Benefits of vertical gardens go beyond money

THOSE who live or work in buildings with vertical gardens enjoy being closer to greenery, birds and butterflies, and feel inspired to lead more environmentally friendly lives, they say.

Earlier this month, City Develop­ments (CDL), the developer of the Tree House condominium in Bukit Timah, announced that its 24-storey vertical garden had clinched a Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest.

It is one of 154 vertical garden projects in Singapore, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said in response to queries.

Others include vertical gardens in hotel Parkroyal on Pickering and the Ocean Financial Centre, which last held the record of being the world’s largest vertical garden.

Vertical gardens are often highlighted for helping save costs by cooling surface temperatures and reducing the need for air-conditioning, but those who live or work in such buildings are quick to point out that the benefits go beyond dollars and cents.

Tree House resident Bernard Lee, 35, for one, pointed out how the garden attracts wildlife, such as birds, butterflies and snails.

For Mariquel Pacheco, operations manager at Parkroyal on Pickering, working in the green building has inspired her to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

The 28-year-old said: “In such a green environment, I find myself making a conscious effort to conserve energy, use less water and recycle paper and newspapers.”

A National Parks Board (NParks) spokesman said such gardens can reduce “the urban heat island effects” by cooling surface temperatures by up to 12° – something that Lee can attest to.

“There is no need for air-conditioning during the year-end period. In fact, we had to shut our windows in December last year,” he said. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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