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What is the most unique benefit of vertical farming that you can think of? How about as sound proofing material?
There’s new evidence as to the acoustic benefits of indoor vegetation, specifically green walls. The studies authors, Azkora et al. explain how the green walls are so effective:
“First, sound can be reflected and scattered (diffracted) by plant elements, such as trunks, branches, twigs and leaves. A second mechanism is absorption by vegetation. This effect can be attributed to mechanical vibrations of plant elements caused by sound waves, leading to dissipation by converting sound energy to heat…As a third mechanism, one might also mention that sound levels can be reduced by the destructive interference of sound waves. The presence of soil can lead to destructive interference between the direct contribution from the source to the receiver and a ground-reflected contribution.”
After testing the acoustic properties of the green wall (above diagram), the scientist found that they were about half as effective as brick. Yet with minor tweaks to the modular system they used (such as denser vegetation to climb closer to the density of brick or sealing the gaps in the modular setup), they expect the effectiveness to increase.
Vegetative sound proofing is so promising that, according to Sourceable:
“In Germany a green concert hall was constructed which incorporated many plants…The high density resulted in such a good acoustic quality that the German Broadcasting Station relocated to use the room for news casting.”
In addition to acoustic benefits, green walls absorb carbon and come with a host of rejuvenative biophilic, characteristics. The modular systems Azkora tested already have an irrigation system ready for vertical farming. Coupling food production techniques with the aesthetic appeal, the implications of this study extend to health care facilities, nursing homes, libraries and beyond.
By making a healthier built-environment, sustainable urbanization is a prize well within reach.