Clearly we can’t very well tear down all of the world’s old skyscrapers for not being environmentally friendly – that kind of approach would itself be (ironic and) wasteful. At the same time, many of these buildings are projected to last for decades (or centuries) more. So what is the solution for making them green now? One rather clever proposal involves adding an auxiliary environmental layer to the existing structures that could house gardening and natural wind power production spaces.
This particular proposal calls for a few basic modules with particular functions that could be combined in various ways to create networks of green functionality outside of and between various skyscrapers. Structural rigidity would rely to some extent on the structures they would be attached to as well as their complex geometries and interconnections.
The beauty of modularity is that plug-and-play systems like these are highly adaptable for future use and modules could, theoretically, be added and removed as-need during the lifetime of the structures. Taken as a whole a series of such modules would be able to provide both the indirect benefits mentioned above as well as direct benefits to adjacent skyscrapers including potential wind and sun regulation to reduce energy needs.
Of course the entry shown above is still purely theoretical. Nonetheless (and regardless of whether or not such a thing is ever truly built) it points toward new possibilities beyond the old paradigm of build and destroy and rebuild – a possible (and more ecological) approach that involves a middle path.