International Conference 2014
Meeting the Challenge of a Sustainable Urban Future: the contribution of green walls
September 4th-5th 2014
Science Centre, Staffordshire University, Leek Rd, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2DF, UK
Convenors: Professor John Dover and Mme Caroline Chiquet
The Green Wall Centre's International Conference on Green Walls in urban areas was held in September 2014 and was very successful.
Videos of the presentations will shortly be available.
Download the conference programme here (PDF, file size: 163.58KB) .
PresentationsPresentation 1. Gary Grant: Living walls – A multifunctional approach.
Presentation 2. Katia Perini, Paolo Rosasco: Vertical greening systems: social and private benefits and costs.
Presentation 3. Michelle Sanchez Brajkovic: Comparative life cycle assessment of green walls systems.
Presentation 4. Peter Vujakovic, David Powley: The walls: the importance of wall plants as part of a developing ‘sense of place’ narrative for the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Presentation 5. Ben Kimpton, James Farrell, Martin Eade: The Volks Wall – Two centuries in the life of a green wall on Brighton seafront.
Presentation 6. Luis Pérez-Urrestarazu, Gregorio Egea, Rafael Fernández-Cañero: Influence of different variables on living wall irrigation.
Presentation 7. Ross WF Cameron, Jane E Taylor, Martin R Emmett: Green Façades - How does plant choice affect wall cooling?
Presentation 8. Gabriel Pérez, Juliá Coma, Cristian Solé, Albert Castell, Luisa F. Cabeza: Vertical Greenery Systems (VGS) for energy savings in buildings.
Presentation 9. Lee Man Chu: Vertical greening in a subtropical city: System and species selection.
Presentation 10. Juri Yoshimi, Hasim Altan: An observational study on thermal benefits of green walls in the UK climate.
Presentation 11. Bernd Eisenberg: Urban climate comfort zones and microclimatic benefits of the green living room Ludwigsburg.
Presentation 12. Daniel Schönle, Hans Müller, Ferdinand Ludwig: Green wall construction and Baubotanik.
Presentation 13. Moritz Bellers, Ferdinand Ludwig: Designing climate optimized cities with Baubotanik.
Presentation 14. Arnie Rainbow: The role of green compost in sustainable growing media.
Presentation 15. Marc Grañén: Global creativity: new challenges for urban landscape.
Presentation 16. Dick Lauwerijssen: Market orientated development of green wall products.
Presentation 17. Angus Cunningham: Second generation living walls.
Presentation 18. Eloi Chuzel: Green Wall solution system by Tracer: featuring environmental benefits for urban sustainability.
Presentation 19. Agnes Petit, Laurent Daune, Robert Perroulaz, Jacques Kaufmann, Sébastien Polli, Séraphin Hirtz, Stéphane Burgos, Marco Ammon, Görge Blendermann: Skyflor® Vegetal Envelope – a new generation of living walls
Presentation 20. Maria Manso, Ana Lídia Virtudes, João Castro Gomes: Modular system design for vegetated surfaces: Integration of sustainability concerns.
Presentation 21. Patrick Blanc: High Plant Diversity: the key for sustainable Vertical Gardens in challenging situations.
Presentation 22. Caroline Chiquet, John W. Dover, Paul Mitchell: How the characteristics of living walls and green façades influence their animal biodiversity.
Presentation 23. Sophie Cohen, Philippe Gourdain: For a real integration of biodiversity in Green Wall conception and maintenance.
Presentation 24. Veronica Lawrie, Octavia Neeves: A tale of two green walls: from BREEAM to ecosystem services.
Presentation 25. Lynette Robertson: Enhancing health and wellbeing with living walls – indoors and out.
Presentation 26. Sean Farrell: The financial benefits of Green Infrastructure.
Presentation 27. Richard Sabin: The role and potential of vertical greening in sustainable cities.
01. Gary Grant
Living walls – A Multifunctional Approach
Living walls are a component of green infrastructure, along with green roofs and the ground level features like parks, trees and watercourses which have soil, vegetation and water. For living walls to be fully multi-functional and to contribute to city-wide networks of green infrastructure, they should be planned and designed so that ecosystem services are provided. This involves an understanding of the ecosystem approach, as adopted during the Earth Summit in 1992 and also consideration of the principles of other initiatives like water sensitive urban design and biomimetic or biomimicry. Case studies of the living walls at the Rubens Hotel at the Palace in Victoria and the vertical rain garden on Tooley Street, also in London, will be presented. These case studies will demonstrate how the green infrastructure audit process was used to identify projects and how the ecosystem approach has been applied to improve practice.
