Living Walls FAQ

Lately, the idea of green walls has become very fashionable. Either part of a building or free standing, this sustainable innovation is healthy and great to look at. Also known as living walls, these vertical gardens are packed with flora that benefits everything from our lungs to our ears!

Let’s have a detailed look into the benefits of green walls and then find out how to install your very own green wall at home…

Lately, the idea of green walls has become very fashionable. Either part of a building or free standing, this sustainable innovation is healthy and great to look at. Also known as living walls, these vertical gardens are packed with flora that benefits everything from our lungs to our ears. Let’s have a detailed look into the benefits of green walls and then find out how to install your very own green wall at home…

Improved Air Quality

It has been scientifically proven that foliage can improve air quality. Indeed, the Amazon rainforest is often referred to as ‘the lungs of the world’.

A green wall will help to vastly improve the quality of air in any environment. It acts as a natural air filter, purifying the polluted air whilst releasing clean oxygen. If installed in an office environment, the presence of green walls can lead to greater employee productivity and overall health, since cleaner air leads to better concentration, healthier employees and fewer sick days.

Excellent Aesthetics

No one who has seen a green wall close up can say that they’re not impressive, especially the larger-scale ones such as Patrick Blanc’s Parisian creations. We’re simply not used to seeing gardens grow upwards, so it catches our eye!

Excellent for the home or the office, a green wall can turn any dull and dreary room into an inviting and alluring environment. This can be great for creating a good first impression on your clients when they visit your business. Or, if you want to give your home a nice colourful touch, it will add some green to your own four walls and be a great talking point when you have guests over.

Reduced Energy Costs

In the Western world, and America in particular, we love air conditioning. However, the costs can be astronomical. Did you know however than installing a green wall acts as a natural air conditioner, balancing humidity levels in the process to keep us comfortable.

Through a process known as evapotranspiration, the air surrounding the green wall is naturally cooled. In winter, a green wall on the outside of a building acts as insulation, reducing the need for costly heating too.

Reduced Noise Levels

You might be wondering how can a bunch of plants help to reduce noise levels! It is one of the lesser-known benefits of a green wall, reducing background noise in loud, communal dining areas, or reducing noise pollution from traffic on busy main roads.

The foliage absorbs and reflects the noise that comes its way, so if there’s a room in your home you want to make as peaceful and relaxing as possible, a living green wall can help – and that’s not to mention the general sense of calm and well-being that comes from being around greenery!

Wall Planters and Wall Plants

As a green wall installer I’m always reading up on the latest developments in living wall technologies. I recently read a book called Wall Planters and Wall Plants, Practical guide to vertical gardening, by Nicholas Jenkins. The tag line is Wall planters indoor and outdoor, vertical planting systems, DIY, planting, pots and plants, decor and ideas, all included.

If the title and tag line seem a little all over the place, then they are a good indication of the book itself. It attempts to give beginner advice on installing green walls. But it is disorganized and unclear.

living walls
A good try at explaining living walls that falls short
My main criticism is that it gives many variations on building living wall installations – pots, soil, artificial growing medium, air plants, yet nowhere is there a diagram. I’m a professional green wall installer and I had a hard time following his instructions on how to build a green wall.

Installing a living wall is not rocket science but you need the visual. You can’t simply write a description of how to build the green wall. You need diagrams of how the watering is hooked up, how the growing media is applied etc.

Even what he does write is not always easy to understand. Take this comment:

Make sure that the components of the system are of the right size; otherwise, when there is a rapid change in the pressure and velocity of the fluid (water), the dissolved air can precipitate and cause damages similar to those caused by cavitations.

What?? Say again?? I don’t know about you but I hate cavitations. They hurt like hell.

On the other hand the book has over simplistic instructions. There is a section called, “Be vigilant around electricity,” and another titled, “Always Handle Toxic Chemicals with Care.” Really? I never knew!

Anyone who knows what caviations means probably knows how to be safe around electricity. Bottom line, your average DIY person is going to be confused on one hand and bored on the other by this book.

As a living wall installer I managed to get some use out of the book. He has some good suggestions for recirculating pumps. I just skimmed over the rest. Overall though, I can’t say I would recommend this book to anyone, laymen or professionals alike.