A select group of Singapore condo dwellers can peer down at the city through a curtain of greenery and bask in the knowledge that they’re special – for now.
That’s because their building last month achieved a Guinness World Record for having the biggest vertical garden, or "green wall", in the world.
the building should save between 15% and 30% of the energy normally used to cool a building– CDL
The planted area, all up one side of the 24-storey Tree House condominium tower in the Upper Bukit Timah and Chestnut Avenue private residential estate, measures 2,289 sq m (24,638 square feet).
The developer, City Developments Limited (CDL), says the vertical garden cuts the building’s carbon footprint by filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air. It also reduces heat absorption and lowers the energy needed to cool indoor spaces.Â
CDL says this should save between 15% and 30% of the energy normally used to cool a building – in cash terms, between US$9,000 and $18,000 per year for the 48 west-facing master bedrooms insulated by the green wall. (The building has 429 condos altogether.)
On top of the Guinness record, Tree House received top honours in the ‘Best Innovative Green Building’ category at the MIPIM Asia Awards 2013. Designed by Tang Kok Thye from ADDP Architects (he was named Green Architect of the Year by the Building and Construction Authority in 2012) has won other plaudits in Singapore, as well.
Incorporating greenery into the walls of buildings is becoming quite a trend. In May we reported on how "vertical forests" had bloomed on two towers in Milan.
The Guiness organisation warns that records change "on a daily basis", which means Tree House, whom Guinness measured in April, may not hold onto its title for long.
Over in Sri Lanka, Clear Point Residencies just outside Colombo, scheduled for completion in 2016, is already laying claim to be the "tallest residential vertical garden in the world", with planted terraces encircling the 46-storey tower.