The idea of green building has evolved to the point where technology, design and environmental elements now culminate in a holistic model that goes much further than ever before.
As consumers and the industry at large continue to evolve to a point where expectations are greater, is it still appropriate to call architecture green if its main environmental contribution is that it includes a number of plants and promotes their growth?
M-City, designed by Vladimir Plotkin and Roberto Meyer is a tower concept that breaks with tradition when it comes to traditional structural typology. The ‘stacked’ form of the building – something that is becoming increasingly common in skyscraper design – allows the building its uniqueness. This notion is only further compounded by the tower’s layout, which includes open-air courtyards, and triangular opening that culminate to create its namesake ‘M’ shape.
While this is an incredibly unique tower, it is also garnering acclaim from a number of green building promoters and supporters for its extensive use of hanging plants and natural lighting options. While the building plans may include more environmentally responsible features, the green promoters who instead focus on the extensive incorporation of interior greenery do not clarify what else is being done to make the building environmentally friendly.
The benefits of incorporating greenery into the architecture of a building are well-noted, from reducing stress levels of those working or living inside to offsetting excess carbon and increasing the air quality of a space, balancing the built with the natural should never be discouraged. Its praise should, however, be moderated, something everyone in the green building industry could take note of.
Adding plants and trees to a development is great green inspiration, but a site that incorporates greenery and calls itself ‘green’ should not be given more praise or recognition than a carbon zero development that uses various green technologies but is not dripping in ivy. To laud greenery over truly going green is simply misleading and will cause the general public to develop misconceptions as to what ‘green building’ really involves.