People have been talking about ‘living walls’ for a while now and they’re rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, they have now become the latest design trend in the modern sustainability movement.
75 Years of Green Walls
Living walls, also called vertical gardens or eco-walls, are panels of plants that are grown vertically either on free-standing structures or on structures directly attached to a wall. Breath-taking to view and providing impressive health benefits, green walls have become so popular in the last few years that you might think this is a new concept but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Green walls were in fact first patented back in the 30s – in 1938 to be exact by Stanley Hart White. Green walls didn’t become famous for another 70 years however, when Patrick Blanc created his show-stopping Vegetal wall installation at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.
But what makes them so special? And why do people love them that much? Beautifying any type of environment with their great design features is undoubtedly a first good explanation. However, there is more to living green walls than meets the eye.
Good for the Environment
As you may know, plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen-rich air, which is why they are essential to our survival on this planet. What less people know however is that plants also help to filter the air by absorbing and removing pollutants.
It has been proven that green infrastructures help improve the air quality in urban street canons where you typically find high percentages of air pollutants. Green walls can reduce the air contamination in such places by a whopping 40 to 60%!
Easy on the Eyes and Ears
But this is not all – living green walls also help to reduce energy costs as they provide a very good insulation system, which also helps to reduce noise levels. Plants have long been used for such means along noisy roadways as they naturally block high frequency sounds, while the structure of a green wall helps to reduce low-frequency sounds too. In an urban environment, this can have a major impact.
This exceptional combination of beautiful design and great health benefits is what makes living walls so appealing. It has taken time, but they are finally recognized as excellent features to enhance our urban environment. Some people even think that they might be the key to our survival in urban places in the future! What do you think?