Material Monday Insight on Scent in Spaces: Green Walls

Material Monday Insight on Scent in Spaces: Green Walls

Posted 4 December 2017 by Katie Kubrak

Green Wall, also known as Vertical Garden, refers to any wall surface that undergoes vegetation (Green Roof Organization, 2008). Aside from being spectacularly beautiful, it injects the space with an olfactory experience and makes raw spaces feel more relaxed. It is also a cost effective and low maintenance way of introducing more nature into modern day cities where growing prices of land favor architectural profit over costly parks.

Today in“Material Monday: Series 2” we discuss a range of green walls that include green facades and living walls, as well as, public, private and design benefits this trendy structure could offer you.

Term ‘Green facades’ refers to a system, which supports vines and climbing plants or cascading groundcovers, to grow upwards from the soil at the base of the building. These structures are designed specifically for each location and can be attached to the existing walls or build as freestanding frames (e.g. fences). Accounting for the varying climates, species, soils, irrigation, and supplied plant nutrition these may take up to several seasons to achieve prime aesthetic. Materials used include metal rod arrangements that serve as a ‘ladder’ on which plants, such as ivy-leaved toadflax, can climb.

In contrast to this, a living wall is an installation that consists of panels, modules, planted blankets or bags that are tightly fixed to a wall or free-standing structures. In each of the enlisted options, plants are attached directly to the module, subsequently, giving the wall a matured appearance from the start. Furthermore, this system offers a richer selection, diversity and density of plant species. Materials most often used in these building blocks include: metal rods, conventional plastics, synthetic fabrics, expanded polystyrene, concrete and clay.

Whichever option might feel more suitable to the interior of your home, office or exterior of your building, you can be certain that the colours and smells it will bring along will have a positive effect on your well being.

A range of studies had indicated that exposure to nature has the ability to reduce stress on the nervous system, which is already overloaded by the stimuli of the modern urban environment such as: its dense living conditions, industrial-grade fumes, and honking horns. To exemplify, hues of green painted across the leaves of the plants will infuse the interior with sense of calmness, relaxation, while at the same time, they will help people focus.

Similar is true for olfactive properties of plants. It had been proven that deep and rich mossy scents evoke reminiscence of forest floor, in result, adding to the sense of tranquility. On the other hand aromas of leaves, herbs and peppermint are able to stimulate the sharpness of our focus, which can directly translate into improved productivity.

Some of the additional benefits of implementing a green wall break into the following:

1.Public Benefits

  • Olfactory experience of nature indoors
  • Improved health and well-being
  • Stress reduction
  • Boosted concentration and productivity
  • Improved indoor and outdoor air quality
  • Noise reduction from the street’s hassle and bustle

2.Business Benefits

  • Additional layer of insulation that protects façade materials from deterioration and damage
  • Improved heat/temperature regulation across the building
  • Protecting building’s exterior from unwanted graffiti and high costs of its specialist removal
  • Improved onsite waste water management systems
  • Overall new business opportunities and employment

3.Design Benefits

  • Increased biodiversity in urban design plans
  • Aesthetic Improvement of cityscape
  • Promotion of natural cooling processes, such as photosynthesis and evapotranspiration
  • Opportunities for vertical urban garden designs in spaces previously too small to grow vegetation horizontally
  • New areas open for garden design

If you are excited about exploring ways to add colour stimulation and natural scents to your space, or you would simply like to visit our exhibition launched during London Design Festival 17 titled “London in Seven Scents”, which was released to coincide with “Perfume” exhibition at Somerset House and “Material Monday: Series 2”, please do not hesitate to get in touch and visit us!

Above: Outdoor Living Wall by Measured Architecture in Vancouver Family Residence (Photo Credit: Dezeen).

Above: Indoor Living Wall at New Jersey Institute for Food Nutrition & Health at Rutgers College: New Brunswick, NJ.

Above: Green Facades in The Manam Retreat in Vietnam by VTN Architects.

Above: Designing spaces with colours in mind can significantly add to the functionality of the space, its perception and ambiance.