- Category: Living Green
28 Aug 2009
- Published on Friday, 28 August 2009 06:33
- Hits (443)
These ingenious “curtains” of green foliage are currently
being used to conserve energy in many of the Kyocera Group’s Japanese facilities. Image from Kyocera
Japanese industrial supplier Kyocera has developed the use of trestles of morning glories and goya plants, called "green curtains,” to promote the company's eco-friendly profile.
The innovation was made as part of the company’s on-going environmental protection activities. The erected trestles, covered with dense stretches of foliage, were placed on the outer walls and windows of the manufacturing and office buildings of twelve of the company’s facilities located all across Japan.
Besides the immediate supply of shade from direct sunlight that the trestles bring, the morning glories and goya (or Japanese bitter gourd) plants attached to the makeshift “curtains” also absorb excess carbon dioxide in the surrounding areas through the natural process of photosynthesis. As such, the company has saved substantial amounts of money by reducing its usage of air-conditioning.
The temperature control capability of the trestles was even evaluated by the company through the use of infrared thermographic measurement and it was discovered that the “curtains” were able to reduce the general temperature in the shaded areas by as much as 15 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit).
Presently, the “green curtains” grown at all twelve Kyocera Group locations stretch a total length of 294 meters (965 feet), covering a total area of 775 square meters (8,342 square feet). The growth of these devices will reportedly be able to absorb roughly 2,713 kilograms (5981 pounds) of carbon dioxide per year.
As added social benefits of the project, the soft green color of the foliage which shades the windows created a relaxing atmosphere which has become a topic of conversation for both employees and visitors at the various locations. In addition, the cultivated goya from the trestles is even harvested by the Kyocera employees during the summer and adds them to their special lunch menu for an extra boost of nutrition to prevent fatigue caused by the increased heat experienced during the said season.
The Kyocera Corporation, the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of solar power generating systems, telecommunications equipment, electronic components, laser printers, copiers, semiconductor packages, cutting tools and industrial ceramics.
- Joseph Dayrit