A recently launched Dutch startup company called Respyre is aiming to turn concrete jungles into ‘living cities’, that will be able to breathe once more.
The Dutch company uses their specially-designed moss to coat concrete exteriors in cities. To accommodate their specialised moss, the team has developed a ‘receptive concrete’ which will be installed onto buildings to help the moss grow with rhizoids instead of roots. Roots growing on concrete structures usually weaken the structure, something that will not happen with Respyre moss.
This is particularly beneficial for buildings as it means no damage will be incurred to the buildings materials or structure.
Rhizoids are a structure in plants and fungi that functions like a root in support or absorption, helping to anchor the plant to the ground.
How is the moss beneficial to the environment?
• The moss will require minimal maintenance and will be cost efficient in the long run.
• Has the ability to be able to absorb CO2 and remove pollutants from the water and the air. It will also encourage urban wildlife to thrive.
• The moss will also help to reduce noise pollution.
• Roots growing on concrete structures usually weaken the structure, something that will not happen with Respyre moss. As a matter of fact, their moss is non-invasive to building facades and even benefits walls and surfaces against weathering effects, extending their lifetime.
Additionally, the layer of added moss will help the buildings to stay cool. This is possible due to the layers of moss retaining water, therefore cooling the interior of the building, via a process known as evapotranspiration.
Studies have shown the effectiveness of using greenery in cities to help to reduce pollution and high temperatures, showing that the moss could be a worthy investment able to provide many benefits.
Respyre has already started some projects on private concrete balconies, low-interest housing apartments, and with bases of wind turbines; yet, their focus now is to create the product of recycled concrete and drive down costs to make this idea more affordable for private individuals.