With sustainability and wellness being the keywords in our home and work life, there’s a greater focus on creating a harmonious workplace. Living décor, such as green walls, has become a must-have for interior spaces – providing much needed health benefits and adding unique aesthetic appeal.
There’s no one size fits all when designing office spaces. Modern working spaces are designed with more than one function in mind. How to attract talented new employees, promote productivity and performance as well as enhancing the wellness and well-being of employees are just a few of the things being taken into consideration.
The current trend amongst architects, millennial business leaders and large corporates is to include living green walls into the architecture of a space. So why is the latest vertical trend growing in popularity? Living green walls are unique in their ability to provide a large amount of greenery without having to sacrifice any work surfaces or floor space. They are also used as a form of art, an excellent sound barrier, room divider while at the same time cleaning the air around us. This concept is a masterpiece in engineering which we have spent many years perfecting. A well designed living green wall is sure to create a talking point, leaving a good impression of the indoor space to all who pass through it. This new design accent is hugely appealing to current and prospective employees and clients who are longing for fresh, inspiring spaces to spend their time.
Benefits of living green walls
The real power of a green wall is in the impact of its design, and this aesthetically pleasing concept is considered to be the gardening of the future. But beyond the visual appeal, lies the move towards sustainability and the need to create a more mindful environment for people to work in. Interior green walls, like indoor plants, are known to improve employee productivity by reducing stress, and filtering the air of germs and harmful office pollutants found in glue and paint.
The NASA clean air study program has documented research validating the benefits of indoor plants in human spaces. The results suggest that in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. The micro-organisms in the soil of a potted plant will also remove benzene from the air.
Green walls in particular offer other benefits such as reduced energy costs thanks to their ability to cool the air in summer through a process known as evapotranspiration – whereby water is transferred from land (soil) to the atmosphere. During winter, exterior green walls act as extra insulation, reducing the energy required for heating a building. An exterior living wall has the ability to reduce the wall surface temperature by as much as 10°C.
A living green wall can also reduce noise levels in a building. Throughout the world, plants have been used as a tool to absorb, reflect and refract sound. Living green walls are great sound barriers due to the number of plants used, the surface area of the plants as well as the structure of the green wall which all work together to reduce noise.
What to consider when choosing to install a living green wall
Good quality living green walls involve a huge amount of planning, with consideration being taken of the actual available space to erect the wall, degree of natural light, what artificial light will be required to allow the indoor plants to survive, the size and stability of the wall to hold the structure and the supply and availability of regular fresh running water. All of this will determine what type of plants should be chosen.
There are various interior green wall systems to choose from, including aeroponic systems or soil-based systems. Aeroponic systems are unique in that plants grow in an air or mist environment without the use of soil. Some of the benefits of aeroponics is that because their design is conducted in air combined with micro-droplets of water, it allows almost any plant to grow to maturity in air with a plentiful supply of oxygen, water and nutrients. The aesthetic look of this system is different to that of soil-based systems in that the plant placement is not as dense – allowing more space between plants.
Soil-based systems are the more popular choice for vertical green walls. The system is controlled by a simple pump and drip-irrigation system whereby water is collected in tanks, then distributed throughout the vertical garden on a timer. A smart-sensor allows for easy monitoring of the vertical garden and alerts you to any irrigation problems which may occur. Plants are closely placed to each other in uniquely shaped clip-in planters, allowing you to achieve a lush, dense green wall with minimal gaps between plants. It’s also relatively low maintenance as the wall is self-watered, alerting you to any issues as soon as they occur. It’s also easy to replace plants when they outgrow the wall.
Life Indoors offers large custom-designed interior green walls, live picture framed green walls, free-standing double sided green wall room dividers, dual modular green wall & white board fixtures and artificial green walls. Both Life Indoors and Life Landscapes have experience installing and maintaining interior and exterior green walls across the country.
As urban dwellers, we live, commute and work with such limited access to green spaces, spending up to 80% of our awake time indoors. Having greenery in our work and living spaces can provide us with a connection to nature and can be a daily reminder of the importance of protecting our environment.