We may be seeing the first salvos of a major architectural trend. "Vegitecture" -- the incorporation of plants into architecture -- has become part of the "green" building movement in more than one sense of the word. It creates new opportunities for many products used in a building's envelope and site work.

Plants purify air and water, enhance health, deter violence, and add a beautiful aesthetic to urban spaces.  Incorporating them into into a building project contributes a local source of food, reduces storm water run off, and may reduce heating and cooling loads.  These benefits are making plants a more popular part of architectural design, especially in urban environments.

The blog, www.vegitecture.net, discusses the many architectural uses plants provide including green roofing, green bridges, green walls, garden sheds, green transportation terminals, eco-hotels, and other applications.

Urban planners around the world have been incorporating plants in urban design as seen here.  They are incorporating plant islands in the middle of sidewalks, as well as pop-up greenhouses, garden domes, etc.

Certain products are jumping on the "vegitecture" wagon.  Kristar Enterprises manufactures a product that provides a dual architectural purpose -- stormwater management TREEPOD® biofilters. These open-bottomed tree box filters remove suspended solids, petrochemicals, grease, bacteria, heavy metals, and other pollutants. The biofilters enable the project to meet the 80 percent TSS (Total Suspended Solids) removal requirement in certain regions while simultaneously providing a beautiful living piece of landscape.

Other building products that may be useful in these types of projects include waterproofing agents, different types of glasses, roofing systems, ceiling systems, plumbing equipment, irrigation equipment, and eco-friendly building materials.