A tree house development in Singapore has set a Guinness World Record for the largest vertical garden in the world.
Lining the façade of City Developments Limited’s (CDL) Tree House condominium building, the vertical garden spans 2,298 square metres across 24 storeys.
While the garden offers a striking aesthetic, it also operates as natural insulation, helping to cool the building while filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air.
According to a statement, the vertical garden’s thermal properties expect “to achieve air-conditioning energy savings of between 15% and 30%, or a total of approximately between S$12,000 (AU$10.2K) and S$24,000 ($AU20.4K) annually for the 48 west-facing master bedrooms that are insulated by the vertical greenery.”
The official website for the building also credits the gardens’ “sloped design” with its ability to act as a bio shelter, collecting rainwater to feed the landscape and surrounding areas.
Approximately 2.7 per cent of the total construction cost for the Tree House building was invested into green features. In addition to the garden, the condo boasts heat-reducing laminated green tinted windows, lifts with Variable Voltage and Variable Frequency motor drive and sleep mode programming, T5 and LED lighting for common area, and lobbies and carparks while motion sensors at staircases activate lights automatically.
There building also offers sky terraces on certain levels, helping it to act as a giant “lung” for the area.
Combined, the green features are expected to result in energy savings of over 2,400,000 kWh per year and water savings of 30,000 cubic metres per year, which is expected to save more than $500,000 (AU$42.5K) annually on utilities costs.
“CDL takes great pride in building developments that leave an indelible impression on the cityscape,” Kwek Leng Joo, CDL deputy chairman said in a statement.
“With the eco-inspired Tree House, CDL has not only created a place where residents are proud to call home but more importantly, a green icon which placed Singapore on the world map.”
The architect behind the Tree House condominium is Tang Kok Thye from ADDP Architects, who was named Green Architect of the Year by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in 2012.
Vertical gardens on large facades have been shown to offer great benefits to both the building and its’ inhabitants. They can also improve outdoor thermal comfort and help reduce the urban heat island effect.
While Tree House may currently hold the “largest” vertical garden title, a few projects are laying claim to the tallest.
The Clearpoint Residencies project in Sri Lanka calls for a tower that will rise 46 floors and house 164 three- and four-bedroom apartments, each with their own garden terrace.
The garden terraces are designed to cool the building and provide shade while operating as a natural filter for apartment dust and for their acoustic benefits.
In Australia, French artist and botanist Patrick Blanc has named Sydney’s One Central Park residential development housing the tallest vertical garden. While it is only half of Tree House’s overall size at 1,120 square metres, it will reach an impressive 42 metres high with a four-metre width.
Blanc has included 21 panels and planter boxes housing 35,200 plants from 383 native and exotic species.
The plants were selected to withstand seasonal conditions; those up higher will be hardier to endure winds and sunlight, while smaller and more delicate plants which require shade and more hydration will be toward the lower end of the building.