A forest in a skyscraper!

A US firm has conceptualised a self-powered skyscraper full of trees, to absorb and convert carbon dioxide

Nectar Design, a Californian-basedfirm, has created an unusual concept design aimed at provoking new ideas in the battle against industrial pollution and global warming.

This ambitious yet simple idea takes advantage of a “product” previously designed by Mother Nature herself – the tree.

The envisioned CO2 Scraper (pictured on top) would be a large-scale construction for holding between 200-400 large-sized trees that would potentially absorb dangerous pollutants and convert global warming-related carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen.

The creators understand that the Scraper would require a lot of refinement, research, and engineering to make the concept truly effective from an environmental standpoint.

“Right now this is a concept very much in the early idea stages,” said Nectar Senior Designer Yutaka Kazamaki, who has been spearheading the CO2 Scraper project.

“The issue of global warming is clearly among the greatest issues our planet is facing. The need to consider any and all possible solutions that address our environmental challenges have never been greater,” he said.

Designed to be placed near factories or other major sources of pollution, the CO2 Scraper would be a relatively simple concrete construction in which trees will be supplied with water and nutrients through a windmill-powered pump system.

Primarily, energy self-sustaining – the only outside power required in the current design would be electricity for an elevator to be used by maintenance personnel – the Scraper would absorb carbon dioxide and thereby increase the amount of life-giving oxygen in the atmosphere.

In addition, the structure would provide immediate benefits to people and animals in its vicinity, providing a significant amount of shade, while also cooling the air during the hot summer months via the temperature-lowering properties of hundreds of trees.

The structure may be relatively inexpensive to build – roughly equivalent in cost to building industrial smokestacks – while still helping local economies by creating a number of green jobs during both the initial construction and later maintenance phases.

This concept has drawn early praise from scientist and sustainability specialist Joep Meijer, who founded The Right Environment – a consultancy for environmental products.

“Though in its infancy, the CO2 Scraper is an outstanding example of the kind of ideas we need to look at now. In a final version, it would be a great investment in natural capital for existing industries,” Meijer said.

“It would show a strong commitment and awareness to the environment as an integral part of doing business, as it’d bring improvements to the actual site, neighbouring communities, and local ecologies,” he added.

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