Green has been the in-vogue colour for new developments for several years and it looks like it will remain that way. Of course it’s not the colour green, but the concept of adding living foliage to buildings which, due to the increasingly accepted fact that we need to be more sustainable in our buildings, has become increasingly an increasingly commonplace technique.
With open green spaces in urban conurbations reducing as buildings, roads and hard surfacing increase, it is crucial that we find ways to ensure that flora is incorporated in some way. Plants have a vital role to play in tackling pollution, reducing ambient temperature, and encouraging insects, birds and animals that are important to even the urban environment. But with lack of floor space, one obvious solution is to think vertically instead of laterally, because we have a great deal of square footage of wall space that can, and should, be used.
The idea of living walls and cultivating plants on the sides of buildings is both well established and extremely effective, and it invariably delivers a stunning effect. Yet there are other ways in which vertical structures can be quickly and easily introduced.
Fencing and boundary walls are the obvious areas in which designers should be considering a green approach. Green Screens are, as the name suggests, robust and secure wire fencing that features plants – typically ivy. Quick and easy to install, Green Screens become more verdant over time and can be installed free standing or up against existing brick and stone walls. They can even be attached to walls above ground to create a living wall.
Green Screens have found a range of uses; from narrow footprint fencing around residential developments, public parks and car parks; to security fencing around schools, hospitals and council buildings; to central reservations along dual carriageways; and of course private developments. They can even be installed free standing on balconies and patios. Their versatility, robustness and ease of installation are their big advantages.
The ivy used in Green Screens requires minimal maintenance, and as well as helping to improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and airborne particulates, also serves to attract bees and other insects. The benefits of plants in tackling the ‘heat island effect’ in build-up areas is well understood. For designers looking to green their developments, Green Screens present a remarkably easy and effective solution.
For more information on the Mobilane Green Screens, as well as details on other Mobilane living systems visit www.mobilane.co.uk.