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Vertical Gardens: A Compound of Design, Ecology and Practice

Vertical gardens

The construction of vertical gardens inside and outside the building successfully combines sustainability, functionality and aesthetics, making many cities greener and more enjoyable for life.

What are vertical gardens?

They are exactly what the name says: Vertically placed gardens. Vertical gardens approach the nature of man in urban environments in a practical and creative way.

Vertical gardens are a wonderful alternative to potted plants in the office space. Potted plants have the advantage of being placed anywhere but they can take up space and require lots of maintenance. However, with vertical gardens there is only one large panel to maintain. Also, with vertical garden people who live in small spaces do not have to give up greenery.

Indoor vertical gardens

Indoor vertical gardens

Vertical gardens not only create a wonderful natural piece to your interior space, but they help the natural airflow to your environment. These gardens can be made up of many different types of plants. Some of them are: Ferns, Ficus repens, Pilea, and Calathea.

Many employees in office environments are exposed to a lot of harmful air chemicals like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Vertical gardens work like a natural clean air system and promote a better breathing atmosphere and a healthier environment overall. Plants also help to reduce noise pollution which creates a quieter work environment for building occupants

Exterior vertical gardens

Exterior vertical gardens

Many buildings around the world have vertical gardens installed on their exteriors. Many exterior gardens contain moss, vines, and other plants. Exterior vertical gardens have the advantage of having natural direct sunlight that makes them thrive.

On the top of the corner of the Athenaeum Grand hotel in central London lies a lush greenery. In Madrid the whole side of the museum and cultural center, CaixaForum, is covered with plants and flowers. In Paris, the entrance to the famous Musée du quai Branly covers a vertical garden made up of 15,000 plants and 150 plant species from around the world spread over an area of 800 square meters. Paris set the goal of introducing a total of 100 hectares of green roofs and walls by 2020.

Exterior vertical gardens also give buildings great protection and insulation from temperature fluctuations, UV radiation and heavy rain. In the summer, exterior vertical gardens use a process called evapotranspiration, which helps cool the surrounding air.

Green spaces, apart from making the urban environment more attractive, also work positively to the surrounding population. Green environments can reduce our stress and improve a mood. As cities are increasingly focusing on air quality, vertical gardens are one of the ways to combat pollution within the microclimate of a particular construction.

Botanist and vertical garden pioneer

The development of vertical gardens can be thanked to French botanist Patrick Blanc. His first vertical garden was patented in Paris, and to this day he developed many vertical garden systems around the world that successfully fit into open and closed spaces.

A smart green choice

Bosco Verticale

Walls covered with plants help in alleviating wind and interior insulation. Plants which in winter lose their leaves are better at improving thermal efficiency. In the spring and summer, their leafy branches contribute to sunshine, while the bare branches of the winter maximize the influence of the weaker Sunlight.

Some modern buildings have gone a step further. Architect Stefano Boeri is a pioneer of the concept of vertical forests around the entire surface of high-rise buildings. His project, Bosco Verticale, in the Milan district of Porta Nuova, consists of two 111 and 76-meter tall dwelling skyscrapers, planted with 800 trees, 4,500 bushes and 15,000 plants, creating a green area of 20,000 square meters, which is also a home of local species bird, butterflies, and insects.

 Liuzhou Forest City

Liuzhou Forest City, designed by Stefano Boeri, will will have roughly a million plants of over 100 species along with 40,000 trees planted in the facades of almost every possible surface. A multitude of greenery will absorb nearly 10,000 tonnes of CO2 and 57 tonnes of pollutants per year, while also produce approximately 900 tonnes of oxygen.

La Forêt Blanche is the name of the project, which is also signed by architects Stefano Boeri. The construction of the tower will be implemented in the eastern Paris suburb of Villiers sur Marne. The wooden construction tower will be 54 m high and its terraces and balconies will be covered with as many as two thousand trees, shrubs and various other plants. The surface of the vertical forests of this tower will be compared to the surface of one hectare of real forest on the ground.

Singapore Marina One combines a lush public garden with waterfalls, reflecting pools, rooftop gardens, and a cloud garden. At the 101-hectare attraction you’ll be dropped into an almost surreal, futuristic expanse of greenery.

Green walls can work equally well in indoor environments. To create a sense of tranquillity for outgoing travellers, London Heathrow Airport tested the Garden Gate with nearly 1,700 plants in its interior.

In the end, it can be concluded that increasing population density in cities, green areas, whether on the ground, walls or roofs, become increasingly valuable places to provide fresh air to many city dwellers who live day by day at a much hectic pace.

Vertical gardens you can do yourself if you have the will and motivation. Read: How to create your vertical garden.

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