Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Vertical Gardens

As a green-tech leader, San Jose needs to up its game when it comes to building designs. Below are photos of Clearpoint Tower in Sri Lanka, which will be the world's tallest vertical garden. It has 164 apartments across 46 floors and every units is wrapped in plants which buffer sound, heat, and help clean the air. The garden is watered using an automatic drip irrigation system and other green elements such as solar panels and natural ventilation are also incorporated into the design.

A project like this would be ideal in areas that have few tall buildings in the immediate area... such as the suburbs. It would blend into areas not used to density much nicer than a steel or glass tower. I could see projects like this replacing strip malls near public transit in East/South San Jose.

Source: Inhabitat


  1. I always thought that they should have some taller buildings at Oakridge Mall proper or on the properties behind where the bowling alley is located. I think one of these might get less complaints because of all the greenery. A location in the malls of the parking lots of Oakridge would also be separated more from the residential areas than most strip shopping centers.

    People may complain about all the traffic there already but it does have convenient freeway access and light rail trains. I would rather they build denser where there is good transportation access.

    It would also make a good location identifier for the Oakridge area . When coming from any freeway or light rail, you would know exactly where the shopping center is from miles away.

    1. Completely agree, that would be a great location for one of these.

    2. I agree as well, especially with the point about a taller building serving as a location identifier. I think that aspect is often overlooked in the debate about building height and the NIMBYs come out. A taller building can serve as a marketing tool, helping connote a sense that you've arrived somewhere - and can of course have a more literal marketing purpose if you put a logo or company name on it.

      I'm excited that the Samsung building in North San Jose is going to serve that purpose, for that area. And I know it's outside of San Jose, but I think that Sunnyvale really missed an opportunity by not approving at least one taller building in the 'Town Center' development in their downtown. All of the new buildings are uniformly 4 to 6 stories, and you can't see them from more than a block away. Since there were no immediate residential neighbors and they were going for density anyway, they could have approved one or two buildings at, say, 8 to 10 stories so people would say "Oh, there's downtown Sunnyvale" when approaching by car or train.

  2. If we cover our building with green foliage, then where will the taggers put their graffiti?

  3. Guess this is old news by now but just came across this. I like it in concept but would like to see how it plays out in reality in Sri Lanka. I wonder how they deal the inevitable maintenance issues when the trees need to be trimmed or the branches fall off by natural means. How do you keep a branch falling to the ground from 46 stories above from being a deadly projectile? I guess they could build a huge roof garden on top of the lowest floor that spreads out from all sides that would just serve to catch falling debris and only accessible to maintenance workers. No guarantee however that the falling branches won't catch the wind and drift outside their expected landing zone. I would also imagine all those trees would add quite a bit of weight. Since I am sure the Sri Lanka project has worked all these issues out it would be interesting to see the actual plans for the project.