8 Fascinating Facts You Might Not Know About Living Walls

Living walls, vertical gardens, green walls, wall gardens — no matter what you call them, there’s no denying that these lush, eco-friendly works of art are becoming more popular than ever. From retail stores and corporate offices to special events and even residential homes, requests for living walls have skyrocketed due in part to their natural beauty, environmentally conscious design and ability to be customized.

Of course, it’s no secret that these vertical gardens can beautify a space or enhance your decor. But did you know that the first living wall can be traced back to the 1930s or that an indoor living wall can help reduce energy costs? In truth, living walls are as intriguing as they are lovely to look at, with many benefits that go beyond their outward appeal. That’s why we dug a little deeper to bring you eight fascinating facts you might not know about living walls.

  1. The first green wall can be traced back to 1938.

We often think of living walls as a modern-day trend, but the very first implementation of these structures can be traced back to Stanley Hart White, a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois. In 1938, White patented a “Vegetation-Bearing Architectonic Structure and System.” While his invention didn’t progress beyond a few prototypes in his backyard, a French botanist named Patrick Blanc, along with architect Adrien Fainsilber and engineer Peter Rice, implemented the first successful indoor living wall in 1986 at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris.

  1. Living walls can decrease stress in the workplace.

Chronic stress is a major problem for many Americans and contributes to a whole range of harmful side effects including headaches, depression, high blood pressure and more. Another side effect? Decreased productivity in the workplace. That’s why many companies are turning to holistic approaches to help combat employee stress, one of which involves adding plants or green spaces to indoor office environments. According to the World Green Building Council, 68% of businesses that have a living wall report happier employees and stronger client relations. Click here to learn more about how living walls can help decrease stress in the workplace.

  1. They can absorb CO2and VOCs.

Plants act as natural carbon dioxide filters, so it stands to reason that an entire wall of lush, leafy greens can do wonders for your indoor air quality. Plants, through photosynthesis, synthesize food by absorbing sunlight, CO2and water. In exchange, they release clean, healthy oxygen into the air. They also absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that can lead to unpleasant symptoms like headaches, allergies, and nausea. Learn more about the health benefits of plants here.

  1. The tallest indoor green wall is 213 feet high.

Design firm Green Over Grey created the tallest indoor vertical garden in the world at the Desjardins building in Lévis, Quebec. Dubbed “The Currents,” the installation reaches 213 feet high, spans a total area of 2,139 square feet, and is comprised of 11,000 individual plants.

  1. You can rent or lease a living wall for special events.

Think incorporating a living wall into your event will break the bank? Think again! If you’re looking to add a little something special to your wedding or corporate gathering, renting is the way to go. By renting a living wall, you can enjoy its beauty for the duration of your event and only pay for that time.

  1. Vertical gardens can include a variety of different plants.

From dense tropical plants to dainty succulents and soft mosses, living walls can be customized to your heart’s content. Typically, plants are selected based on a few factors, including: growing tolerance, site and light conditions and visual appeal. A few favorites? Ferns, low shrubs, perennial flowers, herbs and succulents are among the most common.

  1. Green walls can reduce energy costs.

Summer or winter, indoor vertical gardens can help you save on energy costs. Living walls act as a barrier of sorts, preventing heat from entering during the summer and leaving during the winter. This makes it easier for your HVAC system to regulate the temperature year-round.

  1. There are several different types of living wall systems.

Vertical gardens often seem to defy gravity, but in fact are supported by cleverly designed systems that hold the plants in place. Depending on the project location, size and type of plants used, living walls are typically constructed using three methods: panels, trays or freestanding wall systems. Panel systems feature plants that are pre-grown into panels and can typically be used inside or out. Tray systems are popular for indoor/outdoor displays and consist of pre-grown plants that are inserted into the trays. Freestanding walls are most commonly used for events, trade shows, wedding or temporary venues.

Ultimately, living walls have a fascinating story to tell and can bring beauty, health benefits and more to any space imaginable. Want to learn more about living walls? See how we work or contact us todayto get started on your very own vertical garden.

Image: Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures. link

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