Living walls or green walls are self-sufficient vertical gardens that are attached to the exterior or interior of a building or to a free-standing structure. They differ from green facades in that the plants root into vertically held growing media rather than back to the ground or into troughs/pots and they offer a number of benefits to the urban environment. Many existing installations appear to be primarily motivated by art and the visual impact they provide. This is important but we believe that aesthetics should be secondary to the sound ecological reasons for installing green walls. To list out a few points are:
– Provision of urban ecological habitats
– Reduction of thermal loading to buildings
– Reduction of heat island effect with less reflected heat
– Storm water attenuation
– Recharging the local hydrological cycle through evapo-transpiration from the foliage
– Air purification since plants are excellent filters of pollution
– Noise attenuation leading to less noisy buildings and streets
– Positive urban psychology
Biotecture is an abbreviation of “Biological Architecture”. Normally, the wall and roof fabric of a building can be described as a bio-membrane and we can think about many advantages of comparing a building as a living organism with its own metabolism and with external faces as having a biological interaction with the external environment. A living membrane can help to regulate the internal conditions such as temperature, air quality as well as dealing with building wastes including grey water and storm water.
A healthy and stable building that tends towards self-regulation can also have a positive psychological effect on its inhabitants. Biomass is sorely lacking in most urban environments and the simple presence of green living plants gets a positive reaction from almost everyone. As we become more and more urbanized, wildlife and ecology benefit from the use of bio-membranes, thereby increasing the life and biodiversity in a city. It is important to integrate bio-membranes into a new build, but the largest potential may lie in retrofitting bio-membranes to existing buildings as these will always comprise of the majority of building stock. The use of Biotecture living wall system could revolutionize the human urban experience.
Biotecture Ltd is an innovative UK based company and are the designer and supplier of hydroponic, modular living wall systems working with partners all over Europe and Middle East. Uniflora LLC is the sole partner of Biotecture living wall system in UAE and other GCC countries.