North Americans are starting to focus a lot more on the quality of the air inside of homes and buildings, realizing that a lot of the population has a career that keeps them in a building all day. A lot of buildings have great air circulation system with filters and air cleaners, but one of the latest trends in air cleaning is green walls.
Green walls are growing in popularity in office building foyers. They provide a bold entrance into a building by adding a mix of flowers and lush foliage and they act as a natural biofilter and clean the air of toxins and allergens. Green walls will greatly reduce VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), used in the building materials like; paint, plywood, carpet, and fabrics.
There are three types of green walls; loose media, Mat media, and structural media. Loose media system is some sort of a container or a group of small pockets that hang from a wall or structure that is filled with soil and then planted. This type of wall is usually used in a smaller setting and can get very messy because of the soil that will seep out of the containers and run down the wall. The soil will need changing every two years and will require hand watering.
Mat media is the second type of green wall, a wall is built up to ten feet tall and then covered with layers of felt mats or coir fibre and then planted.Mat media walls can only support the root system for up to five years, after that the roots get so dense that the water cannot get deep into the mat and just runs down the wall. Over time the plants and roots will get heavy and can pull off the wall. This type of set up is clean because of the lack of soil, but more expensive to build because a hydroponic system will be required for watering.
The third type of green wall is structural mat, which is made up of modular blocks of growing media, that can be stacked up and can reach heights of fifteen feet or higher, if proper structure is in place. These blocks can be individually customized for different plants growing requirements. Structural media walls can last up to fifteen years and are the best choice of wall construction but most expensive. The best thing about green walls is that they can be made to fit any size of wall and can be installed almost anywhere in an office as long as lighting requirements are met. Here is a list of plants that can be used in the construction of green walls: Rubber plant, Snake plant, Golden pathos, Croton, Maidenhair fern, Dragon plant, and Peace lily.
For more on green walls, please contact
Eric Olfert, Owner / Construction Coordinator
Tree Amigos Landscaping Inc.