Kyocera has been doing some interesting things of late, mainly around solar. The company is into other things though to promote energy efficiency, one of which it is doing at various manufacturing and office buildings in Japan. It is definitely low tech, but quite green at the same time – “green curtains” of edible foliage designed to help meet energy reduction targets in a nation devastated earlier this year by natural and nuclear power issues.
Kyocera said these green curtains are being grown on trellises to shade windows and outer walls of participating buildings. The company said these leafy coverings create a screen, “preventing direct sunlight and heat radiation from raising the internal temperature of buildings — thus reducing the load on energy-intensive air-conditioners during the hot summer months.”
Kyocera’s green curtain program isn’t a new thing just invented this year in response to the Japan crisis. The company has been at the leafy answer to green tech since 2007. It noted that last year the foliage grown at Kyocera Group locations stretched a total length of 616m (2,021ft), covering a total area of 2,479m2 (26,684ft2).
Interestingly, what’s been grown in some of these curtains is actually edible. Kyocera noted that goya (bitter gourd; a traditional summer vegetable of Okinawa), cucumbers and peas are being harvested by employees and are served as part of a special lunch menu in employee cafeterias.
Feel inspired now to grow your own green curtain? Kyocera has up a special website with instructions on how you can get started.
Curious about other green building practices? Check our archive of stories on the subject.