Archive April, 2013

(II) Vertical gardens

12 April, 2013 No Comments

“Vertical gardens” are some sort of ecologic insulation for the building, adding more value to the facades or their interior. This type of garden can increase the property’s value.

Vertical gardening projects have been Bay-south-Singapore-1developed by teams of botanists, architects, designers and engineers, with the aim of reshaping urban spaces.

Their goal is to ​​decorate a home, an office, to provide a greater amount of oxygen to an area, or embellishing a facade, but always with the use of creativity.

The driver of “Vertical gardens” for more than 30 years has been the botanist Patrick Blanc (famous for its achievements worldwide).

Let’s take a look at an interesting contribution that was made during the Singapore Garden Festival by the Gardens By the Bay Project (shown in the following images), which built 18 artificial Supertrees, 25-50 meters high, each one covered with almost 200 species of plants. The supertrees also function as exhaust vents for the conservatories and as dining spaces.

One of the greatest vertical garden in the world is located in the Italian shopping center of Fiordaliso, Milan, embracing more than 40,000 plants.

garden 3It is particularly in the buildings covered by these vertical gardens where one could appreciate the difference of what we call “active walls”; which are those that join the building’s own air circulation system. There are a number of fans that blow air through the wall which then make this air to circulate inside the building, and thus increasing the oxygen levels. This system helps heal the so-called “sick buildings”.

This is a building they built in Vancouver.

garden 6
As we have seen in the photos above, the appearance is that of a regular garden, except that it’s in a vertical position. These buildings are usually developed in places where there is little or NO space to design normal gardens.

How it’s done?

The garden is planted on a wall using different sheets of a fibrous material anchored to the wall with coconut fiber substrate for the roots to grow. There are several techniques to develop these gardens: hydroponic, modular, sphagnum, pre-planted, etc

* Hydroponic system: the compost is administered to plants through substances in the irrigation process. The roots grow in an inert environment: nonwoven felt (polyamide, polyester ..) rockwool, and technical foams.

* Vertical substrate: the roots grow in a granular medium with organic percentage. The substrate mixture of perlite, arlita is quite high in order to achieve aeration, drainage and water retention. Nutrients are administered through irrigation.

For these gardens, the life of its plants will depend upon the interaction between water and the substrate.

(I) Vertical Gardens

12 April, 2013 No Comments

We describe the “ecological urbanism” concept as the trend of eco-construction. Environmental protection and energy management are increasingly a global concern. “Vertical gardens” create green spaces within the cities, covering building’s facades, divisor walls, hotel courtyards and a wide range of possibilities.

There is a difference betgreeenwall iiween traditional green walls and vertical gardens that are self-sufficient:

On one hand, green walls are those covered with climbing plants such as ivy or bougainvillea, whose roots are spread within the ground, from which they get the water and food to grow up. These plants use the wall as a support to grow taking many years to cover it all. Climbing plants may damage the wall or create humidity problems in the building’s foundations, given the thickness of its roots.

On the other hand, vertical gardens can be found inside or outside a building, consisting of a wide variety of species that receive the water and nutrients from the wall, rather than directly from the ground. To prevent moisture from reaching the walls, designers chose to place a galvanized structure as a base leaving a space of 2 to 5 cm between the wall and the centers of plants to create a ventilation channel.

These gardens can complement urban architecture by displaying walls full of color that may vary as the vegetation grows, thus altering the initial greenwallexterior and interior design.

In his contribution to the environment we see that vertical gardens:

* Are decontaminating gardens. The concentration of plants can vary from 30-45 per m2, being able to balance air pollution by giving back cleaner air. Plants store CO2 and then filter it, allowing them to treat a volume of greenhouse gases greater than that issued by the building. The irrigation system is adapted to the climate conditions in which the building is located usually resulting in less water consumption.

* Isolate the building from the outside noise by creating a vegetable wall between the street and the building.

* Improve the building’s thermal conditions by maintaining cooler temperatures in the summer.