5 Reasons Why Your Home Needs a Living Wall
If your home is short on space but you want to add more greenery, a vertical garden might be the solution you’re looking for. But there are other reasons why it’s a great addition to your home.
1. Connection with Nature
As human beings, we have an innate tendency to seek out connections with nature and other forms of life. Vertical gardens are a way to integrate natural, living elements into architecture, and with positive results. In fact, research shows that vertical gardens that include a mix of plant species provide measurable benefits to those living in the home — both physical and physiological.
Among the positive effects are reduced stress levels, a deeper sense of happiness and well-being, and enhanced creativity and cognitive function.
2. Better Air Quality
Whether working or relaxing, many of us are guilty of spending a lot of time inside in an air-conditioned environment during warmer weather — especially those of us in urban areas.
But by spending so much time indoors, we may be putting ourselves at risk. Some air-conditioned environments hold pollutants that can seriously impact health — toxic substances like carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene.
The good news is that plants not only filter out these pollutants, they also release oxygen and purify the air. As a bonus, the uptick in oxygen levels will help keep you awake and alert, increasing your productivity.
3. Cooler Temperatures
Outdoor living walls can be used to effectively reduce the absorption of thermal energy in urban areas where the combination of human energy, transport, land modification and hard surfaces work together to create a significantly warmer environment than the rural areas that surround them.
Here’s how it works: The exterior living walls mitigate absorption of thermal energy by building walls so that less heat would be transmitted to interior spaces. Because less heat makes it inside, the indoor temperature stays cooler and more comfortable without the use of air conditioning.
Similarly, diverse vertical gardens on the interior can reduce air temperature, increase airflow, and balance humidity levels. In addition, they can help cool an outdoor entertaining space in the warmer months and prolong the time spent out there.
4. Noise Control
Hard surfaces tend to reverberate, which can create distracting noises for someone trying to concentrate or relax. If noise is an issue for you, a living wall can definitely help. The plant leaves simultaneously reflect and absorb sound, meaning the sound will be significantly reduced or muffled. And the more greenery you have, the better the results.
5. Join the New Global Movement
The International WELL Building Institute, which has taken the lead on a global movement aiming to change our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive, has developed a new set of guidelines called the WELL Building Standard. This standard focuses exclusively on ways that buildings can improve human comfort, and generally boost health and wellness.
Vertical gardens are one of the key design features endorsed by the WELL Building Standard to improve the health and well-being of a building’s residents, especially when it comes to compact spaces.
As living walls become more economical and easier to maintain, expect them to become more and more popular.
Tips for Adding a Living Wall
• Balconies and courtyards are ideal locations.
• Generally, walls that receive about four hours of morning or midday sunlight are ideal.
• If the natural lighting for your space is insufficient, try installing specialty lighting.
• Herbs and small plants are ideal for vertical gardens, but any plant that can be grown in a small amount of soil is an option.
• Succulents with low nutrient and water requirements are perfect for low-maintenance vertical gardens.
• Ornamental plants with lush foliage need a more well-maintained and controlled planting system.