As the world population expands and highrise living dominates the landscape – more of us are seeking to escape from the confines of this concrete jungle. A challenge that requires ingenuity and innovation in design.
Micro-ecosystems have the potential to inspire mental and physical wellbeing on a visual and atmospheric level. The options are infinte, from apartment windowfarms to the integration of living elements in design or construction – the presence of nature is finding a new home indoors.
Architects designing eco-friendly livingspaces, green office environments, harvests in the highrise, natural building using ‘renewable or recycled’ materials represent varied levels of the same principle ‘inviting nature in’.
The factors to consider when choosing which project to pursue, depends greatly on the amount of time you wish to invest, what you can afford, and the priority function you hope to achieve (grow your own organic produce, improve air quality, create an inspiring atmosphere, reduce your impact on the environment).
Overview of Options:
The Green Office Guide is a downloadable pdf, full of forest-friendly ideas. Treehugger has an online post How to Go Green at Work also, worth a reading. Alternatively, consider consulting with a service like A Green Office which provides indoor plant hire and designing.
WindowFarms is an open source resource fuelled by an online community interested in growing plants indoors with a window garden using organic and sustainable products. Expand your knowledge of this popular new trend with an introduction to Hydroponics and Urban Agriculture.
Care2 also has some great articles on the benefits of plants and how to transform your home into a ‘healthy’ habitat. These include, Top Ten House Plants for Cleaner Air, Can House Plants Make you Smarter?, A DIY Garden for Small Space Living.
Wikipedia provides good background and links on the origin and options for growing a Roof Garden. Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control, hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats or corridors for wildlife, and recreational opportunities. Another reference offered by the site offers insight and inspiration on Natural Building which involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability.