Kyocera's Edible 'Green Curtains' Take a Bite Out of Energy Use

KYOTO, Japan — Kyocera Group has planted edible "green curtains" stretching thousands of feet across facilities in Japan, Thailand and Brazil in a bid to keep its buildings cool and greenhouse gas emissions low.

The IT equipment and industrial ceramics manufacturer installed the viney plants to block direct sunlight from the windows of 20 manufacturing and office buildings to help prevent increases in surface temperature of the structures. Kyocera green curtains grow vegetables eaten in local cafeterias


This lessens the loads of their air conditioning units, while the green curtains also give workers a bounty of cucumbers, peas and bitter gourd called goya, which land on their cafeteria menus.

Using infrared thermograhic measurement, Kyocera confirmed the green curtains results in lower outer wall temperature than unshaded walls. "In addition, we were able to confirm that the Green Curtains can decrease the temperature by as much as 15 degrees C (27 degrees F)," the company said.

At the same time, the green curtains are working to absorb an estimated 23,481 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is roughly the same amount that can be absorbed by 761 cedar trees.

The green curtains cover roughly 32,750 square feet (3,043 square meters), and measure 2,379 feet (725 meters) in length.

Kyocera has set up a website with information on the green curtains, including some fairly detailed instructions and photos from its own experiences (see below) to help readers grow green curtains at home.Grow your own green curtains -- how-to, from Kyocera

Images courtesy of Kyocera Group.