Thursday, April 22, 2021

Vertical Forest in Taiwan

Climate change is the most serious crisis facing humanity.  It is a moral issue, an economic issue, a survival issue and much more. That is why, on this Earth Day, I would like to tell you about a remarkable environmental achievement in Taipei, Taiwan.  Taipei will be home to a vertical forest with 23,000 trees, shrubs and plants that reduce air pollution and lower temperature.  Located in the financial district of Taiwan's capital, it is a carbon-absorbing 21-storey residential building called Tao Zhu Yin Yuan.  There are two apartments per floor and the twisting form of the structure allows for a panoramic view of the city.

Tao Zhu Yin Yuan was designed by Paris-based architecture firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures..  The futuristic skyscraper is shaped like the double helix of DNA and every apartment has its own garden.  Various types of trees are planted in the park, balconies and terraces, with 14 trees planted for each floor.  All that greenery will absorb up to 130 tones of carbon per year.  It will also reduce the noise from the city.  In addition, the vertical forest is powered by solar energy and recycles rainwater which can water gardens..  It also includes natural ventilation chimneys which filter the indoor air and reduce temperatures and the usage of air conditioning.  The structure is sturdy and strongly earthquake resilient.

The best news is that Tao Zhu Yin Yuan is not set to arrive in Taipei at some undetermined time in the future.  It is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the latter half of 2021.  I only hope other countries in the world, including my own Canada, will follow this example for sustainable housing and a greener future.  We can't afford to put the environment on the backburner, even as we face the ravages of a terrible pandemic.  When the pandemic finally eases, we will still have to deal with climate change.  Carbon reduction is absolutely necessary and fossil fuels must be replaced by renewable energy.  The climate change deniers are on the wrong side of history.

SOURCES: Amazing Architecture website, "Tao Zhu Yin Yuan: A Carbon-Absorbing Vertical Forest in Taipei, Taiwan, by Vincent Callebaut Architectures," February 2021;""Carbon-absorbing " vertical forest near completion in Taipei," by Lucy Wang, March 12, 2021.

- Joanne