Lately, the idea of green walls has become very fashionable. Either part of a building or free standing, this sustainable innovation is healthy and great to look at. Also known as living walls, these vertical gardens are packed with flora that benefits everything from our lungs to our ears! Let’s have a detailed look into the benefits of green walls and then find out how to install your very own green wall at home…
Improved Air Quality
It has been scientifically proven that foliage can improve air quality. Indeed, the Amazon rainforest is often referred to as ‘the lungs of the world’.
A green wall will help to vastly improve the quality of air in any environment. It acts as a natural air filter, purifying the polluted air whilst releasing clean oxygen. If installed in an office environment, the presence of green walls can lead to greater employee productivity and overall health, since cleaner air leads to better concentration, healthier employees and fewer sick days.
No one who has seen a green wall close up can say that they’re not impressive, especially the larger-scale ones such as Patrick Blanc’s Parisian creation. We’re simply not used to seeing gardens grow upwards, so it catches our eye!
Excellent for the home or the office, a green wall can turn any dull and dreary room into an inviting and alluring environment. This can be great for creating a good first impression on your clients when they visit your business. Or, if you want to give your home a nice colourful touch, it will add some green to your own four walls and be a great talking point when you have guests over.
Reduced Energy Costs
In the Western world, and America in particular, we love air conditioning. However, the costs can be astronomical. Did you know however than installing a green wall acts as a natural air conditioner, balancing humidity levels in the process to keep us comfortable.
Through a process known as evapotranspiration, the air surrounding the green wall is naturally cooled. In winter, a green wall on the outside of a building acts as insulation, reducing the need for costly heating too.
Reduced Noise Levels
You might be wondering how can a bunch of plants help to reduce noise levels! It is one of the lesser-known benefits of a green wall, reducing background noise in loud, communal dining areas, or reducing noise pollution from traffic on busy main roads.
The foliage absorbs and reflects the noise that comes its way, so if there’s a room in your home you want to make as peaceful and relaxing as possible, a living green wall can help – and that’s not to mention the general sense of calm and well-being that comes from being around greenery!
So, How Do You Install Your Own?
Green walls are great for those who don’t have much garden space. Although a professional will be needed for larger scale projects, this is still something you can attempt yourself on a smaller scale at home.
Select the space you wish to use for your very own green wall. Get started by building a frame; you will need a good, solid structure which can be hung onto the wall. Plastic is generally considered the most appropriate material to use. A plastic sheet must then be attached to the frame to stop water from leaking.
You are now ready to attach a layer of fabric to the frame, which will act as the foundation your plants will live and grow from. Use a material which has effective water retention properties and lets roots grow through – felt is often the material of choice here.
Set up an irrigation system for the water to be able to reach all parts of the wall. The usual style is to attach a tube across the top of your wall, which will drip water down throughout the whole structure. As this is one of the most important aspects, you will most likely want to consult an expert in the field. At this point you will also need to add a fertilising system.
Finally you will want to choose and insert the plants you want to include in your green wall. This is entirely down to your personal preference. Just take into account the current aesthetics of the room or garden where you are constructing your green wall. For a more in-depth guide to creating your own green wall, take a look at this article.