kokobo greenscapes continuously provides our clients with the highest quality in plant materials, craftsmanship, design experience, horticultural and construction knowledge, as well as superb service while incorporating a safe and fun environment for our clients and staff alike. Our services include complete Interior and Exterior Design/Build, Landscape Maintenance, Custom Carpentry and Stonework, Plant Rentals, and Holiday Decorations.
Tag Archive for Exterior Greenwalls
A growing number of small urban spaces are creating landscaped gardens that stretch beyond floor pots, with greenery growing upwards along walls and fences.
This new trend toward ‘vertical gardens’ is renewing apartments, offices and restaurants inviting greenery to flourish in small spaces.
Vertical gardens, also referred as ‘eco walls’ or ‘green walls’, are bringing practical and aesthetic value to both domestic and commercial spaces. Along with their environmental benefits, plants and greenery can also improve air quality and promote health and wellness.
This sustainable form of architecture also supports the biophilia hypothesis, a suggestion that there is an innate connection between human beings and living systems.
According to Susan McCoy of the U.S. based trend-spotting Garden Media Group, this new generation of gardeners is composed of environmentally-conscious Gen X and Gen Y types who believe the power of plants and regard plants is “no longer a luxury, but a necessity for our lives.”
Plants can be arranged on the side of a building, on fences and walls both internally and externally. When placed strategically, vertical gardens make for great design features and are considered alternatives for wall art.
Walls and fences should be structurally strong to grow a vertical garden as they’re generally designed to be permanent structures. It is advised that professionals versed in engineering, design, building regulations, draining and horticulture be the ones to install them.
In terms of design, some organizations offer vegetated panels that can be attached or plants that can be placed in decorative containers in a grid-inspired format along the wall. Choosing vegetation for garden installation should be based on location and maintenance requirements.
For ease of maintenance, it is advisable to have a built-in irrigation system and a good drainage system nearby. Vertical gardens generally require self-watering irrigation systems, as manual hosing will result in water simply running into the ground. Hydroponic watering systems can also be installed to keep plants fed and fresh.
Installing a vertical garden inside is a great way to connect an interior space with nature. Interior greenery requires a little more attention as adequate lighting and ventilation may need to be installed. The wall and surrounding areas should also be waterproofed and actively kept dry.
Commercially, plants are being invited into offices, restaurants and high-end hotels.
“With most large offices having few windows and little natural light, insightful office managers often use plants to bring freshness and colour to the office environment, but the benefits go further than this. Research strongly suggests that plants can result in improved well-being among staff, increased productivity and improved air quality,” said UK psychologist Dr Craig Knight.
Covering a building wall can keep the wall insulated, alleviate pollution and provides a shield to the building materials from elements like the sun.
In New York, architect Laurence Tamaccio is proposing to cover the West Side Highway – the divider between Riverside Park South and the Hudson River – with a leafy vertical ivy garden and aligning waterfalls. He believes his Vine Line proposal will become a source of pride for the entire community and revamp the area aesthetically.
Near Milan, meanwhile, a shopping centre is claiming to have the biggest vertical garden in the world, with 1,263 square metres adorned with a total of 44,000 plants. It was designed by architect Francesco Bollani who said “it took us a year to grow the plants in a greenhouse and 90 days to build the facade.”
Built environments bring with them many detrimental consequences including high energy costs for heating and cooling, hard surfaces that contribute to higher city temperatures, stormwater runoff, degraded air quality and noise. However, emerging technology is turning many buildings green with significant human and environmental benefits.
During the past few years there has been a trend towards greening built environments, transforming office spaces and walls into living vegetation. Referred to as greenwalls, living walls, biowalls and vertical gardens, they are either free-standing or part of a building, that is partially or completely covered with vegetation. Many greenwalls use innovative hydroponics technology. These building adaptations are designed to mimic the growing conditions found where greenwalls occur in nature.
The concept of greenwalls dates back to 600 BC with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. And now they are making a comeback to green city buildings. Interior and exterior greenwalls can now be found in airports, shopping centres, office buildings and homes around the world, including New York, Montreal, Chicago, Mexico City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Australia.
From a practical point of view, greenwalls reduce building temperatures, and help alleviate ‘sick building syndrome’ (SBS), which is related to poor indoor air quality. However, the immediate benefit of a greenwall is its incredible beauty, bringing the outside inside for building occupants. Greenwalls are also said to improve property values!
Internationally, the trend towards ‘greening’ buildings is gaining momentum. Green roofs not only radically reduce stormwater runoff and therefore the cost of disposal, they also provide greater insulation for a building, prolong the life of the roof membrane and reduce noise penetration.
They are also great to look at and use, increasing the worth of the real estate they are on and viewed by.
KOKOBO GREENSCAPES uses award-winning design techniques, passion and expertise in horticulture in residential and commercial projects to bring greenwalls to a new level of integration within the built environment.