The Trees Breathing Experience is a forest of 500 Paulownia trees that trap 50 tons of CO2 per year, connected to IoT sensors to track the real-world impact of planting this efficient carbon capture species. The data captured by IoT sensors is analyzed by machine-learning algorithms that are arranged as digital avatars in blockchain and displayed by an eco-sustainable SEED Room.

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A forest of tree trunks

The SEED Room is made of Paulownia wood in the shape of a seed and is usable as a meeting room, coworking and showroom space. What on earth is all that effort for? Well besides the innovative use of trees as avatars in an algorithm that can track the climate impact of tree planting, the Trees Breathing Experience and SEED Room are a new way for companies to obtain environmental credits and make the eco-experience possible for guests or employees and help them observe climate change mitigation in action.

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Three pod houses on a grass

Paulownia trees absorb up to 10 times more CO2 than other trees and grow very quickly. They can also reach five meters in height after just one year. At full maturity, one of these trees capture two tons of CO2 per year. Companies that want to mitigate their climate impact can use a program like the SEED Room and the Trees Breathing Experience to balance their impact on the environment by sponsoring the planting of Paulownia trees and sharing that effort with customers or collaborators. It’s great PR, but it also helps spread the word about how much difference certain types of climate initiatives can make.

Three pods with green roofs on a grass area

The SEED Room and Trees Breathing Experience was designed by Giancarlo Zema Design Group after years of research by EcoLandLife. It was developed in collaboration with Paulownia4Planet and 17tons. The SEED Room is a housing unit of 25 square meters equipped with 25 square meters of solar panels that generate the internal energy needs of the suite. The interior of the SEED Room is finished with sustainable furnishings made from Origami Furniture recycled cardboard. The room can be configured as a living space or a work space.

SEED isn’t just designed as a one-time experience of the trees in action. SEED suites can be recreated and placed in various areas in nature to replicate this project or to create eco-resorts with multiple pods. The units are 98% recyclable and are classified as low-consumption residential habitats due to natural internal micro-ventilation and cooling systems.

The top of three pods lined around the edge of a forest

The SEED Trees Breathing Room allows an inhabitant to listen to the sounds of the Paulownia forest in season, observe climatic conditions and examine the state of the plants in the forest. Multi-instrumentalist Simone Vitale has used special sensors and equipment connected to the trees to produce original music from the movements of the plants. Scent Company created aromatherapy inspired by Paulownia trees’ flowers, leaves and bark.

The IoT sensors in the Paulownia forest are positioned in the ground and on the trees to forward real-time data about the trees’ health, state of the soil and air quality around the trees. This data can be used to measure carbon being removed from each tree and to track biodiversity of the forest.

An up-close of the pod

Each tree gets its own digital avatar in the digital forest. Machine learning algorithms aggregate this data to certify the ecological and economic value generated by the plants. Carbon removal certificates are then issued based on how many tons of CO2 are trapped by each tree. The data from each tree is transferred in blockchain to respective NFTs. It’s like investing in blockchain to support a company fighting climate change, except you are directly tracking your impact via the trees.

The traceable information for each tree ensures the integrity and impact of this climate initiative. The founders of the project say this digital connection between people and trees was intended to help people feel a part of the natural capital and commitment necessary to make our planet sustainable.

+ Giancarlo Zema Design Group

Images via Giancarlo Zema Design Group