The Hanging Gardens of Babylon may never have existed, but the idea of a building draped in lush green foliage and bright flowers has fascinated landscape architects for centuries.
Modern technology has made towering vertical gardens a reality, thanks to hydroponic timed watering and modern steel structures.
Proponents claim that green walls not only add beauty to otherwise blank expanses, but also foster better indoor air quality, help maintain health and wellness and promote energy savings.
Wellness for Buildings and People
Two green wall designers at Greenbuild in October discussed the impact exterior green walls, or vertical gardens, have on the air-conditioning load within the home. According to Gsky, studies published in 1979 revealed that the heat energy that passed through a Green Wall was significantly lower than a concrete wall.
Plants lose water through a process called evapotranspiration, which lowers the surrounding air and building temperature. Bare walls contribute to heat conduction inside the building, making the interior temperature rise (link to greenbuild hvac article). Exterior green walls can also reduce AC loads by reducing the wall temperature by 10 degrees Celsius.
Gsky also says its green walls positively affect 27 of 51 LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Credits.
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