As you drive around some cities you might notice that are buildings with greenery on the walls or event the roofs and may think it looks so cool. The greenery is there for more reasons than just aesthetics, it serves a purpose and has many benefits.
Greening our roofs and walls can have many benefits to cities. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is a non-profit industry association working to grow the green roof and wall industry throughout North America.
The mission of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ is to develop and protect the market by increasing the awareness of the economical, social, and environmental benefit of green roofs, green walls, and other forms of living architecture through education, advocacy, professional development, and celebrations of excellence.
Green Walls include all forms of vegetated wall surfaces but there are three major system categories that fall under the term ‘Green Wall’, these systems are:
Green Facades – which are systems where vines, climbing plants, or cascading groundcovers grow into supporting structures. These plants are usually rooted in the soil beds at the base of the structure in elevated planters at intermediate levels, or on rooftops. Green facades might be found to attached to existing walls or built as freestanding structures. They are used to shade glazed facades, walkways, and are built as arbors, trellis structures, baffles, or fences.
Living Walls Systems – these are composed of vegetated panels, modules. Planted blankets, or bags that are attached to structure walls or free-standing frames. They can have a diverse mixture of plants such as ground covers, ferns, low shrubs, perennial flowers, and even edible plants.
Retaining living walls – are living structures that are designed to stabilize a slope while supporting vegetation contained in their structure.
Green Walls offer many benefits, benefits to the public, the private and they have design specific benefits as well. These are:
Public benefits are:
They offer aesthetic improvements, reduce the urban heat island effect, it improves exterior air quality, and creates local jobs.
Private benefits include:
Improves energy efficiency, protects building structures, improves indoor air quality, offers noise reduction, and has marketing potential.
The Design Specific benefits include:
Increased biodiversity, improved health and well-being, urban agriculture and onsite water treatment.
To learn more about Green roofs and walls visit the Green Roofs for Healthy Living website, you can find out how to become a member, find events, resources and more.