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The side of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in downtown Portland Oregon, built in 1975, is to be fitted with 250 ft. tall trellises to bear a large scale vertical garden. The feature will be a visual benefit to the area, as well as a natural way to regulate temperatures on the inside of the building. The refit is a part of a $135 million project.

This is one of many efforts in making the high-rise a more energy efficient building, in conjunction with other green features such as electricity generating elevators, smart lighting, and use of solar panels.

The next steps are for gardeners to select species that will thrive in this unique environment, and a plan on the best approach is to maintenance. It is anticipated that the care of the vertical garden will be much like the washing of the building’s windows, with gardeners watering and pruning while suspended on platforms.

Vertical gardens or ‘wall gardens’ are an upcoming trend in green building, following the established model of urban roof gardens in cities like Chicago, New York, and Toronto. The establishment of these features in urban areas allow for better insulation of the buildings, as well as better city air quality, and rainwater absorption.

For heat loss purposes alone, urban greenery has enormous energy savings potential. According to Science Direct Database, if every building in downtown Tokyo were fashioned with a green roof or green wall, the savings per day would be upward of $100 million.

With the burgeoning green economy, many of these features are also being incorporated into existing buildings like this one in order to save on energy costs.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.