Global flora and fauna are dying off at a rate our planet has not witnessed for millennia. Even more worryingly, as the world continues to rapidly urbanize, the evidence that this is the direct result of human activity is undeniable. Cities must become more biodiverse environments, but to do this we need to integrate nature into architecture and urbanism from the earliest stages of design. In a Nordic climate, can green facades become a sustainable part of the built environment?
MUDP (Environmental Technology Development and Demonstration Program) explores this nature/urbanism partnership through green facades. While generating biodiversity on the outside, the facade also improves the microclimate and residents' well-being on the inside through its biophilic design. In an urban context, the benefits of green facades have a ripple effect; from the clean air that the facade’s plant life produces, to the carbon it binds and absorbs, to the reduction of urban heat island effects in our asphalt heavy streets, and even to the delaying of stormwater runoff during downpours.
By cataloging local plant life, we are creating a manual for green facades tailored to the Danish climate. The facade bank will demonstrate appropriate solutions for Copenhagen housing typologies, weather, and building policies for housing, retail, educational, and commercial buildings.
These facade types considers rainwater absorption and carbon sequestering, as well as impacts ranging from acoustics to air quality and biodiversity.
Despite the sustainability profile, the business/operation still faces obstacles. Many building owners/developers see green facades as difficult or expensive to maintain. MUDP aims to break down these assumptions and chart the course for widespread use, particularly in Nordic countries. With minimal operational requirements and easy integration with standardized architectural systems, the green facade systems prototyped in MUDP proves that green facades can be a smooth component of any project.
A vertical garden the size of a 10-story high tower can produce enough oxygen for more than 3,100 people every year, process 1,700 pounds of heavy metals, filter more than 2,000 tons of harmful gases, and catch more than 881 pounds of dust.
We are excited to work with PFA Ejendomme to orchestrate the ecological and wellbeing impact that MUDP can have in our Redmolen project.