Importance of Implementing green wall and green roof technology

Green roofs and green walls have been there for a long time now. Incorporating greenery or plants while designing the building is a beautiful idea since it is robust to the change in the climate.

What exactly are green roofs? There are varied types of green roofs. Mostly they are known to be including certain layers of waterproofing, soil, drainage and then plants.

The green roofs can be either constructed in modules or they can be in loose lay. Talking about the modular designs, it would mean that there are layers which are pre-planted into plastic boxes which are light weight.

They are then clipped together onto the roof. The loose lay design on the other hand is where there is a complete area of the roof available that is then covered up with the layers of soil and plants.

The green roofs that are built can be shallow which is either 150mm or less than that. They are also called as extensive green roofs.

Those green roofs which have deeper soil, that is more than 150mm are referred to as intensive green roof. The intensive ones are more complex construction than the extensive one since they are engineered to take in heavy loads.

What exactly are green walls? Green walls are basically of two types, the first one begins green façade and the second one is referred to as living walls.

The green façade is termed to be a simpler system wherein the plants are grown in the soil directly and then they are kept on the frame or the trellis structure which covers up the wall or acts as a partition.

Out here the plants can be either grown directly in the ground or they can be grown in the container. Living walls, on the other hand, are said to be a complex system wherein there are pockets or panels being fixed on to the walls directly.

This allows the plants to grow in the pockets. In this particular system there is often less use of soil so as to reduce the load on the walls where it is placed. Instead of the soil, the plants are given nutrients through the irrigation water system.

Importance of green roof and green walls –

Green walls and green roofs are gaining more and more popularity across the globe. Whether it is at home or in the office or any other place, there is a need to connect nature with human.

The reason is quite simple; we all have been close to nature since the beginning but with the advancements in technology somewhere we are cutting off nature.

This has led to a rise in pollution which indirectly leads to increase in health risk for the individual. Hence there is a pressing need to bring back greenery near us. Let us have a look at why there is a need for green walls and green roof:

Aesthetics:

Green roof or green walls can bring about improvement in the quality of the life for us humans. It not only leads to physical health but also the mental health.

It helps in reducing stress levels, increases joy and calmness, brings about a sense of well-being and comfort. It has the potential for also increase employee productivity at workplace.

Green roof and walls look beautiful and when they properly maintained, it leads to an aesthetic appeal that is hard to define.

Acts as sound insulation:

With the combination of plants, soil and all the trapped layers of air, it acts as a sound barrier thus providing protection from too much of noise or sound pollution.

The sound waves get absorbed and deflected. Plants help in blocking the higher frequencies of sound. Green roof that has a substrate layer of 12cm would help in reducing around 40 decibels of sound.

Saves costs of heating and cooling:

The green roof help in the reduction of heating as well as cooling costs. This is done by reducing the temperature that is present inside of the building.

Green roofs have a thermal performance that would reduce the need for air conditioning system during the warmer days and also provides insulation during the colder days.

Provides fresh air:

With the help of the natural photosynthesis process, the green roofs and walls produce fresh and clean oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide and other harmful toxins.

They convert the carbon dioxide, sunlight and water into fresh oxygen and glucose.

Filteration of air and water:

This technology helps in the improvement of the water quality that has been harvested from the roofs. They are then greened because it acts as a natural water filter.

Apart from filtering water, plants also help in filtering the air. In case of green roofs, they trap any bioremediate or any other pollutants that fall on the roof. The green roof can remove around 2kf of any airborne pollutants each year.

Heat island effect:

The green roofs and green walls are known to reduce the effect of urban heat island. One can lower the temperature by covering the wall or the roof with green vegetation.

It would act as a shade on the building materials which otherwise tends to absorb heat. The process of evapotranspiration is known to provide the cooling effect since the water gets evaporated from the soil.

The plants would then transpire by taking the water through the roots. Ultimately it would get released from the leaves.

It helps in the enhancement of bio-diversity. It provides upcoming and newer urban habits as well as specific kind of habits for rare species of plants and animals.

When native plants are used in this green roof and green wall then it allows for wildlife habitat. Biodiversity can be further enhanced with the use of green roof technology especially for those invertebrates.

Usage of space:

Any of the unused space can be instantly turned up into something which is beautiful and appealing. Hence dull looking space or those not used can be turned into a valuable space as part of recreation, gardening or for growing varieties of food items.

What types of plants are used in living green walls?

The living green walls are being considered as one of the best ways to make that space stand out from the rest. Whether this living green walls is in placed in a home or whether it is a business organization, it brings about a visual appearance that seems to be too welcoming and inviting.

It not only provides that aesthetic look to it but it has a lot of potential health benefits for the members. Even though the green walls are something that can be custom made based on the preferences of the client but there are certain plants that are well suited to be used on these walls instead of going in for any plants.

