Posted by: Airtower | 2011-07-25

Green Curtains

After the nuclear accident at the Fukushima I power plant only few of Japan’s nuclear power plants remain in operation, mostly because plants that were shut down for maintenance may not be restarted before undergoing extra safety checks. This leads to a power shortage, and we need to save power to prevent blackouts. Air conditioning is responsible for a large part of home and office power consumption during summer, so people are looking for other ways to keep rooms cool or deal with the heat. One of the means used at Tohoku University are so-called “Green Curtains”: Nets have been placed at the sides of some buildings and climbing plants planted to grow up along them, providing shadow that helps keeping the building interior cool. The photo below shows a green curtain growing on the south side of lecture building B at Kawauchi campus.

Side of a two story building with green nets hanging down the building side and plants growing up along the nets

It still has to grow quite a bit to cover the whole building side, but it’s already looking nice and green. 🙂

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Responses

  1. Very good idea! I’d like to see much more of this in Germany, too.

    And I wonder whether the Japanese have turned their toilet seat heating off, which accounts for 4 percent of the overall electric power consumption.

    • I haven’t seen toilet seat heating in use since coming back to Sendai, but I don’t know if it is to save power or because heating wouldn’t make sense in summer anyways.

      Where did you get that percentage?

      • Some statistics about Japan’s (electric) enery usage. I don’t recall the source.

  2. also ich würde ja sagen Japaner sollten einfach mal anfangen zu isolieren *drop*
    Was sie an Strom im Winter für ihre Elektroöfen verbrauchen und im Sommer für air conditioner ist bestimmt nicht gerade wenig *drop*

    • Da ist was dran, zumindest für den Winter. Im Sommer hilft Isolierung nicht viel, aber bei der Führung durch Gion (Kyoto) hat man uns etwas für den Sommer gezeigt: Die traditionellen Gebäude so gebaut sind, daß ein kühler Luftzug wehen kann, und haben oft auch einen schattigen Innenhof. 🙂

      • Natürlich hilft Isolieren auch im Sommer Oo
        Isolieren geht in zwei richtungen, Kälte draußen lassen und kälte drinnen lassen. Wo es gut isoliert ist wird es auch im sommer nicht so schnell heiß. Sonst könnte man in Thermo knnen ja nur heiße Getränke tun und nicht auch kalte.

      • Klar, Isolierung würde die Effizienz der Klimaanlagen sicher erhöhen, aber ohne Kühlung hielte es nur nachts die Wärme drinnen. Was mir an der Lösung aus Kyoto so gefällt, ist, daß sie schon funktionierte als es noch keine Klimaanlagen gab. 🙂

  3. […] know what they’re called, but something is bearing fruits in our University’s Green Curtains. Can you see the green things between the leaves on the right […]


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