That’s one small step for arcology, and one giant leap for sustainability. Milroy Perera Associates, working in collaboration with Mäga Engineering, recently revealed that it plans to construct the world’s tallest residential vertical garden. Situated just ten kilometers from the center of Columbo in Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka, the Clearpoint Tower will house 164 apartments across 46 floors. The entire building – which overlooks the tributaries of Kotte’s Diyawanna Lake – will be encircled by planted viewing terraces, all of which will be fed by “inbuilt self-sustaining watering systems.”
“Clearpoint will be pioneering sustainable residences in Sri Lanka, with the aim of taking urban living forward will still maintaining a balance with nature and the surrounding environment,” explains a representative of the architects. “The main focus of the apartments is to create a sentiment of ground-level living. Measures will be in place to reduce energy and water consumption, including the use of solar energy for communal spaces.” The whole building is a case study in sustainable design.
Given that Sri Lanka tends to be pretty warm year-round, The Clearpoint Tower was designed from the ground-up with sustainable cooling in mind. The windows were created with large-format terraces, ensuring that they don’t receive direct sunlight. The apartments are cross-ventilated, allowing the building’s interior to cool naturally. Finally, plants on the outside serve to both dampen sound and provide shade. Taken together, what all of this ultimately means is that the building requires much less energy to keep cool.
That’s not the only sustainable aspect of the structure, either. Solar panels on the roof will provide power for the majority of the public systems in the structure, while an automated drip irrigation system will make use of gray water (basically, waste water from the apartments) recycling for the plants. There are also provisions to allow residents to grow their own gardens with this system, as well.
I truly hope this design catches on – we could very well be looking at the future of sustainable architecture. Already, looking at it is a bit surreal, almost like I’m seeing concept art for science fiction. Clearpoint Tower is very, very real, though – it’s set to be completed by late 2015. I look forward to it.
Clearpoint Tower | Gallery