Great Walls of Green

“Green walls have lots of potential to improve the quality of life in the urban environment. They can enhance biodiversity, mitigate air and noise pollution, improve wellbeing and relieve stress.”

Caroline Chiquet, Research Officer Green Wall Centre

Staffordshire University’s campus could soon be a living laboratory and worldwide hub for Green Walls as research into a biodiverse concrete antidote continues.

The University’s campus already features an array of living walls, hedges and green façades which are used to carry out research into animal biodiversity, environmental values and pollution mitigation.

Caroline Chiquet, Research Officer for the University’s Green Wall Centre, said: “Green walls have lots of potential to improve the quality of life in the urban environment. They can enhance biodiversity, mitigate air and noise pollution, improve wellbeing and relieve stress.”

“They can also improve thermal insulation and mitigate the urban heat island effect,” she added.

Caroline, who will be speaking at the first International Conference on Green Walls, to be held on September 4 and 5 at the Science Centre, Staffordshire University, believes The Green Wall Centre will help inspire a variety of industries and policy makers who are looking to make their business or city greener.

Several projects are currently underway at the Green Wall Centre. Caroline’s research has explored how urban biodiversity, such as birds and invertebrates, is enhanced by green walls. Another researcher is looking at the environmental values of urban hedges, a green infrastructure component that is an often forgotten asset of the urban landscape.

Other projects are concentrating on the value of green walls to human health. Diesel exhaust gives off very fine particles that can travel deep into the lungs and increase the chance of death from respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Plants are known to ‘capture’ this particulate matter, cleaning the air.

One Green Wall Centre project is concerned with the ability of ivy screens to reduce air pollution. Ivy screens are pre-grown in greenhouses and can be installed very easily, potentially offering a very quick solution to local pollution control.

New research projects, including the value of ‘living walls’ in reducing VOCs inside buildings and particulates in outdoor air, will start shortly.

The conference will bring together leading experts and green wall companies from around the world to exchange knowledge and debate ways of creating a greener and more biodiverse urban environment.

Staffordshire University will be hosting the first International Conference on Green Walls on September 4 and 5 at the Science Centre, Stoke-on-Trent. For more information visit please click here.

Contact

Chris Parsons
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E200, Blackstone Building
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t: +44 (0)1782 292702
e: christopher.parsons@staffs.ac.uk