Highway Billboard in Peru Grows Lettuce and Generates Water

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

green billboard, design innovation

Photo courtesy of FCB Mayo Perú

  • Highway billboard in Peru grows lettuce and generates water: FCB Mayo Peru and University of Engineering & Technology (UTEC) have joined forced and designed the Air Orchard billboard that can generate pollution-free produce as well as drinking water. Located on Peru’s largest and most important highway, the Panamericana Surin in the Bujama region of Lima, this innovative billboard is sucking up Lima’s notorious pollution while another billboard is turning the city’s humid air into drinking water. The concept is very similar to the soil-free farming method of hydroponics, where plants’ roots can constantly access a recirculating stream of fertilizer-rich water. The billboard is currently producing about 2,800 heads of lettuce, that are given away for free on a weekly basis to passersby and the local community. Since water used for irrigation of Bujama’s fields is highly contaminated with arsenic, lead or cadmium making majority of the vegetables consumed in Lima contaminated, this technique offers a solution with accessible organic produce. As Jessica Ruas, UTEC marketing director, explained: “Currently, organic products are gaining significance, compared to chemically treated products. UTEC wanted to work out the most efficient way to grow a crop of 2,000 heads of lettuce using the clean water generated by the panel. In addition to growing lettuce, the billboard still produces 96 liters of drinking water a day to provide for the surrounding community.”
  • New buildings in France must have either solar or green roofs: Although France is currently a European green roof leader with ten times more green roofs than Germany, according to a new law recently approved by the French Parliament, all new buildings constructed in commercial zones must be partially covered by plants or solar panels. Green roofs reduce the heat island effect in cities, filter air pollution, improve building efficiency as well as reduce the volume of storm water flowing into sewer systems.
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