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Vegetational Growing Walls and Roofs

Grow vegetation which could be used as walls and roofs
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

These could either be planted on site, so when they finish growing you can live in them, or they are grown in long pots and could be installed.

Saves the need of a permit for building (you don't need a permit to plant a tree)

The plants themselves are with very large (bannana like) leaves and thin long trunks possibly with thorns on one side to keep away intruders. Windows could be pre-installed or very thin leaves could be grown in that area.

pashute, Oct 21 2002

The Grass Car http://www.artcars....ewisTwo/Lewis6.html
Funny, used this link twice today. [dag, Oct 21 2002]

"tree planting permit" http://www.google.c...&btnG=Google+Search
[thumbwax, Oct 22 2002]

"tree pruning permit" http://www.google.c...&btnG=Google+Search
Like the planting search - "very specific" [thumbwax, Oct 22 2002]

Wikipedia: Pleaching http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleaching
"Not to be confused with bleaching, leaching, or beaching." [jutta, Oct 20 2009]


       //you don't need a permit to plant a tree//
Wanna bet?
thumbwax, Oct 21 2002

       I imagine the permit thing is quite dependent on where you live.   

       First walls, then roofs, then cars. [link]
dag, Oct 21 2002

       Me Edgar Rice Burroughs you Jane "Ungowaa!"
skinflaps, Oct 22 2002

       "Vegitational" houses sort of already exist. True there are no entirely living houses of this type, but there are houses with walls made from straw (apparently the architect doesn't expect any wolf-sourced wall damage) and ones whose roofs are made from turf. I think UnaBubba spots the problem with taking this idea any further.
namaste, Oct 22 2002

       Baked by me living under a tree.
rabbit, Oct 22 2002

       "Darling, it's time to cut the walls again."   

       Also, as [namaste] correctly states, lots of houses in rural Norway have turf roofs, and many environmentally sound architects build grass-sided and grass-roofed houses. Apparently grass is very effective at retaining heat. That grass car had better have a good radiator.
PeterSilly, Oct 22 2002

       I used to have a tree house, does that count?
egbert, Oct 22 2002

       It's the first time I really don't care about the fishbones. I simply believe its a good idea. And different from existing: I'm talking about engineering trees to be usable as houses. Large houses like the ones we live in today.
pashute, Oct 22 2002

       Yes different from existing houses pashute - what we'd all like to know how you engineer a tree to grow as a house. (Try to answer without the phrase "genetic engineering")
namaste, Oct 23 2002

       Shaping plants is not genetic engineering. Its gardening. You don't have to use one plant but rather several plants near each other. Planting permits are not needed in every location. Koons puppy is a steel structure covered with plants. Something completely different. The real benefit is that you don't have to paint every year. I don't know what to do to make it fire proof.
pashute, Nov 04 2007

       Baked in Daniel DeFoe's 'Robinson Crusoe', after the reading which I was inspired to help a friend in the planting a closely spaced ring of trees with a carefully placed entrance, to act as the outer wall of a dwelling. That was about 6 years ago, and it's coming along nicely. I was also inspired to a frequent using archaic idioms of the gerund.
spidermother, Nov 06 2007

       "One man went to mow,   

       Went to mow the ceiling..."
Wrongfellow, Nov 06 2007

       This could be done with fig trees. They will merge into one another with time. Figs grow fast. The other bonus: one could intersperse plantings with plastic coated steel beams, set deeply in concrete. These beams would improve structural integrity, and like Koon's Puppy, eventually be enveloped by the figs. They would make up for the soft wood and relatively low durability of the figs. The interior would be dim, and so have fewer branches. Windows could be cut later, or placed as frames in advance, and periodically pruned open.   

       Thorns - not sure. Big leaves - not sure about that either. Fire - fig trees are wet. Fruit - some people like to eat figs.
bungston, Nov 07 2007

       Thanks bugs adn spiderw ! Both entries are inspiring. I hope to do this next year. (This year I wont be able to try it)
pashute, Nov 07 2007

       I have been thinking about this. It could be done as a kit. It would have a little house, mounted on plastic struts to be assembled on site. It would be a treehouse. The struts have holes to hang biodegradable pots, along with holes intended to be filled with dirt or sand on site. The bottom of the kit plugs into the sprinkler system. The pots contain cuttings of fig trees.   

       After installed it will look like a little house with pots hanging all over it. When the sprinkers come on water courses over the translucent roof (cleaning it) and onto the fig cuttings. These grow and merge, extending roots through the pots, into holes in the struts, down along the outside, into other pots, and into the ground. Eventually they conceal the plastic struts.
bungston, Nov 08 2007

       It's cool... I like to 100%. Take it a step further and Genetically modify it so you can actually EAT it and then all you have to do for food is eat your bedroom wall and jump out at the birds with a butterfly net. Definently a [+] from me. And for me coolness is enough ;)
xxobot, Nov 09 2007

       I like this idea, especially for steeply sloping plots where trees are very good at clinging on. In fact I think I know just the place to try. My main concern is that plants don't generally like being very close to other plans, they fail to thrive. I suspect you'd need to space out the structural trees and then infill with non-structural trellis-like and creeper-covered panels.
vincevincevince, Nov 09 2007

       Trees can be grown to create structures easily. The grafting together of branches and trunks to create such structures is called 'Pleaching'. Living chairs, walls, ladders and fences have all been made without genetic engineering but with the creative and persistent influence of a savvy gardener. It would be both simple and elegant to build a structure in the form of a yurt using this process.
bluebabboon, Oct 20 2009

       Is there an assumption that this will be in some way environmentally "friendlier"? If so, I'm not sure.   

       A link from the Wikipedia page points to a "pleached house", whose merits are cited as:   

       1. Composed with 100% living nutrients. [So? And what are living nutrients?]   

       2. Make effective contributions to the ecosystem. [What is "effective"? More so than a regular house with a garden?]   

       3. Accountable removal of human impacts. [I have no idea what this means]   

       4. Involve arboreal farming & production. [So?]   

       5. Subsume technology within terrestrial environs. [What??]   

       6. Circulate water & metabolic flows symbiotically. [Ditto; if it means that the inhabitant symbioses with the tree, this is not true.]   

       7. Consider the life cycle, from use to disposal. [OK, I will - so?]   

       So, on an evironmental basis, I suspect this is complete hooey. However, I do like the idea of growing a house, and it would be fun, in a slow way, so [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 20 2009

       Ahhhhh. MB you have discovered bullshit. Sometimes it is used to replace real functional facts with a piss poor substitute. Sometimes it simply replaces something you didn't need with something that doesn't work. Like this idea.
WcW, Oct 21 2009

       Bullshit would make the house grow faster.
wjt, Oct 21 2009

       Indeed so. Although I still like the idea.   

       Perhaps it would be easier to do this using fungi? They grow faster, and I'm pretty sure a fungus can't get damp-rot.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 21 2009

       fungi get fungi all the time.
WcW, Oct 21 2009

       I wonder if yeast ever gets a human infection.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 21 2009

       An infestation? Or a common disease both species share?
WcW, Oct 21 2009


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