Putting up green walls has become one of the most popular trends in homes, offices, and even luxury buildings. People opt these walls – also called plant walls, vertical gardens or living walls – for many reasons. They’re actually a healthier alternative to artificial gardens. They’re also a great help for those who want a greener and cleaner home, as many people claim that vertical gardens in their condominium units are a form of therapy for them.
These fast-rising beauties can be placed outdoors or indoors, can be attached to a wall, or even freestanding. There is always a perfect spot to place these green walls. But are these green walls actually made, and how can one distinguish them from one another?
Green Wall Defined
Technically, it is ‘vegetation that grows on or against an upright surface.’
Green walls are vertical arrangements of various kinds of plants and other greens that are attached to them. The greens are mostly planted in a growth source that consists of stone, soil, or water. They also feature fixed irrigation systems since they are made up of real living plants. They are different from facades, which climb up to the outside walls of tall buildings and are utilized as a supporting frame. Green walls, on the other hand, use the wall surface as the growth source rather than in the ground. The plants can also be pre-grown so they can grow quite quickly.
Green Wall Benefits
Aside from the visual and natural benefits of green walls, active green walls can also be fixed with natural air humidification and purification through a mixture of improved air circulation, a special growth source, and of course, modern technology.
“Living plants can do a great job cleaning up the indoor air we breath — and they’re also great for our mood, and much more,” writes Sally Augustin Ph.D.
Below are other equally important benefits of green walls.
- Benefits for people. According to several studies, vertical gardens add life to a home and a person. They make people happier and calmer, owing to one’s biophilic nature. Introducing real plants and building it in places where it cannot usually be seen lifts one’s mood, making him more energetic and productive. It has also been shown to be therapeutic, effectively reducing stress, anxiety, and depression in people who work tirelessly in corporate offices. “Spending time in natural settings helps speed up recovery from mental fatigue, slow down heart rate, reduce high blood pressure, and lower anxiety,” writes Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN
Other benefits that people can take advantage of from living walls include improved air quality, less air, and noise pollution, and enhanced cognitive abilities due to improved focus. These positive effects, though, are more achieved by smart and active living walls.
- Building-friendly qualities. Corporations and companies that have offices that are located on high-level floors prefer to have as many outdoor green walls around them. They found these walls to be cost-effective, reducing overall temperature due to sun exposure. During wintertime, they also help keep the heat within the building. Finally, when there is a sufficient amount of plants surrounding a building or buildings, the noise level is reduced and pacified. “Office workers report feeling healthier and more energized when their workplace features live plants and fresh flowers,” writes Ron Friedman Ph.D.
Green Wall Types
As previously mentioned, there are several types of living walls or vertical gardens. They can be outdoor or indoor, small or big, or simple or exquisite. Furthermore, the designs of these living walls are continually developing, offering even more options for different reasons.
Indoor and outdoor living walls can be built in various environments and for various purposes. They can also be made from a range of materials and plants, depending on the type of space.
Outdoor green walls are primarily built for beautification, but they also come with the benefits mentioned above. When building this type of walls, though, the climate of the location should be considered, as plants have to endure the circumstances of the surroundings.
When it comes to indoor walls, it’s the size that has to be considered, as they need to fit only to the available space. They are easier to maintain though. Active and smart living walls are more effective indoors because most of the plants used for the walls are tropical, so they do not survive long enough in the outdoors. Additionally, their air purification system is more powerful indoors than outdoors.
The appropriate irrigation system, light exposure, temperature, and daily care go a long way in ensuring that the plants and the living wall itself stay thrive, survive, and play its role. Trimming them also increases the chances for the plants to live longer. Active and smart living walls can maximize their purpose to make sure that the plants are in their best possible living environment.