Gary Grant’s Biography
Gary is an independent consultant ecologist with an interest in green infrastructure, especially green roofs and living walls. He is a Chartered Environmentalist, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Fellow of Leeds Sustainability Institute, Director of the Green Roof Consultancy, Thesis supervisor at the Bartlett, UCL, Member of All Party Parliamentary Group on Biodiversity, Author Ecosystem Services Come to Town: Greening Cities by Working with Nature (Wiley 2012), Green Roofs and Façades (BRE Press 2006), contributor to Climate: Design (Oro Editions 2009) and co-author of Estuary Edges: Ecological Design Guidance (Thames Estuary Partnership/ Environment Agency 2008), UK Rain Garden Guide (Reset 2012) and Landscape and Urban Design for Bats (BCT 2012).
The Green Roof Consultancy, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 1 (PDF, file size: 10.43MB)
02. Katia Perini, Paolo Rosasco
Vertical greening systems: social and private benefits and costs
Vertical greening systems can be used as means to improve environmental conditions of dense urban areas, as demonstrated by several studies; however it is still not clear if these systems can be economically sustainable. A Cost Benefit Analysis of different vertical greening systems - green façades and living wall systems – is presented. Installation, maintenance, and disposal costs of each system analyzed are compared with their private and social benefits (increase of real estate value, savings for heating and air conditioning, cladding longevity, air quality improvement, etc.), determining three indicators: the Net Present Value (NPV), the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and the Pay Back Period (PBP). The CBA reveals that some of the greening systems analysed are economically sustainable. Economic incentives (tax reduction) could reduce personal initial cost allowing a wider diffusion of vertical greening systems to reduce environmental issues of dense urban areas, such as urban heat island phenomenon and air pollution.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 2 (PDF, file size: 342.97KB)
03. Michelle Sanchez Brajkovic
Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of green walls systems
Greening the building envelope using vegetation helps to reduce the energy consumption and the carbon emissions produced by a building. Living walls have several other environmental benefits, including mitigating the urban heat island effect, reducing noise and air pollution, and increasing biodiversity. This paper presents the results of a comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of different types of living walls located in London, Barcelona and Dubai. LCA is a tool used to evaluate energy and material flows with the objective of calculating the environmental impact through the entire life cycle of a product, from Materials Manufacturing to Transportation and Construction, Use and End of Life. The analysis compared a Living Wall Felt System (polyamide felt) with a Living Wall Indirect System (steel mesh). Environmental impact assessment reveals significant differences between the two systems under different climatic conditions.
Green Roofs and Living Walls Centre, University of Greenwich, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 3 (PDF, file size: 1.67MB)
04. Peter Vujakovic, David Powley
The walls: the importance of wall plants as part of a developing ‘sense of place’ narrative for the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wall plants, both native and naturalised, form an important element of many important heritage sites. This paper describes the ecology and the narrative role, in terms of generating a distinctive ‘sense of place’, of wall plants with specific reference to the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS). The WHS is composed of three elements, Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church. The buildings and precinct walls of the WHS are home to a variety of wall plants with both ecological and aesthetic value. In botanical terms St Augustine’s Abbey is also important because the naturalist and gardener John Tradescant the elder designed a series of gardens there, for Edward Lord Wotton, during the early seventeenth century. His son of the same name, a botanist, was educated in Canterbury, at the King’s School. Both men were also gardeners to King Charles I.
The paper focuses on the ‘Bioversity’ initiative at Canterbury Christ Church University, which explicitly uses biodiversity as a means of exploring the narrative of the site. The stewardship of the WHS is complex, being managed by several institutions, including the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral, English Heritage, Canterbury Christ Church University, and the King’s School, and the Parish of St. Martin (with the grounds maintained by Canterbury City Council).
Department of Geographical and Life Sciences, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 4 (PDF, file size: 7.35MB)
05. Ben Kimpton¹, James Farrell², Martin Eade³
The Volks Wall – Two centuries in the life of a green wall on Brighton seafront
The green wall along Madeira Drive in Brighton and Hove, is a wall of superlatives. This paper presents learning about partnership, multiple benefits, and the management of historic, diverse, planted façades.
