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Greenhouse: Innovative Waste-Based Building in an Urban Context

| Wednesday December 10th, 2008 | 0 Comments

Joost%20greenhouse.jpegDo you remember when you were a kid, making “houses” out of old boxes? Anything around you was fair game to be put into use, via your imagination. Well Joost, an artist and would be architect by accident never stopped. On display now in the middle of urban Melbourne is Greenhouse, a structure made almost entirely from repurposed waste, save for the 100% recyclable steel framework, which was uncoiled and cut on site.
The rest is composed of the now familiar strawbales for walls, and on into less familiar territory – using discarded scientific equipment for plates and “taste tubes,” street signs becoming chairs, fire hydrants turning into tables, and strawberries growing out of the walls in former plastic pallets. The living roof will supply produce for the fully functioning restaurant and bar running in the Greenhouse.
And it’s all going away by January, reappearing at the Milan Furniture Fair next year.

I’m curious whether they’ll use local waste, or transport what they used in Australia. A stretch on the sustainable goal, perhaps. I’d be interested to see how different it would be, dictated by what makes up the “waste” stream in Milan.
The idea is to spark conversation, imagination, and reshape thinking of what building can and must look like, and that temporary shelter need not be wasteful. And by locating it in the middle of a dense urban environment, rather then in a book, or out in the boonies, it brings closer the reality of others deciding to do similar projects, or at a minimum changing how they look at things they’ve just tossed aside as waste before.
Readers: How have you repurposed waste in your life? Where else have you saw sustainable ideas being brought closer to the masses. In what ways can your business better make use of its resources, production/facilities waste, etc?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.
Image credit: Springwise.com


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