Rebecca Tomas

Can Green Architecture help save us from Pollution?

For task Two my groups Scenario was in regards to Over population in an ecological environment. The city contained ecological sustainable urban high-rise apartment buildings that introduced solar heating and electricity and also in Task three we extended our scenario to even a more distant time and situation where the city is very much over populated as it has lead to the increase of air pollution and many of the buildings were surrounded by toxic air.

During my research into finding a designer who deals with the above scenario, I came across an Italian Architect Stefan Boeri. He has come to the realisation that as earths population has gone beyond the level of sustainability, there is a high demand in the reduce of Co2 emissions. One of Stefans main goals as a designer is to reduce the air pollutant in Milan the worlds first Vertical forest. Vertical gardens are widely popular and an example is the Central Park apartment complex in Sydney designed by Architect Jean Nouvel. Although it is virtually self-sufficient plants attached to the exterior of the building. Boeris design is much more complex as he takes the idea to new heights.

His main proposal includes two apartment towers which can accomodate “20,000 plants, shrubs, perennial flowers and trees” (Sampson, 2014). Carefully being thought out in relation to Boeri’s concept “the trees are being placed on a series of overlapping concrete balconies and will work as multipurpose filter as they absorb CO2 and dust, produce oxygen, and create a microclimate within the apartments.” (Sampson, 2014). The plants are self maintained as the buildings have a system which provides energy and a grey-water filtration system to water the plants with used sink and shower water.  With this in mind, three times a year a professional team of gardeners will maintain the vegetation along the balconies and around both buildings.

Now that the building has officially been completed, each individual apartment hosts a private garden- which is similar to the one my group thought out in our scenario. Which helps keep safe the inside space from CO2 and dust particles, air and noise pollution, strong winds and sunlight while also producing oxygen throughout the interior of the room. Throughout our scenario we also mentioned the form of solar power being used in the apartment complex. Boeri has also thought to use solar panels around the ‘Bosco Verticale’. Which is also a popular feature and technology to utilise in surrounding architecture recently.

From researching the above, a question arises: Can Architects solve the problem to Air pollution with the help of Green architecture and sustainable design? That question is still up to debate however Thornbush suggests that “The contribution that urban greening, particularly green architecture roofs and facades can make towards achieving low-carbon polluted cities” (Thornbush, 2015). With vegetated roofs and other varieties of vegetation can absorb CO2 and have a positive effect on the surrounding environment.


Architecture & Design 2014, ‘Boeri Studio’s ‘Vertical Forest’ opens in Milan’, Architecture & Design, 22 October, viewed 23 October 2015, <;.

Sampson, T. 2014, ‘Green Architecture Reaches New Heights with Milan’s Vertical Forest,’ UTNE Reader, 30 January, viewed 23 October 2015, <;.

Thornbush, M.J. 2015, Vehicular Air Pollution and Urban Sustainability: An Assessment from Central Oxford, UK, 1st edn, Springer, New York.

Little, S. 2015, What Are Architects Doing In Response To Population Growth,, viewed 23 October 2015, <;.


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