The ‘Volks Wall’ was established by Victorian planners on Brighton’s East Cliff c1870, to improve the appearance of the seafront. Originally planted with Japanese Spindle Euronymous japonica, the vegetation now comprises over 90 plant species, runs for 1.2 kilometers and is in places up to 20 metres high. It was designated a statutory nature conservation site in 2013, and is one of the UK’s oldest, longest and best protected green walls.
However, the cliff face and associated listed architectural structures are deteriorating and require costly repair. The spindle and other plants require care and management to maintain their condition. Examples are provided to demonstrate why securing the wall’s future will be a test of lateral thinking and partnership work.
¹ Brighton and Hove Building Green, UK.
² The Ecology Consultancy, UK.
³ Brighton and Hove City Council, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 5 (PDF, file size: 11.17MB)
06. Luis Pérez-Urrestarazu, Gregorio Egea, Rafael Fernández-Cañero
Influence of different variables on living wall irrigation
Living walls are vertical greening systems which allow the spreading of vegetation across a wall surface in order to cover a building façade or an interior wall. They are becoming very popular and plenty of them are being installed in the last years. Given their characteristics, irrigation becomes essential for the development of vegetation. However, the infrastructure and management required differ from a regular irrigation system. The objective of this work is the evaluation of variables such as the type of substrate used, emitter flow rates and drip line and emitter spacing in terms of water losses and irrigation uniformity. The main differences seem to be due to the type of substrate used and the emitter flow rate. For recirculation systems, higher flows are recommended because uniformity is improved in spite of the higher run-off losses. In ‘run-to-waste’ systems, using lower flows and short irrigation lengths (increasing the frequency) may be advised.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 6 (PDF, file size: 2.95MB)
07. Ross WF Cameron, Jane E Taylor, Martin R Emmett
Green Façades - How does plant choice affect wall cooling?
Green façades provide a range of ecosystem services, including reduced building heat load and urban heat island mitigation. Little information exists, however, on the relative benefits of different plant species to provide these cooling services. Therefore, this research used replicated field experiments and controlled environments to evaluate cooling potential in a small range of wall shrubs/climbers. Results showed that cooling in situ could be significant (e.g. Prunus reduced air and wall surface temperatures by as much as 3 and 10oC respectively, compared to blank walls). Initial evaluations in controlled environments showed greatest cooling with species such as Stachys and Hedera, however, when leaf area was accounted for, Fuchsia, Jasminum and Lonicera proved optimal. Not only was it evident that species differed in their cooling capacity, but mechanisms for cooling varied between species. These points and their implications for optimising plant management around walls will be discussed.
Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 7 (PPSX, file size: 2.61MB)
08. Gabriel Pérez, Juliá Coma, Cristian Solé, Albert Castell, Luisa F. Cabeza
Vertical Greenery Systems (VGS) for energy savings in buildings
Vertical Greenery Systems (VGS) are technologies that offer several possibilities from the sustainable construction point of view, especially in energy savings. However, some key issues that could affect its operation must be considered, such as the construction system typology, the type of plants species used, the climate influence, and finally the mechanisms that influence the operation of these green systems as tool for passive energy savings (shade, cooling, insulation and wind barrier effects). In order to study the energy savings potential of these systems, a long term research project was started under warm temperate climate conditions some years ago. In previous studies the great capacity of a Double-Skin Green Façade to intercept solar radiation was confirmed, observing differences up to 18 ºC in external wall surface temperature of the building. In the current experiments, the energy consumption of two different systems, a Double-skin Façade and a Green Wall are being measured.
GREA Innovació Concurrent, Universitat de Lleida, Spain.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 8 (PDF, file size: 2.96MB)
09. Lee Man Chu
Vertical greening in a subtropical city: System and species selection
Vertical greening contributes to many of the environmental benefits by urban landscaping. Carrier-type system with modular panels which give greater flexibility in design has grown in popularity, but have the disadvantages of higher cost and operational requirements when compared with the support-type which uses vines growing on planters. Despite these, their choice is purely based on subjective criteria and individual preference. On the other hand, plant selection has been market-oriented which depends heavily on the availability of nursery stock and contractors’ experience. We examined the growth and thermal performance of thirteen common climbing plant species and twenty common potted plant species. Temperature reduction was closely related to their canopy characteristics. Carrier system was more effective in heat reduction at the wall surface on sunny days. However, it delayed the heat transfer through walls and prolonged indoor heat after sunset, which is a major drawback of their installation in residential premises.
