Vertical gardens may be beautiful, but did you know they can also help conserve energy? Japanese company Kyocera embarked on a project to cool their buildings with "green curtains." By blocking sunlight with foliage, they managed to decrease the temperature of their buildings by as much as 27° F, thus reducing the need for air conditioning. And they even harvested cucumbers, peas, and bitter melons from the vines to serve in employee cafeterias! According to Kyocera, the curtains at their buildings in Japan, Thailand, and Brazil
stretch a total length of 725m (2,379ft), covering a total area of 3,043m2 (32,750ft2) — an increase of roughly 4 times the area of last year. Throughout their annual growth cycle, these Green Curtains will absorb an estimated 10,651kg of carbon dioxide (23,481lbs. of CO2), or roughly the same amount as 761 cedar trees.
For people who want to try this at home, the company's website has instructions for preparing the soil, constructing the netting, planting, and maintaining the green curtains. Learn more at Kyocera Group Green Curtain Activities.
Related: Dwell on Design: Vertical Gardens