collection system, photovoltaic roof panels, and highly efficient heating and cooling systems. The end result will be an environment more conducive to learning through modular construction and school design. At this school, playing outside isn't just for recess.
6. Shipping container living
What happens to all those old shipping containers retired from sea? The New York based architecture firm LOT-EK has taken these old containers out of retirement by constructing new buildings with them. One of their clients in the Taichung City Cultural Center in western Taiwan who will soon have a new public library and fine arts museum made out of 1,620 shipping containers.
7. The Tiny House Movement
Last but technically not least, the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is making its impact in the field of architecture under the philosophy of "less is more." The company designs and creates building plans for inexpensive, energy-efficient homes smaller than 120 square feet. These impressive abodes include an office with a desk, fireplace, two comfy chairs, a sleeping space, a small kitchen and dining space. What it doesn't include is the expensive energy bills; none of these homes built in California have consumed more than $70 in energy a year!
For more information and assistance with buying or selling a home, please contact us at 310-928-9035. My team and I are here to help you with your real estate plans. We are a top real estate team in the South Bay and have been helping clients buy and sell property since 1999. A large part of our business comes from referrals so please let us know who we can help. Call us now, we're here to help.
Frank Kenny Real Estate Team 310-928-9035