School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 9 (PDF, file size: 8.4MB)
10. Juri Yoshimi¹, Hasim Altan²
An observational study on thermal benefits of green walls in the UK climate
Research was carried out to establish the long-term thermal effects of four different types of green wall systems. Test beds were installed on a building in Sheffield, and the thermal monitoring was conducted over a twelve month period from December 2012 in order to quantify the effects of vegetated walls in improving the thermal performance of buildings within the UK climate by analysing long-term observational data.
The results of experimentation showed positive impacts of green walls on both external and internal wall surface temperatures throughout the year which resulted in vegetation reducing the energy loads for heating and cooling.
The study also looked at irrigation water consumption for each tested system to investigate the amount of water required by green walls to sustain plants’ lives. The monitoring results highlighted the importance of maintenance in terms of irrigation and drainage in order to ensure the successful installation of green walls.
The authors will be happy to answer questions on their work by e-mail but did not want their presentation online.
11. Bernd Eisenberg
Urban climate comfort zones and microclimatic benefits of the green living room Ludwigsburg
Global Climate Change has a major impact on cities and their inhabitants. The ordinary Central European city with an average of 2°C temperature increase will therefore face significant impacts on the usability of open spaces and needs the attention of urban planners, the civil society and decision makers. The number of heat days in the region of Stuttgart in South-West Germany for instance, is predicted to double until the end of the century. With the urban climate comfort zone approach - that is investigated within the EU-funded TURAS-project (www.turas-cities.org) - an integrated set of measures is introduced that aim to maintain and to improve the usability of open spaces with regard to the increase of bioclimatic stress. This is reached by urban planning guidelines that focus on green infrastructure and local interventions. One of these local measures is a living wall structure - the green living room - that serves as a cooling and shading facility in the center of the city of Ludwigsburg. The micro climatic benefit as well as the acceptance of this kind of local measures is presented in the conference.
Institute of Landscape Planning and Ecology, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 11 (PDF, file size: 3.67MB)
12. Daniel Schönle¹, Hans Müller², Ferdinand Ludwig³
Green wall construction and Baubotanik
One important element of the green wall structure Ludwigsburg are living trees. Living and non-living elements are joined in a way to make them merge into a vegetable-technical compound structure: Single plants grow together to form a new and bigger overall organism and technical elements are included into the vegetable structure during the period of growth. This technique is investigated and advanced by the Baubotanik Research Group at the Institute for architectural theory (IGMA), University of Stuttgart and stands for a basic approach to engineer with living plants.
The aim of research in Baubotanik is to develop concepts that allow for designing living plant constructions on the basis of botanical fundamentals and rules of growth. Great strategic potential lies in interlinking growth patterns of plants with urban development processes. Baubotanik projects require a re-definition of planning methods and imply a radical change in the design thinking.
¹ Hp4, Germany.
² HELIX Plant Systems GmBH, Germany.
³ Living Plant Constructions, Germany.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 12 (PDF, file size: 7.45MB)
13. Moritz Bellers¹, Ferdinand Ludwig²
Designing climate optimized cities with Baubotanik
“Baubotanik” is not just a plant technology – furthermore it is a modern vision of the urban: It faces the question how to create adequate green areas in dense city centres or fast developing metropolises. On minimum footprint it offers the opportunity to create three-dimensional “Green spaces” which are usable in very short time and anticipate many ecological qualities of fully grown trees.
At the conference we will show preliminary results from our current research project. "Baubotanik" typologies offer great ecological, climatic and aesthetical opportunities for urban infrastructures and climate optimized city quarters.
¹ Institute of Landscape Planning and Ecology, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Stuttgart, Germany.
² Living Plant Constructions, Germany.
The term „Baubotanik” was developed at the Institute for Architectural Theory (IGMA), University of Stuttgart and describes an approach to engineer with living plants. It is a German neologism that can be translated as “Living Plant Constructions”.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 13 (PDF, file size: 2.64MB)
14. Arnie Rainbow
The role of green compost in sustainable growing media
The development, in the UK, of “green compost” (composted green waste) as a major component of growing media (including peat-free media) for a wide range of uses is reviewed and its potential assessed in the light of UK government initiatives (notably its Waste and Resources Action Programme [WRAP], the UK compost quality standard [Publically Available Specification 100: 2011] and its campaign to reduce peat-extraction and increase the use of more sustainable materials such as green compost). Manufacture of suitably high-quality green compost poses special challenges: these are considered, as are the main formulation issues notably: nitrogen lock-up, air: water relationships and sustainability.
