What is a living wall?
A living wall is simply vertical space covered by vegetation, although sprouting plants in vertical space is not always so simple. Specific plant choices and specially engineered growing media are typically incorporated into interior and exterior living wall systems to ensure success. Living walls are sometimes called green walls, vertical gardens, or vertical greenery.
Living architecture has been in existence for thousands of years. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was once adorned with terraced gardens filled with verdant trees and overhanging vegetation. More recently, living architecture diversified into many technologies like sod roofs, green roofs, and early living wall systems (trellis walls, ivy-covered walls). Today, living walls of numerous types, applications, and scales are available. Some living wall types include green façades, living fences, modular living walls, and living retaining walls (See Below).
What grows in a living wall?
The type of living wall system determines the plants it can support. Generally, living walls feature ivy and vines, tropical plants (for interior walls), grasses, and drought tolerant plants, like succulents. Some living wall systems, however, can even support native and edible vegetation.
What are the benefits of a living wall?
Living walls offer a wide variety of benefits like:
Stormwater management | Air Quality Improvement | Temperature Moderation | Reduction of Urban Heat Island Effect | Potential Habitat | Energy Savings | Enhanced Visual Aesthetic | Noise Reduction | Reintroducing Green Space Into Urban Areas
About Living Retaining Walls (LRW's):
The trend toward "Green Building" is increasing the number of LEED registered projects and a great way to maximize LEED points is to manage grade changes with Living Retaining Walls rather than traditional solid retaining walls. We have been working and promoting the niche for over 20 years and we are passionate about their beauty and environmental contribution. Let these pictures illustrate the aesthetic benefits of "green walls" and contact us to learn more about their specification and use.
Plant based living systems have been shown to positively benefit buildings, owners, occupants and the environment. Green roofs are becoming more popular all the time and so are living canopies attached to the inside and outside of buildings. Why not bring the same intent to structural retaining walls on the project? Site development drives grade changes that can be handled by living retaining walls rather than traditional hard-scape walls. Living retaining walls create habitat and green-space at angles of inclination not possible otherwise, while increasing permeable surface area and reducing heat islands. View the examples shown in the video clips below and contact us to learn more.