Green is the new black and when it comes to building sustainable cities, architects are designing with nature instead of against it.
Green roofs and living walls are becoming more much more prevalent and you may have even noticed a few around your own city or during your travels.
The best green walls use ecologically intelligent design which mimic sustainable ecosystems. When designed in this way, living walls incorporated into a building’s structure provide a whole host of social, environmental and economic benefits.
Image source: Patrick Blanc
Interior vertical vegetated green walls improve indoor air quality while exterior living walls lower the buildings heat absorption and provide sound insulation for noise pollution.
When built using native plants, green walls provide a sanctuary for local fauna and help local biodiversity flourish.
Energy used for heating and cooling in large scale buildings contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions and urban heat island effect. Green walls help mitigate this.
With our growing population and most of us living in cities, edible green walls can be a source of urban food production.
A little different but green rooftops will reduce energy consumption and manage storm water runoff.
How do they work
To ensure the integrity of the building structure is not compromised panels or pockets are fixed directly to the wall and plants grown in the pockets.
These systems often use very little soil to minimise the weight load on the walls. The plants are fed through nutrients in the irrigation water using a drip irrigation system.
Not simply limited to commercial buildings, green walls can installed in or outside your home.
Kira Simpson is a sustainability advocate, climate optimist and founder, and editor of The Green Hub. Her own sustainable living journey began five years ago when she realised our choices matter. What we eat, where we shop, what we wear, how we live, these choices have the power to shape the kind of world we want to live in. Since launching The Green Hub in 2016 she has grown the blog to become a platform for sustainable fashion and conscious living helping people make lifestyle choices which are kinder to the planet.