Key properties include high lignin content and C: N ratio; which confer good stability in storage and use. Significant reserves of slowly-released nutrients can replace conventional fertilizer additives and lime (but a nitrogen supplement is sometimes needed). Similarly, high levels of humates and anti-pathogenic fungi can reduce the need for surfactants and fungicides respectively.
Examples of well-established uses of green compost in green roofing and container growing are described – including benefits and management issues.
Vital Earth, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 14 (PPSX, file size: 15.57MB)
15. Marc Grañén
Global creativity: new challenges for urban landscape
A presentation of real examples of edible walls in Barcelona schoolyards and their positive consequences to children; and the presentation of different PhytoKinetic vehicles around the world and their contribution to the urban ecosystems.
Thanks to the pioneers of green walls and green roofs, actually we can see how day by day the green areas are gaining m² in our cities. Unfortunately, we have a long way to walk on this yet, and there are too many cities in where is so hard to gain this battle of Green. So, creativity is our best tool to achieve and improve more and new projects to make this real; and children are our real hope for this crusade of Love, Respect and Acknowledgement: the change must start from the inside, like a seed starts to grow beneath the soil.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 15 (PPSX, file size: 16.93MB)
16. Dick Lauwerijssen
Market orientated development of green wall Products
Mobilane, Dutch based but globally operating, is focussing on instant green products/solutions. There are various factors which have a bigger or smaller influence on the development of a new product of which following three factors are highlighted.
• Probably the biggest problem is interference with the water supply to the plants, caused by switching of electricity or mains.
• Lights levels are also greatly affecting the performance of a green wall and the importance of proper light is often underestimated.
• Climatic influences (e.g. drought, air conditioning, humidity, temperature variations) do have different effects on various types of plants.
2. Research: being done all over the world on various aspects of green walls, e.g. fine dust.
3. The market: requirements need to be listened to in order to be successful.
The results are the development of a new product line based on a plant cassette system;
1. LivePicture -recently introduced
2. LivePanel - will be introduced this month at London design fair
3. LiveDivider – available later this year
Mobilane BV, The Netherland.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 16 (PDF, file size: 2.69MB)
17. Angus Cunningham
Second Generation Living Walls
Having been involved with the design, construction and maintenance of over 250 Living Walls in the UK for the past 7 years, and as a direct result our investment in the research into the thermal benefits of Living Walls over 1 year at Sheffield University with Dr. Hasim Altan, we have developed a 'second generation Living Wall' in conjunction with the University of Seville.
Our understanding of the existing systems in the market and their respective maintenance requirements has given us invaluable knowledge in designing our second generation Living Wall which includes insulation as an option. Our aim is to make Living Walls more affordable as we see this as the largest influence in restricting the growth of the Living Wall market. We offer a couple of case studies into maintenance criteria that should be considered when designing Living Walls.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 17 (PPSX, file size: 21.17MB)
18. Eloi Chuzel
Green Wall solution system by Tracer: featuring environmental benefits for urban sustainability
Tracer Company is specialised on green wall activity since 9 years. We have realised 13000 square meters around France and Europe.
Tracer develops modular system with soil. The module can be pulled up out to check behind the wall the irrigation system or the structure. We have 3 kinds of systems:
- first system, we can fasten the structure straight on wall,
- second system, we deport the structure to create a gap where we can introduce isolation,
- third system, we can fix the structure off the wall, as a freestanding structure.
We have the advantage to control everything: production, realisation, and maintenance. This set up gives a good reactivity to our technic to adapt to each specific urban project and guarantees good quality.
Since few years, we work with CSTB to guarantee our products for soundproofing effects, thermal function, protection against fire, environmental function.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 18 (PPSX, file size: 10.16MB)
19. Agnes Petit¹, Laurent Daune², Robert Perroulaz², Jacques Kaufmann³, Sébastien Polli², Séraphin Hirtz², Stéphane Burgos², Marco Ammon¹, Görge Blendermann¹
Skyflor® Vegetal Envelope – a new generation of living walls
In response to the densification of urbanization, a multidisciplinary team, born of a partnership between Western Switzerland University of Applied Science hepia and Creabeton Matériaux, have been working together to come up with a new generation of living walls. Their research project « Vegetal Envelope » supported by the Federal Office for Environment (FOEN) has given birth to SKYFLOR®, a patented system of modular elements comprising a porous surface layer in front of a tough ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete structure. This vegetal envelope combines organic design and a high level of functionality. Plants grow on the porous ceramic face; their roots penetrate the ceramic material to reach the substrate where they draw the water and nutrients they need.
