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Old Posted Apr 12, 2016, 4:23 PM
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Renderings vs. Reality: The Improbable Rise of Tree-Covered Skyscrapers

Renderings vs. Reality: The Improbable Rise of Tree-Covered Skyscrapers


By Kurt Kohlstedt

Read More: http://99percentinvisible.org/articl...d-skyscrapers/

In a world of online design competitions and social image sharing, many architects have taken to crafting ever more extreme models and renderings for public consumption.

- Vertical forestry gives a structure the appearance of sustainability. Greened towers suggest better air and a greener view both for building residents and the city. The brightly-colored renderings appeal to intrigued investors as well as sales-oriented developers. Accordingly, representations of future skyscrapers with unlikely greenery are on the rise. The trend started with rooftops, but has grown to encompass all kinds of horizontal building surfaces.

- The construction hurdles are daunting. Extra concrete and steel reinforcement are required to handle added weight. Irrigation systems are needed to water the plants. Additional wind load complexity has to be taken into account. After installation, trees are also subject to high winds at altitude (but you never see them bent in renderings). The wind can also interrupt photosynthetic processes, while the heat and cold wreak havoc with many species of tree (especially tall, lush and lovely-looking ones).

- Consider, too, that buildings have sides: the idea of putting the same trees all around, irrespective of wind and sun conditions, makes as little sense as finding trees equally on all faces of a mountain in nature. And, of course, someone has to trim, maintain, replant, fertilize and clean up after all these living things as well. --- Then there is the contrast between the drawings and actual structures. While the finished works, viewed independently, are impressive in their own right, they do not exactly look like the lush forested facades seen in the proposed designs.

- For extensive projects, the demands are lower for water, nutrients and ongoing management than they are for intensive ones. Structural requirements are also reduced: engineers need to account for just 15 to 50 pounds additional per square foot versus 50 to 150 or more. --- Yet even the thinnest green coverage requires a growing medium, filter fabric, drainage layer, insulation, waterproof membrane and more. Naturally, too, these flatter green surfaces tend to make for less attractive drawings, particularly wide-angle views at a distance.


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Old Posted Apr 13, 2016, 5:01 PM
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Yeah, this is a really old trick used in renders, I remember the U.S. Bank tower in NYC had hanging gardens in their renders and obviously that never happened.
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Old Posted Apr 13, 2016, 5:48 PM
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Some forumers from Paris have been laughing at this for a while yet. However, it takes some time for trees to grow. So there's still hope for some more or less recent buildings that showed off trees on renderings.
psst... A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2016, 7:50 AM
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I'm from a pretty small city and we have an LDS Auditorium large enough to fit a 747 inside of it with a forest on its roof. It was built in the year 2000 and it hasn't had any problems since its construction. I think green roofs have been done before for thousands of years. World Class Cities like New York and Paris should be able to handle this.


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Old Posted May 12, 2016, 11:16 PM
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