Sean Farrell of Mobilane explains how living walls are moving from building exteriors to create healthy interiors.
It is widely accepted that greening the urban environment is a positive step towards increasing the sustainability of our built environment. Green roofs, walls and living walls have proved to enhance the aesthetics of many buildings, while reducing, carbon dioxide, particulate pollutants and balancing humidity. It was only going to be a matter of time before living walls started to transform the interiors of our buildings, just as they have the exterior landscape.
Some may find it surprising that the environment inside a building can be more polluted than outside. Inadequate air conditioning, ventilation, emissions from computers, printers and paint all contribute towards the increase of carbon dioxide and particulate pollutants. To counteract this, plants can provide defence humidity; remove carbon dioxide and particulate pollutants. The aesthetic and psychological benefits of vegetation within interiors is now well understood as research has shown plants can reduce stress, improve health, affect mood and increase productivity in the workplace.
Previously interior planting has habitually meant potted plants. While there is nothing wrong with potted vegetation, there is now a much more impressive option for those wanting to increase the level of interior planting within their buildings. Interior living walls have now started to appear in many buildings, from offices to hotels and restaurants. Interior living walls carry all of the benefits of exterior living walls, and are both quick and easy to install. The self-contained living walls require nothing more than a blank wall and an electric socket for installation and takes something which is inanimate to something which lives and breathes.
The scope for including living walls within interiors of buildings is proving to be diverse. Bespoke living walls can be ordered in nearly all sizes and shapes, different foliage can be used and they can even function as an indoor mini-allotment, growing herbs and other edible plants. It is likely we will continue to see the market expand and develop until living, breathing; interiors become a common sight.