Living walls are an extension to the concept of green roofs. Buildings cannot just be covered on their tops by vegetation, but can have a huge variety of attractive, long-lasting, vegetation covering their walls, offering much more scope to green up the fabric of the building and the urban landscape.
They offer all the advantages of green roofs in terms of added value, water attenuation and insulation. However, since there is far more area on the sides of the building than on the rooftop, living walls can offer a far more obvious, relevant and luxurious experience to users on the ground. By surrounding ground- level walkways with fresh, natural plants, a real sense of nature can be brought to even the most restricted areas.
They are extremely attractive, highly visible and completely versatile. By covering dull grey with vibrant green, they utilise densely constructed areas to the maximum.
Wallbarn offers the very latest in living wall technology to the uk with the most flexible system on the market, suitable for both internal and external applications which can be mounted onto almost any wall.
Further details can be found in our full living wall brochure – please ask for more information.
BENEFITS OF LIVING WALLS
Environmental benefits of the living wall systems:
- Attenuation of rainwater run off
- Reduction of the Urban Heat Island Effect
- Thermal insulation
- Provides wildlife habitats
- Absorbs air pollutants and dust
- Act as noise barrier
- Beautifies otherwise barren cityscape
- Protects buildings from UV radiation
- Provides unique opportunities for design and creativity
- Movement, colour, sound and texture of plants add value to the area
- Adds value to the property
BENEFITS OF THE SYSTEM OFFERED BY WALLBARN
- Pre-grown panels for instant greening
- Hydroponic, no soil in the modules means no re-potting, compacting or overheating
- Adaptable – suitable for light or shade, internal or external applications
- Modular system means replacement / inspection is easy
- Irregular shaped walls can be fitted
- Optimum water absorption, minimum evaporation
- UV stabilised panels
- Superior thermal insulation to other systems
- Fully automated irrigation and maintenance systems available to reduce site visits and maintenance costs
- In partnership with horticultural expertise – over 20 years’ experience in design and installation
FULL DESIGN AND INSTALLATION PACKAGE BY WALLBARN:
Wallbarn provides a full service including design, planting, installation and maintenance. This includes:
Office based work to fully understand what the client wishes the living wall to look like, and how it will perform. This assessment and pre-site development gives an outline of how the living wall will be constructed.
Usually a one-day visit to consider load bearing structures, sun / wind direction, issues over shading and access to water, any plant selections which are recommended or cannot be considered at this early stage. A further site visit immediately prior to installation may also be required.
Office based work to draft detailed drawings and documentation, outlining design of load bearing frames, final selection of modules, detailed plant selection, and specification of irrigation system, irrigation level calculation and comprehensive schedule of works.
Planting of modules
Vegetation is planted into panels according to the agreed planting scheme at a rate of around 100 individual plants per m2.
Although stocks of standard planting schemes are available, for specific designs we require the modules to be grown and established for six months before installation. Living walls can never be grown and installed immediately as the plants need to be introduced to vertical plane gradually.
All construction and maintenance is carried out under strict Health & Safety and COSHH regulations. Installation is carried out according to the requirements of the manufacturer. Power and water should be supplied before installation.
A structurally sound, fully waterproofed vertical surface must be provided. If load bearing frames are required they are fixed.
Once the structural work is carried out the pre-grown panels are installed. This is a fairly quick (if delicate) process.
Profiles, gutters and flashings are fixed.
The irrigation systems will be fully tested and the living wall checked after installation to be sure everything is correct.
It is essential that a full post-installation maintenance programme is negotiated with the sale of living wall systems. Warranties will not be valid without such maintenance packages.
Specialist contractors will oversee and monitor the living wall during the critical period after installation. During these checks the irrigation lines will be fully checked to ensure it is not clogged at any point, all plants will be checked to ensure they have access to water, plants will be pruned where necessary and liquid plant feed, insecticide and fungicide will be applied as required.
Ongoing maintenance will need to be carried out over the life of the living wall system to ensure that irrigation levels are consistent and the plants are in good condition. Plants will need pruning and replacing where necessary.
Where more high-spec automated irrigation systems are in place, the hardware can be programmed to offer a higher level of maintenance. Stop valves and control switches can clear pipework during frosts, specific zones can be targeted to give different levels of fertilizer and water to certain plants, maintenance can be reduced significantly to as little as 6 monthly pruning and refilling of tanks.
The horticultural options are vast. Sedum, exotic grasses, ferns, ivy and herbs are the most common plants used. We aim to get a fair mixture of vegetation to ensure a diverse mix of textures, colours and flowers across the year.
We design the planting so that shade loving plants are respected, nothing gets overrun by aggressive species, those requiring higher or lower amounts of water and additional feed are planted in the correct place, and an overall pattern is attractive both close up and from a wider viewpoint
A variety of irrigation systems are available, from manual drip-line feeds through to fully automated, web based irrigation and maintenance systems, complete with sensors, cut-off valves and alarms.
A break-tank is required for irrigation systems as fertiliser may enter the drainage system.
Living walls require detailed planining and each installation is designed as a bespoke item. A full project manual is required for each project, including drawings, plant selection, works schedule and mainteance costings.
A detailed product description and specification including irrigation systems is available. Please contact wallbarn for more information on living walls.