Specifier Review

It’s time to embrace the ‘living wall’ years

Ellina Webb looks at some of the most successful examples of living walls in the UK

Over the past few years the number of buildings with living walls both internally and on the external facade has grown in popularity.

Not only do they look nice but they also help to regulate indoor temperature, combat external air pollution, absorb rainwater and increase biodiversity.

So what are the most successful examples of living walls across the UK urban landscape and do they have more benefits than we first thought?

The benefits of a living wall

The insulation levels and air tightness of buildings is a concept that continues to gain emphases in the built environment. Reducing running costs, maintaining indoor air temperatures and blocking out pollutants are some of the many things that our buildings need to comply with in order to be premium stock; and living walls are a great way to achieve a number of these.

Foliage around a building acts as an insulation jacket, allowing buildings to stay warmer in winter and colder in summer; in fact tests have shown temperature differences of up to 17C between hard and vegetated surfaces. Furthermore, due to these energy changes in buildings that have a living wall, this solar radiation which is absorbed by the plants (transferring it into sensible and latent heat) can actually combat Urban Heat Island; an issue which I have previously spoken about here.

“A green living wall not only has the potential to keep a building colder in summer, it can also absorb solar radiation making its cooling potential a game changer in Urban Heat Islands like central London”.

Living walls are also proving to be great for wellbeing as greenery can provide uplifting and calming effects on people, reducing stress and purifying air so illness levels are reduced. Green space has also proven to increase workspace productivity, as I have explored previously here.

Living walls are also a great way to protect a building from wind and weather and are visual indicators of sustainable design, which can often help with planning permission.

This article was originally featured on The Hub. To continue reading visit: https://les.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/the-hub/embrace-livingwalls