What ARE Green Walls?
Simply stated, green walls can be living walls, these are vertical arrangements of living plants built with varying support systems. They have been around for decades commercially, but only recently have become more affordable. New construction typically means a loss of green space, however, there is an increasing trend toward implementing green wall systems inside buildings. Green walls, also referred to as living walls, plant walls or vertical gardens, range in size from as little as 3 square feet, to a massive wall of plants.
Horticulturally, we prefer to use systems that keep a plant in a pot over plugs planted in substrates. We find that the plants perform better, are much easier to replace, and provide a spontaneous impact.
The smaller versions are typically in the form of a box system, where modules of plant boxes are situated next to each other in rows. Box systems are easily mounted and can be configured in many ways and do not require water barriers. They are also installed with full-grown specimens providing an instant impact. We use Architectural Supplements’ products quite a bit and even include portable units. Dirtt has a modular system called Breathe Living Walls, which snaps onto to slat walls and features a subirrigation system and are available locally from Accent Commercial Furniture.
A new entry into the market is Suite Plants Live Art which includes a customizable frame turning your plants into a piece of art. Some companies are using these as corporate branding pieces as well and utilizing their marketing, art and plant budgets in one place!
Green walls help to bring nature indoors and, with them, many health and environmental benefits. The interior environment is toxic, and urban dwellers spend about 90% of their time indoors. According to recent studies, indoor environments may be as much as 10 times more polluted than outdoor environments. Measurements of indoor air toxicity have shown high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. “Sick building syndrome” is a term used to describe the impact of mechanically ventilated and toxin-rich environments on occupants’ health, leading to symptoms of headache and nausea, as well as sore eyes, nose and throat. A high level of pollutants contributes not only to illness, but lower productivity as well.
Plant interiorscapes are known to remove the harmful environmental toxins found in buildings. They can also lighten the load of the mechanical system by removing many of these pollutants which results in buildings requiring less energy. Green walls, with hundreds of plants, can reduce the temperature of a room by 3-7 degrees Celsius, cutting electricity bills by up to 20%. Studies conducted in Sydney, Australia have confirmed that indoor foliage reliably reduce total VOC loads by 75%!
Living walls also reduce ambient temperatures and provide thermal insulation and acoustical control. By reducing the temperature fluctuations, green walls prevent the expansion and contraction of building materials, which could otherwise result in cracks, fractures and general deterioration of the building.
There have been numerous studies indicating that plants improve the cognitive performance of office workers, leading to greater production, increased happiness to be at work, and a lower likelihood of sick days from work. The conclusions of multiple studies have shown that plants in the work place, providing a view of greenery, help people to feel more relaxed and focused, consequently leading to increased productivity, creativity and problem-solving capabilities. Gardens incorporated into hospitals create a calming sense of comfort for patients, leading to improvements in clinical outcomes and shortened stays.
Green walls inside buildings have the same effect as plants and trees outside have with regard to their effectiveness as barriers against traffic and other urban noise pollution. They insulate against noise and vibrations, and reduce sound penetration. The leaves dampen sound by reflecting and absorbing acoustic energy in small amounts. The amount of noise reduction is proportional to the number of plants, so green walls containing a large number of plants can improve the acoustics of a room considerably.
Living walls are space-efficient systems making good use of available vertical surface areas, keeping floor space open and unobstructed.
There are so many reasons that green walls are becoming increasingly popular in interior spaces such as offices and commercial buildings, restaurants and homes!
Space saving and dramatic, moss wall art incorporates the growing trends of vertical gardening and “biophilic design”. The term ‘biophilia’ - coined in 1984 by Edward O. Wilson - is the idea that humans evolved as creatures deeply enmeshed with the intricacies of nature, and that we still have this affinity with nature ingrained in our genotype. So, biophilia itself is the innate human affinity for nature, and Biophilic design is creating a living and working environment that allows you retain that connection with nature. Scientific and academic communities have discovered numerous human and community benefits achieved by incorporating the principles of biophilic design in our interior environments.
Moss Wall Art has been gaining popularity in the design industry due to its simple, forever green and maintenance free features as compared to living green walls that use sub tropical plants. Another benefit is its more affordable price point.
The range in texture, color and dimension of moss makes it a unique medium for wall art. Our walls are fabricated from preserved mosses that are sustainably procured, lichens, natural woods and organic elements that are mounted on reclaimed plywood. Each one is a unique piece of art and can be created in many sizes and shapes to suite the location."
Please contact Green Conscience Home to purchase a retail moss wall at (518) 306-5196. If you are interested in a moss wall for your business or commercial space, please contact Capital InteriorScapes at (518) 309-4132.
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