Green Walls

Green walls reclaim neglected spaces and enhance our quality of life by increasing biodiversity, decreasing stress levels, and providing shade and insulation benefits to reduce urban heat island effects.

Intelligent and interactive green walls require special consideration when choosing plants for them, as air circulation can put undue strain on them. Therefore, the ideal plant species would be those which can withstand these challenging conditions.

What Are Green Walls?

Green walls are vertical gardens found both indoors and outdoors that combine vegetation, growing media, and irrigation to form vertical gardens that provide both an eye-catching design and numerous environmental advantages. Typically incorporating both beautiful and hardy plants for optimal effect, green walls create striking designs while simultaneously offering environmental advantages.

These benefits range from aesthetic enhancements to improved air quality, acoustic buffering and biophilic design (the concept that people work better and feel happier when exposed to natural elements like plants). A green wall may also help mitigate environmental issues posed by cities, such as flooding and overheating due to lack of vegetation and increased urban temperatures.

There are various methods for creating green walls, depending on your desired purpose for them in a space. Common growth media options for green walls include soil or organic material as the medium.  However, other options exist as well, such as mat media green walls which use coir fiber or felt as growing media. These walls cannot support thick roots as efficiently and may not be appropriate for large-scale installations.

Other systems use modular panels that can be pre-grown in a nursery or installed directly. These modular walls are intended to be more permanent and less labor intensive than traditional landscape designs, including steel frames with HDPE plastic plant containers and geotextiles for planters. While such green walls tend to be more costly than their counterparts that utilize plants planted directly onto site, recirculation systems must also be installed for reduced water consumption.

Structural green walls offer another option, featuring a larger structure with blocks as the planting medium. These green walls tend to be reserved for larger, professionally installed green walls that last 10-15 years. 

Extensive Green Walls 

Extensive green walls are forms of vertical gardens which feature plants grown in modules or loose media modules. This system is especially popular in commercial spaces as it allows for high levels of diversity while remaining easy to install and maintain, while its versatility can fit the project scope easily. Unfortunately, however, extensive green walls require significant resources like water and nutrients, which could drive up installation and maintenance costs significantly.

As part of an extensive green wall installation, it is vital that its growth medium be regularly checked to maintain moisture. This is especially important in outdoor installations where elements may be more damaging.  Sensor technology to monitor the moisture level can be installed.

Green walls have been found to offer numerous advantages, such as air purification, noise reduction and thermal insulation. Furthermore, green walls can improve visual quality in buildings, while adding depth perception by providing movement and depth perception.

Green walls complement the concept of urban farming.  They can be added in areas that may not be practical for harvestable crops.

Though these benefits of green walls are numerous, it’s essential to remember that they remain part of building design process from its inception. To maximize green wall performance, architects need to assess overall project programs and scopes in order to identify which types of green wall would meet client requirements best.

Self Climbing Green Walls

Green walls are an emerging trend in modern architecture designed to bring nature back into cities. Commonly found outside, green walls come in various sizes, models and types for installation.

Green Walls can be divided into four main categories, depending on the type of growing medium used: loose media, mat media, sheet media and structural media. Loose media green walls are typically constructed easily by home gardeners themselves. Loose media green walls consist of hanging bags or shelves filled with soil that are then filled with plants, while mat media green walls use plastic sheets to hold onto their soil. 

Sheet media green walls are the most durable of the options, made of a material similar to an egg carton but with greater depth and texture. Sheet media walls also hold soil much better than mats.  Structural green walls require professional installation for optimal results, an option ideal for large commercial properties that can afford hiring someone on-site to manage them.

Outdoor green walls require selecting plants that can thrive in their climate. This may involve choosing evergreen climbers that will remain leaf-bearing through winter, as well as summer green climbers that add color and flowers.  Furthermore, it’s important to steer clear from any plants known for creating problems for local environments, such as invasive species. 

Indoor green walls tend to be limited when it comes to choosing plants because they must withstand varying temperatures and humidity levels.  Sunlight exposure should also be considered for indoor plants.

Dependent upon the green wall you select, LEED points can be gained for its environmental benefits as well. For instance, an exterior green wall may help lower temperatures within a building by shading from sunlight and absorbing rainwater.  This may mitigate any adverse environmental impact while making living conditions more pleasant for its occupants.

Active Green Walls

Green walls may seem like an unexpected design trend, but they actually date back centuries. While the first green walls consisted of simple climbing plants arranged freely on free-standing scaffolds, more recently these structures have evolved to include vertical surfaces via planters attached directly onto buildings, and provide even greater design potential for architects. 

Active green walls offer several key advantages over passive ones, including air circulation and filtering of pollutants. To fulfill these functions, the chosen plants must be durable enough to withstand constant air and water circulation, while simultaneously breaking down chemicals through microbes present within them.  For this reason, these types of green walls tend to be more expensive than passive ones.

Passive green walls require careful selection of plants as the selection process must take into account constant air circulation and changing humidity conditions outside. Plants must also withstand constant air circulation and temperature variations that vary greatly according to outdoor weather conditions.

Green walls can be integrated into various environments, from homes to corporate offices and hospitals. They can serve as standalone structures or be part of larger gardens.  Within cities, they may help green the urban landscape while alleviating problems related to overheating or lacking access to nature.

Urban green spaces provide habitat and feeding grounds for birds and pollinators, thus increasing biodiversity in the cityscape. Furthermore, for office spaces they can improve employee well-being by offering relaxing views while increasing natural light levels. 

They may reduce energy costs through insulation of buildings, as well as shading/evapotranspiration mechanisms to keep temperatures down while cooling them naturally.  The ability to store rainwater may act as an urban water recycling system.

Green Wall Painting

Wall paintings in green hues add an earthy and fresh aesthetic that works beautifully with any decor. Ranging from vibrant botanical prints and succulent cacti to tranquil meadow and forest scenes.  There are plenty of choices available to you when it comes to green wall art!

Since ancient times, green has long been used in artworks to depict nature’s wonder and danger simultaneously. Artists used different shades of the pigment to convey this complexity of nature through plants, flowers, and water scenes.

From ancient Babylon’s Hanging Gardens to green walls throughout history, civilizations worldwide have used climbing plants as decorative features and natural air purifiers. From their use as decorative elements in buildings to providing air filtration benefits, green walls have never gone unnoticed!

Green walls have evolved into an art form in recent years. Now known as living facades or green roofs, this type of green wall art is becoming an increasingly popular way of increasing plant coverage while simultaneously creating attractive and functional environments.

Wall art featuring green plants has quickly become the latest fad, both at homes and businesses with more generous budgets committing to more expensive installations. Green wall paintings may cover whole sections of walls with plants or simply be framed for a more traditional aesthetic.

No matter their design, green wall paintings offer an effortless way to bring nature indoors without incurring high maintenance costs associated with real trees and vines. Plus, this striking artwork pairs effortlessly with other styles of decor, such as exposed brick walls.

Recommended Reading: Urban Farming

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