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Green Walls

“Green Walls” or “Vertical Gardens” are descriptive terms used to refer to all forms of vegetated wall surfaces. Green wall technologies may be divided into two major categories: Green Facades and Living Walls. For detailed information on the considerations for Green Facade technology, please download the following greenscreen® resources:

pdf_icon Considerations for Advanced Green Facade Design white paper
pdf_icon greenscreen® Guidelines for Green Facade Plant Selection
pdf_icon greenscreen® Guidelines for Green Facade Plant Installation
pdf_icon greenscreen® Guidelines for Green Facade Maintenance

Green Facades

Green Facades are a type of green wall technology whereby climbing plants (vines and shrubs) are trained and maintained to cover specially designed supporting trellis structures. Plants are rooted at the base of these structures, in the ground, in intermediate planters or even on rooftops. Green Facades can be anchored to new construction, existing walls or built as freestanding structures, such as fences or columns.

Types of Green Facade technology

  • Tension Cable and Cable Net
  • Two Dimensional Wire Grid
  • Three Dimensional Wire Grid (Welded and Woven)
  • Planters with Trellis

Considerations for Green Facade technology

Design, installation and maintenance considerations for green facades vary by system type selected and are influenced by the conditions in the built and natural environment.

  • Attachment to building envelope – how the system will be secured to the building or freestanding structure.
  • Calculation of structural loads for larger systems, resulting from loads such as snow, ice, plants, and wind.
  • Plant selection for wind and light exposure, hardiness zones, and amenity context.
  • Realistic expectations related to plant aesthetics and growth – some systems require 2 to 4 years to become fully established.
  • Plant maintenance and/or long term maintenance plan to secure the health of these living systems, including proper soil and irrigation considerations.
  • Check with manufacturers who may have certified or specially trained installers that will be able to complete the project successfully.
  • Appropriate plant selection for the geographic region, correct plant spacing for desired coverage, and release from the temporary support structure used by the nursery.

Living Walls

Living wall systems are composed of pre-vegetated panels, vertical modules or planted mats that are mounted vertically to a structural wall or frame. These panels can be made of stainless steel, plastic, expanded polystyrene, synthetic fabric, clay, metal, and concrete, and support a great diversity and density of plant species (e.g. a lush mixture of groundcovers, ferns, low shrubs, perennials and edible plants).

Types of Living Wall technology

  • Fabric Hydroponic
  • Modular Fabric Hydroponic
  • Pre-vegetated Fabric Panels
  • Fabric Soil Containers
  • Modular Soil Based Panels
  • Modular Soil Boxes
  • Fabric Hydroponic Biofiltration Wall

Considerations for Living Wall technology

Design, installation and maintenance considerations for Living Walls vary by system type selected and are influenced by the conditions in the built and natural environment.

  • Irrigation (establishing appropriate levels of watering and appropriate levels of nutrients).
  • Plants correctly specified by landscape architects, landscape designers and horticulturalists for hardiness zone and geographic location.
  • Consideration of the microclimates that may have different impacts on one part of a living wall relative to another (e.g. varying light, heat, humidity conditions).
  • Growing medium must be designed to sustain chosen plants and to provide the correct nutritional needs.
  • Interior applications need to determine correct light for plant survival.
  • Check with manufacturers who may have registered or specially trained installers that will be able to complete the project successfully.
  • Maintenance programs are required to maintain plant health and long term management of plant growth.

For more information on Green Walls, please download the following resource:

pdf_icon Introduction to Green Walls: Technology, Benefits and Design

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