Living Walls- a sneak peek

Majority of us have heard the word living wall is beneficial to our health. But what actually is a living wall and how it benefits our health. The post is a sneak peek on what a living wall is and how it helps us. A living wall is also called by the name of a green wall. It is like a garden that grows vertically and not horizontally. Further, it can exist both inside the home as well as outside the home.  Any well-lit place inside the home can create a perfect ambiance for living wall. Today, indoor herb gardens have become a new trend and it grow well in sunny kitchen. Further, any outside wall is also best suited for it. Here we have discussed in simple terms how these vertical gardens can save your home and how they can be beneficial to environment. Needless to say, it is the best way to save energy and it provides wholesome benefits to your health.

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How it can improve air quality

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Today, we are surrounded by pollutants in many forms. They are hugely available both indoors and outdoors of a home. Toxic fumes that we take infiltrate in our air system and cause a disease called as Sick Building Syndrome. Green or living walls help to clear these toxins. It is an acknowledged fact that the plants absorb all kinds of pollutants, and releases good air, which is beneficial for us. There are certain plants that do this work more efficiently as compared to others. While even a one plant has an ability to remove all kinds of toxins from your home or building, but the more plants that we add more the pollutants are absorbed and in turn we get fresh air to breathe.

A green wall has innumerable of plants. These living walls help to eliminate many pollutants like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, VOC and many other kinds of harmful pollutants. NASA(The National Aeronautic and Space Administration has revealed 15 plants specifically suited for living walls. Here’s the list of some plants that you can add in your living wall:

  1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium’, Heartleaf philodendron
  2. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig’, Janet Craig dracaena
  3. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii’, Warneck dracaena
  4. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa’, Peace lily
  5. Chlorophytum comosum, Spider plant
  6. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
  7. Philodendron domesticum, Elephant ear philodendron
  8. Dracaena marginata , Red-edged dracaena
  9. Dracaena marginata , Red-edged dracaena
  10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa’, Peace lily
  11. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana’, Cornstalk dracaena
  12. Hedera helix, English Ivy
  13. Ficus benjamina, Weeping Fig
  14. Epipiremnum aureum, Golden pothos
  15. Philodendron selloum, Selloum philodendron
  16. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
  17. Sansevieria trifasciata, Snake plant

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Further, NASA revealed the fact that soils and roots play a crucial role in removing air pollutants. Micro-organisms in the soil are quiet adept in tracing pollutants as a food source, as they have been exposed to such conditions for a long tenure. The effectiveness of the plant in removing toxins is increased if the lower leaf that covers the soil surface is totally removed, so there is more soil contact with the air. It is recommended to use at least 15 to 18 good sized houseplants in 6 to 8 diameters. It is the best way to ameliorate air quality in an average 1,800 square foot house. The more vigorously these plants grow, the better it is.  For instance, English ivy, gerbera daisies, bamboo palm, peace lily and Mother-in-Law tongue is very effective in absorbing hazardous pollutant called as Benzene.  Additionally, these plants are highly effective in absorbing Trichloroethylene. Further, NASA unveiled the fact that bamboo palm and Mother-in-Law tongue, peace lily, dracaena marginata, green spider plant and golden pathos works well for filtering the major pollutant Formaldehyde. Hope the above-mentioned list helps you.

How it protects your building

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Now, the next question arises, how these living walls helps in protection of the building. Well, the answer is simple and easy. It acts as a climate control device. The inside plants helps to reduce temperature fluctuation, which in turn is quiet helpful during extreme weather conditions. These plants prove to be a natural insulator and thus it is the best way to keep inside air of the buildings cooler during the summer months and warmer during the winter months. The vertical gardens are constructed in such a way that lets the building to building to breathe properly, shields the wall from the occurrence of precipitation, wind, harmful UV rays and rain. Living walls and green roof provide home for various natural habitats like birds, bees and butterflies.

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It saves energy

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Well, natural living walls have one more benefit it helps in saving energy. It keeps the exterior of the building protected from heat of the sun, and therefore it keeps the building cool and thus less energy is utilized in such way. Interior green walls of the building greatly contribute to save energy by keeping interior of a home cool. It is a known fact that every additional plant reduces energy consumption and therefore temperature upto 7 degree Celsius can be controlled instantly. It is indeed a significant way to cool your home. During the harsh months of winter, these plants create an opposite effect. This effect is also known as an insulation effect. It acts as a shield from the tormenting temperatures. Additionally, it prevents the heat from escaping and thus lowers your gas bill or energy cost.

Health Benefits

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Plants offer several health benefits like it is the best stress buster as it softens the environment. It reduces noise and eliminates pollution. Gardens tend to provide instant calming effect on individual.  In workplaces, these plants do wonders. They have several benefits as mentioned below:

It improves productivity of employees.

It promotes calming effect and act as a great stress buster.

It increases tranquillity.

The plants reduce fatigue and refurbish the tired soul. The underlying reason is the energy that they produce are rich in oxygen.

Fresh air generates new ideas. Hence, the employees will work in an efficient way.

Have you ever wondered why gardens are strategically placed in the hospitals? Well, the answer is simple it offer calming effect and makes mind of patient fresh. Plus, it provides a lot of other health benefits. Not only, these trees will relax and calm you, rather they purify the air that you breathe, so now only fresh air can go to your lungs. A sense of relief! Cultivating herb based plants have their own health benefits.

How to build a living wall

Well, it is very easy to build a living wall. Firstly, you need to decide on whether you like the wall to be indoor or outdoor. Once decided, keep below-mentioned points in consideration.

Indoor wall- Indoor living wall is easy to maintain and build. You may need a specialist and get advice based on your lifestyle, needs and requirements. A garden specialist will provide you details about the plants, which is the best. Specific plants like bamboo palm,  azalea, chrysanthemums, aloe vera, ivy, peace lilies and spider plants are the best plants to infiltrate the harmful air. You need to select a wall that receives a huge portion of direct sunlight. You also need to think about the humidity and water availability.

There are innumerable ways in which vertical gardens can be constructed. Before, you start with this project, you need to consult someone who has an adequate knowledge about such gardens or you can even search internet for the same.

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