Construction projects getting creative with living walls
With a shortage of green space in many metro areas plus a growing air pollution problem, a number of contractors around the world are implementing “living walls” into their designs to lift moods and combat pollution, an article in CNBC says.
Living roofs have been a growing design trend for the last decade, but now contractors are devising systems that allow them to create vertical green spaces on buildings as well, such as the five-story wall being erected in London on a building near the River Thames. Made of compost and recycled aluminum, the wall consists of honeycomb-type compartments made from recycled steel girders and is expected to be completed next year.
In Milan, a residential complex of two towers reaches high into the sky, covered with trees and vegetation. The project is called Bosco Verticale, which means vertical forest, and it is a landmark design inspiring green projects like it elsewhere.
In Sheffield, England, contractors created a 200-foot-long living wall between an elementary school and a busy road to absorb pollution from the roadway, officials say. “Leading the scientific research on the project is María del Carmen Redondo Bermúdez, a PhD student at the University of Sheffield’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures,” the CNBC article says. “In a phone interview, she told CNBC that the barrier had “two key layers.”
‘One is an ivy wall, an ivy fence … wrapping all around the playground and then … inside the playground, we have certain types of conifers, we have certain types of bamboo,” she explained, describing these as “feature plants that are blocking and capturing pollution.’
In a statement issued last November, when the installation of the barrier was announced, she referenced a third layer of shrubs and herbaceous plants that were described as being “able to catch particulates, whilst also looking attractive.”
In the United States, living walls are becoming more common, particularly in residential building projects. Often used on the interior of buildings such as hotels or office buildings, a growing number of contractors have devised methods for installing them outdoors as well.