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.
Improved Air Quality
Living walls breathe air into cities and purify interior air – leading to improved working environments and happier and more productive staff. The University of Lancaster found living walls to be more effective than trees at reducing nitrogen dioxide in dense urban areas with high pollution levels. This is due to the nature of city landscapes, where the tall buildings create ‘street canyons’ which trap pollution at the street level. Living walls can increase the deposition rate by as much as 40% of nitrogen dioxide and 60% for particulate matter as cleaner air from above the street canyons is introduced.
Improved Urban Biodiversity
Living walls can ‘mimic’ biodiversity in areas where green has been stripped away and replaced with the built environment. In doing so, they rebuild the support systems for insects and birdlife.
Reducing the Urban Heat Island Effect
Heat islands occur on the surface and in the atmosphere. On a hot, sunny summer day, the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F (27–50°C) hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures. Adding living walls and green roofs to urban structures mimics the conditions presented in rural surroundings, and mitigates the urban heat island effect and making cities more temperate in the summer months.
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.
Reduction of Noise Pollution
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.
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.