News from our Sponsor Van den Berk – Vertical Forest Eindhoven

VDB Nurseries logo 2019

News from our sponsors – Van den Berk Nurseries

“Trudo Vertical Forest”

During 2019-2020, the first Vertical Forest in the Netherlands, the Trudo Tower, will be built in Eindhoven. The expertise of architect Stefano Boeri, who is already internationally renowned for the green residential towers in Milan, was commissioned by the Sint-Trudo housing association for the realisation of a green apartment complex on Strijp-S. It will be the first forest tower intended for social housing and the 70-metre high project will be realised by Stam + De Koning Bouw. The building will get its green appearance from XL planters on the façade of each apartment. These planters will be filled with trees, shrubs and perennials, and the amount and size of the planting will create an entirely new, vertical green structure. It is a highly innovative form of urban development, which is perfectly in line with the urgency for making cities greener.

Technical solutions

The concept will demand well thought-out technical solutions because the planting sites are by their very nature far from optimal. Therefore, in the run-up to the construction of the forest towers in Milan, multiple tests and studies were conducted with regard to the growing conditions of the trees. Wind tests were carried out, as was research into which soil blend trees would be best able to secure themselves in. Everything was done to ensure the right conditions for healthy growth could be guaranteed. So far, the results in Milan have been highly encouraging and the residents are very positive about their green surroundings.

125 trees on 19 floors

In Eindhoven, a total of 125 trees will be planted on 19 floors. The root balls of the trees will be anchored to the planters and steel wire will be used to secure the trees to the building. The trees will be planted in a specially composed substrate that mainly consists of lava. It is made up of four layers: one for water buffering, one to hold moisture, one with nutritional components, and finally, a fixed top layer with leaf mulch. Each façade will feature its own type of planting. Because the north and east-facing sides generally receive the least amount of sunshine and are exposed to cold wind, they will mainly be planted with easily growing trees. On the south and west-facing sides, slowly growing trees will be used to ensure residents get enough daylight, and maintenance is kept within reasonable limits.  After consultations with Laura Gatti and DuPré green contractors, a more or less indigenous and strong assortment was chosen so the forest would have the very best chance of thriving. In order to achieve an attractive overall look, a diverse range of foliage colour, leaf shape and blossom were of course also taken into account. For this reason, red and grey-leaved trees have been included in the planting and, as well as clear stem trees, multi-stem trees have been selected. The species can be viewed at www.vdberk.co.uk/projects

Trees in airpot

In spring 2018, all of the trees were lifted and fitted with an ‘airpot’. Then they were checked personally by Laura Gatti and Stefano Boeri. In total, the trees remain on the drip irrigation system at Van den Berk for two years in the specially laid out field, until the project reaches the stage when they can be replanted. Lifting the trees and then placing them in airpots means they get over their transplantation stress while they are still at the nursery. The root balls can develop good roots because airpots encourage the growth of fine root hairs. This method produces root balls of the highest quality possible.

Watering and maintenance

An automatically controlled watering system must guarantee good regrowth in the Vertical Forest’s planters. All of the residential complex’s planters are fitted with sensors, which monitor water requirement and ensure that water is administered in time. A suitable maintenance plan is in the process of being drawn up. It will be carried out using a window cleaning system and is expected to be required four or five times a year.

(Photo credits Van den Berk Nurseries)

Trudo Toren Vertical Forest 1

Stefano Boeri and Laura Gatti inspect the trees in the nursery

Impression of Trudo Toren Vertical Forest

Trees for vertical forests at the airpot at the VDB Nursery

For all information about Van den Berk Nurseries, please visit website: https://www.vdberk.com/