Once we understand the benefits and principles of living green walls, it is also equally important to carefully select the plants.

Since there are varied systems which are used for creating these living walls hence these systems and structures in a way can also help in determining what kind of species of plants would work well on the wall.

Also there are other conditions that should be taken a note of such as, what are the preferences of the owner, growth structure of each plant varies such as some of them grow upwards and some not, the lighting conditions and so on.

Below are few of the plants that can be used in the structure for living green walls:

 

Lipstick plant:

This is also referred to as Aeschynanthus radicans and is considered to be one of the best type of houseplant mostly as part of the hanging basket. This plant would mostly need less amount of light and dry conditions. It is a free flowering species which has shiny green leaves with a touch of burgundy beneath. This plant has red colored rich flowers which would emerge from the black calyces along with certain waves of bloom through the entire year. Growing these lipstick plants can turn out to be an easy task since it would not need much of the deep soil hence it can easily thrive in these vertical wall structure. Since it also has the need for less amount of light hence it can be grown indoors as well.

Rabbit’s foot fern:

The scientific name for this plant is Davallia fejeensis. You can say that this plant has some fuzzy little feet which tends to stick out from the base. The roots are furry and they would establish themselves if they are given some soil or one can also break those roots and place them into moist soil for establishing some more plants. This is a bit different than the other ferns since it does not like to be kept moist all the time and it would also prefer low levels of light.

 

Wedding Vine:

The scientific name is Stephanotis Floribunda and they prove to be quick grower. It gets its name from the huge usage during the wedding ceremonies. It is known to be a vining evergreen plant having large tubular flowers that are white in color and they would grow above 20 feet in height. You can place it on the top of the living wall and allow it to trail upwards. Vines are mostly low on maintenance and they can grow pretty much easily. They thrive well even in the indirect sunlight.

Cretan brake fern:

These are also referred to as Pteris Cretica and is a type of fern. When the conditions seem right these ferns grow very well. They cannot tolerate dry soil hence there is a need that the soil in which it is placed should be close to the water source. The fronds of this plant are pale green in color. It has quite a delicate as well as graceful appearance. They have quite a unique and distinct appearance from the rest.

Pothos:

This plant is also called as Epipremnum sp and it is considered to be one of the best type of indoor plants even for low light cases. It is a part of the vining plant and very easy in terms of maintenance. They can also be hung from their resting place and sure see them grow in the direction you place them.

Crotons:

The crotons are also called as Codiaeum variegatum pictum. They are basically small colorful shrubs having leathery leaves which turn out to be quite colorful when in bright light. When the light is low then the leaves would be less pigmented and they would be smaller as well. This plant should be grown at 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit along with high humidity. Between watering, it is important to allow the surface of the soil to dry.

 

 

Dracaena:

These are popularly found house plants and most of them are known to be growing in the upward direction having strap like leaves. The leaves of dracaena are seen to be bicolored, yellowish, reddish, and creams. These plants have known to be growing well across a range of different temperature but they do not prefer to be kept in chilled ambience. In case if these plants are placed away from the light then the colors of the leaves would start to fade slightly but they surely can tolerate less amount of light conditions. These plants prefer to be kept a bit dry since they take up less of water.

 

Succulents:

The succulents are known to be the majorly used plants when it comes to the living green walls and it is due to their adaptability as well as resistance to the changes in the temperature and the climate conditions. You can consider having plants such as, echeveria, pearls, sedum.

Begonias:

For those people who are looking to hang their living wall in a particular place where there is ample amount of sunlight then at such places growing begonias would turn out to be a good idea.

 

 

 

Apart from the ones mentioned above, other plants you can grow as living green walls are:

  • Marantas
  • Pilea
  • Calathea
  • Ficus repens or Creeping Ficus
  • Spathiphyllum

Schefflera arboricola

Tips for Living Walls for Small Spaces

The living green walls are turning out to be a modern trend seen in most of the households as well as the offices. They come along with a lot of benefit such as health benefits, reducing the level of noise, and so on. Though everyone may have dreamt of having such a green wall but in few cases people may be wondering how can these work out in cases of small spaces such as the urban areas.

Let us have a look at few of the tips for creating living green walls in small spaces as well. It is important to note certain things before starting on with these living green walls and those are, there should be an area at the site which should be sunny, try to not build these walls too high else it would become difficult to maintain them properly or avoid making any such structures taller else you would not be able to reach them, the support system upon which you build them should be strong and sturdy enough that it would be able to handle weight of everything on its own, also the supporting wall against which you would be placing the structure should be able to withstand constant and a lot of moisture. With all of this being said, the living green walls are one of the most flexible forms of gardening system

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Living Wall

The living green walls can be also based on a simpler configuration wherein the plants can be grouped in together for making the environment look greener. Below are few of the ways on how to build the living green walls: Read more

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