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A Green Home Can Be Cool

16 May 2007

The green home has been built to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Higashiyama Botanical Garden in the Chikusa Ward.  The project is the collaborative work of five organizations: Nagoya City and its Greenery Association, Sekisui House Ltd, Aichi prefectural chapter of the Japan Lanscape Contractors Association and Higashiyama Park Association.

Sited in a corner of a conservatory in the Higashiyama Botanical Gardens, the model home features a roof top garden. Trees shade the entrance to keep the stone floor cool and outside the dining area a biological blind is formed by a high wall of climbing ivy. A dense organic carpet prevents temperatures inside the home from rising and Lilyturf sprouts from the pitched roof between the first and second floors.

Particular consideration was given to selecting plants appropriate for the local climate and more than 40 types of trees, plants and shrubs were incorporated in the design of the home, from kuroganemochi round leaf holly trees to yamamomo bayberry trees.

Sumio Ando,  who works as one of the managers of Higashiyama Park said ""We want to give visitors a hands-on experience to feel and appreciate the importance of having plants and trees in their home. And what better place to show this than in a botanical garden, lush with nature, rather than a plain housing exhibition"

The average yearly temperature in Nagoya has been rising as its green areas are shrinking. Less heat is being dissipated through evaporation increasing temperatures in heavily developed areas with skyscrapers.

A survey in 2005 indicates that the percentage of Nagoya city's green space has reduced by 5 percent (now 24.8 percent) since 1990. In view of this Nagoya city has implemented an ordinance to promote the cultivation of rooftop gardens and the cladding of buildings with leafy plants.

Open to all visitors to the Higashiyama Botanical Garden, the model "green" home will be on display until the 3rd of June 2007.

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