GREEN WALLS OR VERTICAL GARDENS
Green walls and Vertical Gardens are continuing to rise in popularity. Perhaps this is because growing plants vertically, either on the walls or in frames, brings an added aesthetic value to an office without taking up valuable floor space. The concept has been around since the 1930s, but in recent years has come into prominence with architects and building owners supporting it. Anyone who views the green wall does not turn away unimpressed.
In our last article, we looked at where you might include vertical planting, some of the benefits of this style of planting and what plants work best. But let’s look into why green walls and vertical gardens are improving productivity and how to make sure this can work for you!
Designers and architects are now offering their clients green walls and vertical garden designs and boasting these important benefits:
- Productivity: Numerous studies have linked the presence of lush greenery in office surroundings to physical and mental wellbeing. This in turn creates a more energised workday and therefore, higher productivity.
- Aesthetic Improvement: It creates visual interest and helps in showcasing innovative attractive structural elements and the organisation’s affiliation with being ‘green’.
- Energy cost reduction: Installing a green wall acts as a natural air conditioner, thereby saving precious energy used by normal air conditioners.
- Improves indoor air quality: The green walls help filtering numerous contaminants that are traditionally flushed out through ventilation systems. The filtration is done by plants through bio-filtration. Here, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) such as fuel hydrocarbons are passed through a soil bed where they sorb to the soil surfaces and are broken down by microorganisms in the soil.
- Noise pollution barriers: Green walls and vertical gardens act as a natural sound barrier for an office as they are known to dampen the noise by absorbing sound. This is particularly important in offices where floors have polished concrete or vinyl planks installed, rather than carpet.
In an office situation, the construction and maintenance of a green wall involves a multi-disciplinary approach. It involves botany, architecture and structural engineering fields to come together to create the best options for achieving the above results; Lush, healthy, long lasting green walls which have a positive effect on all who encounter them.
Since the wall is a living breathing element, it needs to be taken care of with precision. Lighting is extremely important and is the number one challenge for green walls. Another priority element is the set up and checking of the irrigation system to ensure there is no under watering or over watering of the plants.
Plants should be clipped, cleaned and replaced when necessary. These procedures and processes are much easier to be carried out by a professional organisation, which deals with green walls on a day-to-day basis. The periodic maintenance is not only time consuming, but requires specialist plant technicians for a substantially sized green wall. Hence it is best when this is placed into the hands of trained professionals.
In a changing urban landscape, where open areas are vanishing, and are being replaced by a concrete jungle, all is not lost with green walls and vertical gardens being installed in many urban offices and which are achievable in almost any space if we have set our sights on one.