From fruitcake to breadfruit architectural products

The New Year’s edition of AP’s Product Developments column begins to resolve seven areas of resilience discussed at the recent Greenbuild: the discussion focused on making simple, yet impactful changes that can be enacted locally. One item from the list of seven is Food Security. The Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Gardens in Kaua’i have shown how the breadfruit tree is an integral component to agroforestry in the tropics, and it has gifted many varieties to to alleviate poverty and food insecurity in the region. The nutritionally complete Breadfruit literally grows on trees—the long-lived tropical tree yields an abundance of nutritious starchy fruit for decades. Beyond fruit, every part of the tree can be used to provide food, shelter, medicine, mobility, cooking utilities & storage.

A testament to cultural heritage’s wisdom of resilience, breadfruit trees were brought to Hawaii by the Polynesians, as the robust tree is easily propagated in hundreds of varieties and quickly matures to produce fruit. Here’s a sneak preview of best practices and products from the Jan-Feb issue on the future of resilience.

Climate Tile is a new scalable climate adaption system for future cities. It transforms future sidewalks to collect and manage water, whilst contributing to the growth of an urban nature and improved microclimate. Climate Tile can catch and redirect the projected 30% additional rainwater due to increased precipitation from climate change. It prevents overloads within the existing drainage infrastructure and reintroduces the natural water system in existing cities’ infrastructures through a process that manages rainwater from the roof and sidewalks and ensures that excess water is directed to the appropriate place. The system works in synergy with roads, bike paths, signage, urban furniture, town squares, as well as urban nature. Climate Tile can catch and redirect the projected extra 30% more rainwater to prevent overloads within the existing drainage infrastructure and reintroduce the natural water circuit in the existing cities through a simple process that manages the rainwater from the roof and sidewalks and ensures that excess water is directed to the appropriate place.

Neuroarchitecture, or the neurobiology of architecture, is the larger science surrounding concepts like place and wellbeing, environment and behavior, and the effects of Biophilia. Texas Tech, in conjunction with Sky Factory, has conducted fMRI imaging studies that show how people’s brains respond to the illusory sky conditions with a unique activation of the cerebellum. "It’s been 6 years since you penned "Your Brain on Sky" article about our neural research," writes David A. Navarrete, Director of research initiatives for Sky Factory, creator of authentic sky images. "Look where we’re at now…" he says, reporting that that nine out of the Top 10 American hospitals [ranked by U.S. News & World Report] feature Sky Factory’s multisensory illusions of nature to enhance the patient experience. Its installations are increasingly being specified in corporate settings at Fortune 500 companies, schools and government facilities. Sky Factory presented the neurobiology behind its products’ unique therapeutic effects at the Salk Institute during an ANFA (Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture) symposium last September.