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This skyscraper in Taipei features a carbon-absorbing vertical forest

According to the World Green Building Council, our built environment is responsible for almost 40 percent of the world’s carbon footprint. Facing a dire need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, architects and urban planners must ensure that our future buildings have the smallest negative environmental impact possible. That’s exactly what Vincent Callebaut Architectures aims to achieve through its exceptional architectural projects.

One of the firm’s latest feats of eco-architecture is Taipei’s Tao Zhu Yin Yuan — a LEED Gold-certified high-rise building slated for completion by the end of 2021. Located in the financial district of Taiwan’s capital, the award-winning project consists of a vertical forest designed to serve as an “anti-global warming carbon-absorbing ecosystem”.

The residential complex is expected to feature about 23,000 trees, shrubs, and plants on the building’s ground floor, balconies, and terraces. According to the architects, the tower’s annual carbon absorption capacity will reach around 130 tons.

Formerly known as the Agora Garden, Tao Zhu Yin Yuan consists of 20 floors of apartments, and its shape resembles the double-helix structure of DNA. From the base to the top, each column-free floor successively rotates by 4.5 degrees, resulting in a 90-degree difference from the base to the top.

To meet LEED Gold standards — one of the world’s leading green building certifications — the energy-efficient building is wrapped in a double-skin facade and features a large array of solar panels on the top, powering the building with renewable electricity. It also integrates natural ventilation chimneys, a rainwater recycling system, and LED lighting.

“A building should be a song of the earth and co-exist with the environment,” explained the architects. “A carbon-absorbing Vertical Forest building is no doubt the most profound foresight for the buildings of future cities. Tao Zhu Yin Yuan puts fighting global warming into practical action, shows love for the trees and forests, interprets in depth through space, and carves the sustainable faith.”

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