'Living tower' in Singapore stays cool with plant-covered facade

A layer of green foliage blankets a red tower in the heart of Singapore's business district, a feature that helps keeps the building cool as the densely-populated tropical city battles rising temperatures. The Oasia Hotel Downtown, in the heart of Singapore's business district, was designed to stay cool with the help of more than 20 species of creeping plants growing on its bright red aluminum facade. Its facade is 10 to 20 degrees Celsius cooler compared to nearby buildings, according to architecture firm WOHA, which designed the building. The 27-story structure houses over ten times the amount of greenery found on the site before its construction, and its large open terraces allow natural ventilation and lighting and reduce energy use. In an effort to reduce emissions, Singapore aims to green 80 percent of its buildings by 2030. Buildings account for over 20 percent of the city-state's carbon emissions.

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