Green walls, living walls or vertical gardens can lift an interior space or take the outside of a building to another level. Whether you choose a small pocket-planter type system or have an entire wall designed and planted there are tonnes of benefits to incorporating a green wall in your home or office space. Now more than ever floor space is precious and having gardens inside or out in many homes is a luxury, particularly in cities. Cue the vertical garden! There are many species of plants that happily grow vertically, and often without the need for soil, making a vertical garden a very appealing option for many spaces. The benefits are vast but I will focus on three in particular.
The first, and the most obvious one, is the aesthetic impact a well designed green wall can have on a space. Bringing nature into a space of hard, often man made, surfaces and materials is like breathing life into it. The right species do need to be chosen in order to thrive in the specific environment. Taking into account light (natural and artificial), airflow, temperature, and humidity of the space. With regard to the outside of a building a green wall can take a front entrance from boring to inspiring. As it changes with the seasons and as the plants grow your home will also change and develop with time.
Prior to writing this I had no idea a green wall, whether it’s inside or outside your home, will actually improve your health and well being. According to recent research our indoor environment can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoors. That is scary. Especially when the average person spends 90% of their time indoors. There is no better reason for a green wall. As we all know plants filter the air taking in toxins and releasing oxygen. You could even plant edible greens for added health benefits. A living splash back in your kitchen planted with micro-greens and herbs is a fantastic way to increase your intake of fresh organic produce and have better tasting food. Furthermore, according to Green over Grey “Studies have shown that simply having a view of greenery increases workplace productivity and having plants indoors reduces symptoms of discomfort. This decreases the number of days off due to “sickness”. Gardens that are incorporated into hospitals calm patients leading to the improvement in clinical outcomes and shortened stays.” The psychological, mental and physical benefits of being near plants inside or out are very real.
Not that you will need any more convincing but the third reason to start planning and planting is the economic benefits of a green wall. Inside or outside, a green wall can actually save you money. When planted inside green walls save energy during the summer as plants actually cool their surrounding environment. This process is known as transpiration. The more plants the bigger the temperature difference. With the many plants involved in a green wall the temperature of a room can, according to Green over Grey, be reduced anywhere from 3 to 7°C. Some studies have shown that interior green walls can cut electricity bills by up to 20%. You may be thinking ‘what about in winter?’ Well a living or green wall, when designed correctly, actually acts as extra insulation. Most systems have an additional layer of air between the plant system and the wall which reduces the amount of heat escaping and cool air coming in.
I could go on about the numerous other benefits of green walls but the aesthetic impact, purified air, a healthier mind and body and the extra cash in your pockets from reduced power bills, surely makes anything else I could possibly write superfluous.