In 2013, construction began on the Agora Garden tower in Taipei, paving the way for sustainable residential eco-construction.
The plant-covered tower in the shape of a DNA strand is a 20-level, 90 degree twisted feature residential tower in the centre of the modern Taiwanese city built of concrete, glass and steel.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures Sarl won the tender for the construction of the project in 2010.
The project is due for completion in 2016.
The design of the tower is aimed at limiting the ecological footprint, with low energetic consumption and state-of-the-art nanotechnologies.
The design of a double-helix structure apartment block was created to maximise space and natural resources.
One of the purposes of the DNA strand design was to create a series of "suspended open-air gardens" which will apparently hang from the level above without eating into highly-prized floor area. These will be covered with plants, fruit trees and vegetable gardens, creating the cascading green exterior.
Two apartments will be built on each floor. Inevitably this arrangement greatly increase's the building's surface area, which, one imagines, will at least have some effect on the tower's thermal performance.
The building iconic 90 degree twist answers to four major objectives of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord:
The architectural concept behind Agora Garden was to design an eco-friendly and energy self-sufficient building, whose energy is electric, thermal and alimentary.
Each apartment will integrate a variety of sustainable eco-friendly technologies, including rainwater harvesting, compost and solar energy.
The car park, the swimming pool and the fitness centre are naturally lighted and ventilated by a circular light well.
In accordance to the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, according to the architects, Agora sets out to directly answer 4 of the main ecologic objectives:
Vincent Callebaut Architectures Sarl suggests that the Agora Garden project reveals the relationship of human actions and their positive impact on the nature.
The project aims to target the necessary energetic performance needed to be approved by the Green Building Label, delivered by the Home Affairs Ministry of Taipei.
Taiwan’s Attitude Towards the Environment
According to an article by Shis-Ping Lin, Taiwan is ranked 22nd in the world for greenhouse gas emissions.
In an attempt to reduce global warming the Taiwanese government and non-government organisations have invoked laws and promoted alternative energy methods.
One of these projects was the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Copenhagen Accord, a political declaration that is intended to frame future UN climate change negotiations.