Living Walls Support Air Quality improvement initiatives in cities
Research highlights the superior ability of living walls to benefit air quality. The nature of city landscapes creates ‘street canyons’ which trap pollution at street level, living walls can increase the deposition rate of harmful particulate matter by as much as 40% of nitrogen dioxide and 60% when planted correctly.
SAP selects the best plants to trap particulate matter (PM) to improve the health and well-being of city residents.
Living walls create a WOW factor unrivalled by other interior or exterior finishes. They are not only beautiful but also help companies communicate green credentials to their customers. Championed by well- known retailers, hoteliers and commercial businesses – green walls demonstrate a company’s sustainability targets and corporate social responsibility.
Living Walls reduce the urban heat island effect
High urban temperatures are caused by the increased capacity of the urban land surface (eg. roads, buildings, pavements) to absorb and trap heat. This causes our city temperatures to be up to 10c higher than rural areas, resulting in the Urban Heat Island effect.
Adding living walls and green roofs to urban structures mimics the conditions presented in rural surroundings, evapo-transpiration from plants mitigates the urban heat island effect and makes cities more comfortable places to live in the summer months by both reducing temperatures and dust in the air.
‘Green facades effectively remove 50% of solar radiation. In summer vegetated roofs can be up to 50c cooler than conventional roofs.’ – Arup Green Buildings
Living Walls Provide Great Insulation
Living walls keep buildings cool in the summer and warmer in the winter – creating proven energy efficiencies. The product research and development programme undertaken at the University of Sheffield specifically included research into the thermal benefits of living walls. This year long study exposed irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of living walls to cool buildings in the summer and insulate buildings in the winter.
Improved urban biodiversity
Living walls can ‘mimic’ biodiversity in areas where green has been stripped away and replaced with the built environment, supporting insects and birdlife. SAP offers a bug habitat to all of our living wall clients to further promote the message of the benefits that living walls bring to urban environments.
Living wall structures can reduce noise levels in buildings. Plants are regularly used to reduce noise on motorways and within urban environments. Living walls reduce noise levels by reflecting, refracting as well as absorbing acoustic energy. This further assists with reducing stress in working environments leading to happier healthier staff and improved staff retention.
‘Green facades can absorb traffic noise reducing sound levels by up to 10 decibels’ –Arup – Green Buildings
Living walls are absorbent along-with green roofs and rain gardens – absorption helps to slow down rain water run-off, making urban areas less prone to flash flooding.