GREEN LIVING ROOFS AND WALLS
GREEN LIVING ROOFS
A green or living roof consists of a vegetative layer grown on a rooftop. Green roofs offer a wide range of benefits.
Benefits and advantages
- Naturally cools down the inside of the house, reducing the cost of air-condition
- Reduces the cost of heating
- Reduces city “heat island” effect
- Freshens and cools the air
- Reduces smog and improves air quality
- Reduces noise pollution
- Reduces the effects of climate change
- Creates negative ions, the “vitamins of the air”
- Expands life of the roof by two, three times (up to 60 years)
- Filters the rain water so that it turns into ground water that is free from pollution and acid
- Storm water management
- Transforms dead space into garden space
- Provides habitat for a variety of birds and insects
- Improves aesthetics
GREEN LIVING WALLS
Surround yourself with green
Living green walls are a surefire way to enhance a building’s visual impact, add extra insulation, improve air quality as well as the alertness and energy levels of its inhabitants. A notable increase in city populations as well as cars has led to a considerable uptick in air pollution and loss of green spaces. Living green walls (also commonly referred to as vertical gardens or living walls) are a wonderful solution for any property interested in improving their space with intrinsic benefits of nature.
Living green walls infuse interiors with life-renewing greenery. They offer an inspirational and aesthetically intriguing natural boost to the emotional wellbeing of the people living inside these walls. Whether they are installed on the exterior or interior of a building, the structures of living, breathing plant life create the “wow factor” so many interior designers seek while championing sustainability. You can even grow food in your living walls, adding an extra benefit.
Natural air filtration
Living green walls make a breathtaking statement by creating alluring and inviting environments. They are as equally impressive in appearance as they are purveyors of good health; the plants in the walls work as a natural air-filtration system that building occupants can enjoy. Both in offices and at home, inhabitants are often exposed to air toxins such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, VOCs and benzene. Living green walls metabolize harmful toxins while releasing oxygen into the workplace air, much like plants but on a much larger scale. Health and productivity get a boost. Instead of breathing in toxic air, picture yourself greeted by a green lush environment while savoring the soothing effects of being around an abundance of foliage and life giving air.
An emerging trend in green design, these vertically sprawling gardens of green are springing to life across the world on the exteriors of skyscrapers, in hotel lobbies, office reception areas, homes, rooftops and more.
The LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council is an internationally recognized green building certification system to help convert the design, operation and construction of buildings into eco-friendly properties. The installation of living green walls can earn buildings LEED points which, in turn, helps to increase a property’s value by creating a favorable perception of a structure with an improved carbon footprint.
Energy Cost Reduction
The interior and exterior living green walls function to cool the air in the warmer summer months by a process known as “evapotranspiration.” The winter months see the added advantage of building insulation thus reducing energy costs for heating the building. Exterior living green walls can reduce wall surface temperatures by as much as 50 degrees °F, resulting in significant energy savings and air conditioning costs.
Noise Level Reduction
One of the lesser known benefits of living green walls, the structures can reduce noise levels in buildings. Plants have been used, throughout the world, to reduce noise along roads and highways. Living green walls expand on this concept as vegetation ‘naturally’ blocks high frequency sounds while the supporting structure can help to diminish low frequency noise. Living green walls act as extra insulation with a layer of air between the plants and the wall. They also reduce noise levels by reflecting, refracting as well as absorbing acoustic energy.
Green walls can be turned into vertical gardens, be it by planting flowers or vegetables. Imagine having your own edible wall.
- Reduces urban heat island effect and smog
- Cleans outside air of pollutants and dust and offsets the carbon footprint of people and fuel emissions
- Cleans interior air space by removing VOCs and other harmful toxins like benzene and formaldehyde
- Acts as a sound proofing barrier
- Soil and plants are a natural filter that can clean the water that flows through the wall
- Insulates and cools the building envelope, as well as protecting it from the elements
- Creates habitats for birds and beneficial insects, increasing biodiversity
- Can be used for growing food in urban settings, creating sustainable and local control of food sources
- Increases real estate value
- Increases foot traffic in retail spaces
- Speeds recovery time for patients through biophilia
- Helps children with ADHD focus better in school
- Reduces absenteeism in the workplace and boosts employee morale
- Qualifies for LEED certification points from USGBC