In this presentation, we briefly present the research results and two cases studies.
¹ Creabeton Matériaux SA, Switzerland.
² Haute École du Paysage, d’Ingénierie et d’Architecture de Genève (hepia), Western Switzerland University of Applied Science, Switzerland.
³ Céramiste - Plasticien / sculpture, France.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 19 (PDF, file size: 5.01MB)
20. Maria Manso, Ana Lídia Virtudes, João Castro Gomes
Modular system design for vegetated surfaces: Integration of sustainability concerns
Green wall systems must integrate sustainability concerns by minimizing their environmental impact through materials selection and resources consumption.
An on-going research project (GEOGREEN) is presented based on the development of a modular system for vegetated surfaces designed to be demountable and adaptable to different surfaces and inclinations, allowing its application in roofs, walls and other building elements of new or retrofitted buildings.
The designed modular system includes the application of alkaline activated binders (geopolymers) using alumina-silica based materials, obtained from the reuse of mine waste mud. This material has the ability to absorb water and slowly release it to the substrate. The geopolymer is combined with a layer of insulation cork board (ICB), a natural low weight material with opening to introduce plants. The plant selection is defined to survive under the dry meso-mediterranean conditions, in order to minimize adaptation problems and irrigation requirements.
The authors will be happy to answer questions on their work by e-mail, but did not want their presentation online.
21. Patrick Blanc
High Plant Diversity: the key for sustainable Vertical Gardens in challenging situations
Wherever water is available all year long, as in tropical forests or in temperate mountain forests, plants can grow on tree trunks and branches (epiphytic habit) as well as on soil-less habitats: sandstone or granitic outcrops, limestone cliffs, caves, waterfalls as well as natural or man-made slopes. These situations provide perfect habitats for many species, most of them having a very narrow range of distribution. The most important plant families are Gesneriaceae, Rubiaceae, Melastomataceae, Begoniaceae, Balsaminaceae, Urticaceae among the Dicotyledons as well as Orchidaceae, Bromeliaceae, Araceae among the Monocotyledons, not forgetting the so many Ferns species. In Peninsular Malaysia, for instance, out of the 8,000 known plant species, about 2,500 are growing on these steep habitats, without any soil.
The Vertical Garden allows human beings to re-create a living system very similar to natural environments. It is a way to add Nature to places where people once removed it. Thanks to this botanical knowledge and long lasting experience, it is now possible to display natural-looking plant landscapes even though they are man-made. In any city, all over the world, a naked wall can be turned into a Vertical Garden and thus become a valuable shelter for biodiversity. It’s also a way to add nature to the daily life of city inhabitants.
Patrick Blanc’s Biography
Patrick Blanc (born June 3, 1953, Paris) is a French botanist, working at the French National Centre for Scientific Research since 1982, where he specializes in plants from tropical forests. Although Blanc did not invent the vertical garden, he is responsible for modernizing and popularizing the garden type and is considered as the modern innovator of the green wall. Thesis supervisor at Paris University, he wrote different books, such as ‘The Vertical Garden, from Nature to the City’, ‘Etre plante à l’ombre des forêts tropicales’, has created over 250 Vertical Gardens around the world and works with famous Architects such as Jean Nouvel, Herzog and de Meuron, Andrée Putman, Marc Newson, Francis Soler, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, César Pelli, Edouard François, Jean-Paul Viguier, Bonnie Fisher, etc.
Patrick Blanc - Vertical Garden, France.
