As one of the hottest summers I can remember in a long time comes to an end this week and it’s still nearly 90 degrees here in Baltimore, I think I speak for most of us when I say I will be happy to recoup some of the cash I’ve been signing away to my utility for air conditioning bills once fall is upon us…
Try as I might, keeping my apartment at a pleasant 78° has still added to my monthly bill. I know I am not alone in looking for ways to cut back.
Kyocera — the Japanese manufacture of electronics, solar powered generating systems, and telecommunications equipment — has come up with a way to do just that…
The company’s Green Curtains shield external edifice walls with vines to block direct sunlight from windows.
The curtains are created with climbing plants (goya and morning glory, to name two) and cover roughly 32,750 square feet and measure 2,379 feet in length.
The plants’ shade prevents increases in surface temperatures on the buildings, and the curtains have been reported to decrease temperature in buildings by as much as 27°F.
The curtains succeed in reducing air conditioning bills and providing food to the employees of 20 manufacturing and office buildings owned by Kyocera across Japan, Brazil, and Thailand.
Kyocera also reports the Green Curtains absorb an estimated 23,481 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions as they cool buildings and give air conditioning units a breather.
And perhaps best of all, while these Green Curtains are providing shade from the sun’s intense rays to the building’s interior temperature, they provide the workers of the buildings which they shade several varieties of fresh produce.
Peas, cucumbers, and goya (a gourd) are planted to create the curtains, and then harvested and integrated in the cafeteria meals provided by the offices and manufacturing plants for employees.
Some employees have been so inspired by the edible cooling system at their workplace that they’re now growing green curtains at their homes.
You can read more about Kyocera’s project and get information on how to grow your own green curtain here.