Shanghai is one of the Chinese cities with the highest levels of CO2 emissions per capita and, due to industrial effluents, Huangpu is one of the most polluted river of the planet. The project pursues a dual objective: firstly, the purification of wastewater produced by the building in order to recycle it; secondly, the carbon dioxide reduction. It is possible thanks to the combination between the properties of Vetiver with a new kind of skyscraper: VetiVertical City.
Vetiver is a tropical plant with unique characteristics. Since the 80s, the Vetiver System (VS) has been tested for slope stabilization, pollution control and water quality improvement. One of the main features of Vetiver are the structured and penetrating roots, used as hyper-accumulators of heavy metals. The CIAT researchers reported that plants like Vetiver can absorb about 5,3 kg of CO2 per square meter during a year. So we only probably need to plant 4,000 billion Vetiver plants all over the world to absorb this gas, but to cover this space we need to change the horizontal spread perspective of Vetiver into something more… vertical.
If Vetiver has these miraculous features, why don’t use it in architecture? The 410 meters tall VetiVertical City aims to match the multi-functionality of a skyscraper with the new sustainable technology of VS. The south facade is conceived as an artificial mountain growing from Huangpu, where 280.000 Vetiver plants can implement a huge sustainable potential. Vetiver is integrated with strip-shaped double-sector ducts that have the important function to transport wastewater to the plants and to send back to the building purified water. The VS is a multi-sustainable system: it’s environmental, economically and social sustainable: ‘Vetiver can literally make sustainability sustainable’ as Noel Vietmeyer said during the First International Conference on Vetiver in February 1996.Location: Shanghai, China Architect: Eugenio Aglietti Project name: VetiVertical City