22. Caroline Chiquet, John W. Dover, Paul Mitchell
How the characteristics of living walls and green façades influence their animal biodiversity
Green walls, either green façades with climbers or living walls with modular planted-up units, are an valuable way to green cities where competition for space is high. Their introduction enhances the animal biodiversity in the man-made environment although little is known on this subject. The values of 36 green façades and green screens, and 26 living walls systems were investigated for birds, shelled molluscs, spiders and insects in Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and London, UK. The study highlights the preferences of particular species to some of the green wall’s characteristics and the influence of adjacent land and traffic. The impact of the green walls’ features, such as the type of system and the plant composition, on the animal species composition and the relative abundance are discussed. The green wall design’s impacts on animal biodiversity are further considered as we examine how green walls can be used to promote animal biodiversity in cities.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 22 (PPSX, file size: 7.58MB)
23. Sophie Cohen, Philippe Gourdain
For a real integration of Biodiversity in Green Wall conception and maintenance
As part of its mission to encourage knowledge and conservation of nature, the Natural Heritage Service (‘Service du Patrimoine Naturel’) of the French National Museum of Natural History develops tools for monitoring and methodology, to encourage private enterprise to include biodiversity in their projects. This work brings us to reflect more deeply about "green infrastructures" and their relationships with biodiversity. In France, numerous types of green walls have been introduced in recent years. We will discuss here links between anthropogenic issues and biodiversity, through the study of the processes set up to “vegetate” walls. Heavy consumers of energy, water and raw materials, green walls are only very rarely assessed for their ecological footprint and real interest for biodiversity (shelter, travel corridor, food supply). We shall try to provide the scientific and technical evidence to assist in the development of new approaches to vegetating surfaces and to improve their function in the urban environment.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 23 (PPSX, file size: 10MB)
24. Veronica Lawrie, Octavia Neeves
A tale of two green walls: from BREEAM to ecosystem services
Our presentation will briefly describe two contrasting green walls that Atkins has worked on, both triggered by BREEAM. One is at a school in South London and the other is at Birmingham New Street Station. A brief background to each project will be given, and some of the technical details shared. We will look at how the walls tie in with existing green infrastructure and function ecologically within their respective landscapes. We will broaden the presentation to include an assessment of the benefits derived from the walls, in terms of the ecosystem services provided. The presentation will take approximately 15 minutes.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation24 (PDF, file size: 3.55MB)
25. Lynette Robertson
Enhancing health and wellbeing with living walls – indoors and out
Large scale retrofitting of Green Infrastructure technologies such as living roofs and walls is a key approach to transforming our towns and cities into sustainable and resilient urban systems. Of the many ecosystem services provided by Green Infrastructure, the evidence base on human health and wellbeing is one of the most vast, and continues to expand rapidly. This presentation will provide a brief overview of some of the key evidence on Green Infrastructure and human health and wellbeing, with a focus on living walls. The pathways and mechanisms through which contact with nature can, or is thought to influence human health and wellbeing will be outlined, followed by a summary of main findings from a number of living wall studies, including research on indoor living walls. Increased implementation of living walls and other Green Infrastructure technologies can help support and improve individual and societal health and wellbeing in urban environments.
Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU), Glasgow School of Art, UK
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 25 (PDF, file size: 12.74MB)
26. Sean Farrell
The financial benefits of Green Infrastructure
This talk very briefly explores the relationship between green infrastructure and the financial benefits that can be derived from its use. We attempt to outline why it is important and the financial benefits that can be gained illustrating both soft and hard savings. It also explores some of the areas in urban built environments where green infrastructure can be used and applied and briefly suggests ways to validate and improve on current identified financial improvements.
There is a particular emphasis on PM particulate pollution and how that is viewed within the European region outlining the current situation and the legislation to reduce the problem. We show how green infrastructure can be utilised to combat the issues raised and the possible effects of its use.
Finally the application further study is explored and how the measurement of its financial effects can be applied to growing the overall market.
The Green Wall Centre, Staffordshire University, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 26 (PDF, file size: 7.22MB)
27. Richard Sabin
The role and potential of vertical greening in sustainable cities
This talk will begin by setting the context and exploring the definition of a “sustainable city”. With well over half of the world’s population now living in urban areas it is vital that we understand what we want our cities to do for us. I will then argue that, in the near future, green infrastructure in general and vertical greening in particular will be a vital component of any sustainable city particularly in the centre of cities where space is at a premium both literally and financially. This is now being borne out by research and development and recent case studies. I will demonstrate that these are now powerful tools to convince Authorities, Planners, Developers and Designers to include green infrastructure as part of whole systems thinking strategies for buildings, developments, communities and cities.
Biotecture Ltd, UK.
Click the following link for a pdf of the presentation Presentation 27 (PDF, file size: 14.92MB)
The Conference was held at Staffordshire University’s new £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The campus is well served by major communication routes, with a train station a short walk away from the Science Centre and road access via the M6 motorway. Birmingham International Airport is probably our closest. There are direct trains from the airport to Stoke-on-Trent.
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