This section provides details and results regarding specific environmental initiatives ranging from environmental protection at construction sites to environmental technology and businesses.
Eco-Architecture: Taisei’s Ecological Planning Technology
Let’s take a look at a planning site which will become our work area—creating something always starts with observing the planning site carefully. The first fundamental is water, which forms the basis of an ecosystem. Knowledge of the water environment of an area enables us to maintain its natural circulation system. The second fundamental is plants. The plant species that have taken root in an area throughout its history hold the key to creating a comfortable living environment in that area. Winds are the third fundamental. Knowledge of seasonal winds and winds that change directions from one moment to another enables us to develop a comfortable environment suited to an area, while at the same time minimizing the environmental burden on that area. The final fundamental is knowledge of humans. The purpose of our work is to bring benefits to human lives. By studying the lifestyles of a local community and by increasing the attractiveness of those lifestyles, we are able to create a vibrant society and give it a rosy future.
It was about 15 years ago that we started to develop the planning technology called “ecological planning.” Long before the environment became a hotly debated issue, we were already conducting research and experiments for the development of environmental technology. These activities finally led us to our first major project—the construction of Sapporo Dome, Japan’s northernmost all-weather dome facility, constructed in 2001.
Sapporo Dome was constructed on the former site of an agricultural experimental station covering 31 hectares. We developed the construction area while maintaining its continuity with the surrounding rich, green land. When designing and constructing the facility, we also developed a plan for forest restoration and the development of a waterfront environment. Thanks to the original design, the surrounding natural environment is inhabited today by a greater number of animal and plant species than were there before the construction.
Of the four fundamentals, the most crucial element in this project was the plant environment. We were thus faced with the need to develop environmental designing technology for the species that inhabit the particular environment in question. Our Forestry Ecology Planning System was developed in order to meet this need.
Sapporo Dome, which is known for the Hovering Stage, its movable natural turf field—our goal in the construction of this facility was to create an environment that is richer in natural life than the environment before construction.
Number of species verified by the survey conducted for the Sapporo Dome’s 10th anniversary
We have made continued efforts to develop a variety of analysis techniques to collect more detailed data on the four fundamentals, along with multivariate analysis tools. These include cluster analysis, to evaluate the obtained primary data—for example, an analysis system aimed at analyzing and assessing the ecological environment of a construction site from the viewpoint of bird species that are high-ranked in the natural food chain. More and more data were added to the assessment database, as we made progress in research and practice. These analysis tools and data have made it possible for us to predict with great accuracy which species are likely to inhabit a particular environment. This means we can make quantitative comparisons of a number of different development scenarios based on different choices of plant species and spatial configurations.
In a series of construction projects using our ecological planning technology, such as Noritake Garden (Nagoya, Aichi) and Eco-Factory Mt. Fuji industrial complex (Fujinomiya, Shizuoka), we have developed ecological designs for large-scale urban development plans. Our achievements are thus continuing to promote the further development of ecological planning technology.
Unlike ordinary forest preservation planning systems developed for bounded areas, Taisei’s ecological planning technology is designed to analyze an entire ecosystem, including the surrounding area, as a network. This means there can be a significantly higher number of bird species that it is hoped will inhabit the targeted area. Taisei’s technology provides a powerful tool for preserving and increasing biodiversity.