Minimising the Impacts of Dense Green Architecture

Ping Jiang
Founding Principal
EID Architecture, Shanghai

Projects like Bosco Vertical in Milan, Italy and the Forest City in Liuzhou, China offer a vision for a verdant city with a forest in the sky. However, these projects require vast amounts of concrete to support the significant greening, which in turn produces a large carbon footprint.
This presentation asks the question - if for the last 50 years we’ve focused on designing buildings to minimize their impact on the environment, how in the next 50 years do we accept them as part of the urban ecosystem (for good or bad) and design them to make positive contributions to our planetary systems?
How do we create dense cities that incorporate natural process without negatively impacting the environment in their construction?
We will explore these questions by drawing attention to the energy impacts of the ‘super forest’ projects and showcasing how light weight and intelligently designed integrated systems can achieve these benefits without the requirement for excessive energy intensive concrete and steel supporting structures.
We will show through case studies of built work, and explorations into design research, how the incorporation of vegetation onto and within tall buildings can be achieved with minimal structural support.
We will also illustrate the performative benefits that not only make each building a viable ecosystem, but could also transform our cities into functioning ecologies on a broad scale. A review will also be made of ESD rating schemes could accommodate the trade off between greening and the embodied energy costs of construction.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation