Japanese invent more and more things with everyday that passes, some inventions being stunning and very useful, while others are just neat tricks, the kind you do at a barbeque. Still, every once in a while, they create something which could be groundbreaking; and when you stop to think about the so-called “heat-island” problem of temperatures rising in packed urban areas and how little we have practically done to help it, you know this could be great.
The tittle pretty much says it all; Japanese brewer Suntory Ltd. said Monday it had created an alternative to soil to help keep cities green, eyeing a growing market amid the battle against climate change. This danger is especially serios in Tokyo, which is known for intense traffic, its lack of trees and extensive use of concrete and air-conditioning. This solution is called Pafcal, it weighs about half as much as the natural thing and is made of urethane, a sponge-like material.
Leafy plants growing in the synthetic soil can reduce the roof temperature by 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit).
“This will make it possible to plant greenery on roofs and walls of buildings that have less load capacity,” said Suntory’s executive general manager Norio Kanayama.
This is not the first time people have tried to cover green roofs, but this promises a lot that other things have not, because it’s light and the buildings in Japan have tight architectural restrictions because they experience about 20 percent of world’s major earthquakes. Also, Tokyo’s government has ordered all new medium-sized buildings have gardens on the rooftops to compensate for the lack of trees. Leave it to the Japanese to think of stuff!
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