Living green walls are panels of plants, grown vertically on structures that can be either free-standing or attached to the exterior or interior of a building wall. Living green walls are also referred to as vertical gardens, green walls or living walls.
Many types of plants will tolerate the high life in a green wall, from herbs and fruit, to grasses and ferns. Whether in sun or shade, covering walls with plants can enhance public spaces. When considering a green wall, the planting design takes into account the site parameters as well as considering the elements.
In planning for a living wall we would target plants which provide particular benefits such as best pollinators to attract wildlife such as bees, butterflies and birds to the urban environment. Additionally, using different varieties of plants which can vary in colour, growth and flower, will create living art, rather than a lawn on the side of a building.
Most living walls we install are designed with a drip-irrigation system, which maximises the use of water and is set up using an automated system that times the irrigation to minimise water waste. Living walls also filter the air around them by absorbing and cleaning pollutants. This natural effect is multiplied by the sheer number of plants in living walls. A well-designed, flourishing green wall can drastically improve a building’s appearance, adding colour and texture that won’t go out of fashion.
Exterior living walls give buildings protection, not just from temperature fluctuations but also by diverting water away from walls during heavy rain and providing protection from UV radiation.
Unlike brick or concrete, plant surfaces don’t store up solar energy, but reflect it. Both interior and exterior walls help to actively cool the air in summer by a process called evapotranspiration, reducing the need to cool the building. The panels, including the growth media, insulate the building and reduce energy costs for heating the building in winter as well. And additionally living walls can reduce the wind speed experienced around tall skyscrapers, along with naturally blocking high frequency sounds while the supporting structure can help to diminish low-frequency noise.
We have installed and maintained a number of living walls within the City of London and continue to receive interest from prospective clients looking for ways to improve their surroundings.