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Urbanarbolismo's huge vertical garden incorporates over 33,000 plants

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January 15, 2014

The addition of a planted facade to the building is expect to increase its thermal insulat...

The addition of a planted facade to the building is expect to increase its thermal insulation by 270 percent

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A vertical garden covering 1492m2 has been created in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. The garden, which adorns the the Palacio de Congresos Europa (Palace of Congresses Europe) and incorporates over 33,000 individual plants, was designed by Alicante-based sustainable architecture firm Urbanarbolismo.

The project was conceived as a means of improving the energy usage of the Palacio de Congresos. The addition of a planted facade to the building is expect to increase its thermal insulation by 270 percent.

In order to reflect the native ecosystems of the locality, the plants used are inspired by those found in the areas surrounding Vitoria-Gasteiz, including the wetland vegetation of Salburua, the agricultural field plots of Alava, and beech forests of the Vitoria mountains.

About two thirds of the planted area uses a hydroponic system, which is monitored to control the development of the plants. Factors tracked include substrate nutrient conditions, pH levels and humidity. The monitoring also helps to save water and energy.

A view of the interplay between the building's frame and its windows

"We were surprised how quickly nature breaks through the vertical garden, thanks to native plants it has been colonized by all kinds of insects and animals," says Urbanarbolismo.

As well as plants that are "bedded into" the building, a twisting metal frame is wrapped around it to provide a means of support for climbing plants. The structure is illuminated at night by low-power LEDs, creating an intriguing aesthetic.

Source: Urbanarbolismo

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds.   All articles by Stu Robarts
3 Comments

> the building is expect to increase its thermal insulation by 270 percent.

The amount of spiders too, I bet. *shivers*

Darkoneko
15th January, 2014 @ 06:13 pm PST

Very impressive building!

GoForward
17th January, 2014 @ 09:53 am PST

If you want to see real, natural, horizontal & vertical urban gardens, simply take a tour of the abandoned homes, businesses, and churches in the downtown area of Detroit, Michigan.

Marco Corona
17th January, 2014 @ 09:57 am PST
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