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An Architect’s Guide To: Green Walls

Explore the design possibilities of lush, vibrant green walls.

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Acknowledging the positive effects that plants have on human health, more and more architects are enlivening their interior and exterior projects with green walls. However, entertaining the idea of hosting a cascading vertical wall of plants can come with a long list of feasibility concerns. For example, how are they attached and maintained, and how long do they last? Do they rot and smell?! This week, we set out to answer these questions, and provide you with the resources to confidently enhance your next project with a living green wall.

152 Elizabeth Street by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates; image via Inhabitat

How to Specify: Green Walls

Today, a green wall is understood as a vertical wall that is partially or completely covered in vegetation. A carefully planned and executed growing medium is the backbone of any green wall. In order to help architects enliven their future projects with green walls, we spoke with Zachary Smith, Senior Marketing Manager at specialist green wall manufacturer sagegreenlife. According to Smith, “Living walls are visually stunning, yes, but there is much more than meets the eye. One of our goals as a company is to promote the positive effects that plants have on individuals’ mental and physical wellness, a key benefit in and of itself.” Check out the full story here.


It’s Alive! 5 Huge, Lushly-Planted Living Façades

“Inspired at a young age by the plants floating in his aquarium, Patrick began experimenting with his first green wall systems at age 18. Now, at 64, he believes he has perfected the technique: “On a load-bearing wall or structure is placed a metal frame that supports a PVC plate… on which are stapled two layers of polyamide felt… These layers mimic cliff-growing mosses and support the roots of many plants. A network of pipes provides a nutrient solution… which flows down the wall by gravity. The roots of the plants take up the nutrients they need, and excess water is collected at the bottom of the wall by a gutter, before being re-injected into the network of pipes.” (source)” Check out the full story here.

Growing Up: Specifying Living Green Walls for Every Architectural Typology

Designed to inspire students to shape the future of sustainable design, the Ed Lumley Centre incorporates numerous high-performance design features, including a Bio-filter living wall. Organized to maximize solar exposure and stacked to reduce its skin-to-volume ratio, the project was made so students could learn from the facility as its data is monitored in real time.” Check out the full story here.

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