Living walls are a great way of bringing greenery into the workplace and making a statement with your décor, even if you have a limited amount of floorspace.
Enabling the plants to become a part of your building, installing a living wall on your premises is a sure-fire way of bringing colour and interest indoors. Additionally, unlike ‘traditional’ indoor plants (which need to be kept on a flat surface), living walls are fitted to the wall with a unique bracket system. This means that they’re versatile enough to be installed in a range of premises, including corporate offices, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, hospitals, and educational facilities.
Fitted to the wall with a unique bracket system that enables your plants and foliage to thrive, a living wall provides a lush display all-year-round with very little maintenance. When you choose a living wall from phs Greenleaf, the watering system will last for up to 4 weeks, and our technicians will complete regular maintenance visits to ensure it always looks its best.
However, a living wall doesn’t just look great; it also brings the same great benefits as traditional office plants. This means that they improve air quality by reducing CO2, as well as the levels of
bacteria, dust, mould, and everyday toxins (such as formaldehyde), which can cause you to feel unwell. Indoor plants are also proven to be mood boosters, and they absorb ambient noises, and improve your memory and concentration.
Want to create an eye-catching display, and improve your building’s ambience with a living wall? Find out everything you need to know with phs Greenleaf’s guide to living walls from Libby Sprason, the Creative Lead at Greenleaf DesignSpace…
What is a living wall, exactly? How does it work?
Put simply, a living wall is a system of vertical planting that uses live rooted plants in one of several methods. The key is keeping the plants’ roots accessible to a water source, and planting appropriate plant varieties to match the situation on-site, such as the light levels and temperature (to name but a few).
To create a living wall, the plants are placed or planted into troughs or pockets in a regular pattern. This is built up to create the width and height required by the client. Water is either added by hand, or by a watering system to ensure there is the correct amount at all times. Some irrigation systems can be set on a timer, which makes the watering a less time-consuming job. However, it also ensures that the living wall has access to water on a regular basis between our maintenance visits. In this case, a drainage system is also required to take away any excess.
The plants in a living wall can also be easily replaced to ensure it never has gaps or empty spaces.
What are the main benefits of installing a living wall in your premises?
It’s a talking point for sure; the bigger the wall, the more distinctive they can look! Living walls free up valuable floor space too, so they are a better way to bring planting into the workplace if there’s a limited amount of space, whether it is an office or hospitality area.
There are also numerous health benefits, which all live plants offer in terms of removing toxins from the air we breathe and replacing this with oxygen. Not only that, but the general biophilic effect of being close to nature, creates a more relaxing and pleasant environment to work in, which results in better productivity.
It can also help reduce excessive sound bouncing around the workplace as the living wall helps act as an absorber of noise.
How do you maintain a living wall after installation?
Service visits are set at 16 per annum, which includes watering (if this isn’t plumbed in), deadheading the plants, replacing any that are failing, cleaning the foliage, and feeding the plants (if required).
Where’s the best place to put a living wall in your building?
The phs Greenleaf team can install a living wall pretty much anywhere in your building! Nonetheless, receptions, break out areas, main offices and boardrooms tend to be the most popular places due to higher pedestrian traffic numbers.
What’s the trickiest part of installing a living wall?
In some cases, assess to a high wall, as we need to ensure the living wall can be safely installed from a ladder.
Are there any special requirements for a living wall to be installed?
All we need is a secure flat wall to carry out installation on your site! If the wall is large in size, then we recommend it being set on a watering timer, which means drainage is needed. However, this is straightforward enough if the wall is close to water pipes.
What are the best plants to use in a living wall?
We recommend bushy plants, such as Spath, Asplenium, Epipremnum, Philodendron and Aglonema. These are all great options, as they give maximum coverage!
What’s the most interesting fact about living walls?
There are actually a lot of interesting things to know about living walls! Here are just a few:
- They can be installed both indoors and outdoors.
- Outdoor living walls can house all sorts of wildlife through the use of clever planting. This includes birds, butterflies, and bees!
- The inventor of the ‘green wall’ was Stanley Hart White, who was a professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois between 1922 and 1959. He developed protypes for his invention, “Botanical Bricks” in his backyard in Urbana, Illinois.
- Outdoor wall planting will help insulate your building in the winter and cool it in the summer so they not only give a fabulous aesthetic; they’re functional too!