Green Living Walls: 5 Cool Benefits + Photos

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living wall with flowers

image via shutterstock

Written by Ken Myers.

Living walls are a growing trend across the globe.

A living wall involves the process of growing plants on the outer walls of the home or office space. This provides a great deal of benefits for the surrounding environment as well as the building to which the plants are “attached.”

In some studies, the living wall reduced the internal temperature of the establishment by approximately 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This reduces the amount of time that air conditioners are utilized, saving power.

The Big Semiahmoo Green Wall by Green Over Grey

The Big Semiahmoo Green Wall by Green Over Grey | image via pinterest

While you can buy the walls and equipment to begin cultivating your own living wall, many think they don’t have the money to invest in such an efficient method of keeping cool in the summer.

However, as long as you’re able to devise a method to allow plants to creep up the side of your home, you can build your own living wall fairly cheap. Why would you want to invest in such a project?

Absorbing Heat

One of the ways that living walls reduce the temperature of an establishment is the fact that plants will absorb the heat from the sun reducing the temperature of the area below the leaves and fronds. The next time you are near a flowerbed, feel the soil under the plants. The temperature difference is quite noticeable. This isn’t merely from providing shade as plants absorb and convert the energy eliminating a great deal of the heat.

Library of Birmingham Living Wall | Photo: Elliot Brown

Library of Birmingham Living Wall | Photo: Elliot Brown

Shade

While plants absorb the heat, there is still something to be said about shade. Between these two aspects of what the living wall provides, the temperature of the material underneath the plant can be considerably lower that the ambient temperature without that coverage.

Air Quality

Although the battle for air pollution rages on, the living wall assists in improving air quality of the surrounding area. Of course any plant can accomplish this as well. However, covering you home in plant life provides a great deal of square footage of greenery than you may not have had available due to property constraints. Regardless of how it is created, the addition of virtually any plant can help make a difference in the quality of the air in the immediate area.

green living wall

image via shutterstock

Inspiring to Look At

While some may paint their homes colors that stand out to attract attention, a living wall can be just as effective. For some, a living wall can provide a canvas for artistic expression. Nature is full of all kinds of different shades of green, yellows and browns that can be used to create a unique look or add defined detail to imagery such as promoting a sports team or school spirit.

CaixaForum museum. living wall

CaixaForum museum in Madrid, Spain | Photo: Jason Paris

Energy Bills

The obvious benefit to the living wall is the impact it makes on your energy bills. During the summer, a full grown wall can canvas a sunny side of a home reducing the ambient temperature as mentioned above. This reduction of temperature means your power-draining air conditioner doesn’t need to be turned on. As climate change continues to harass humanity, there may be days where the AC can take the edge off. However, the time you use the device may be shortened exponentially.

Photo:  La Citta Vita

Photo: La Citta Vita

Living walls can be incredibly fun to build and look at. It is a way to promote a greener pace of life while keeping more money in your pocket. As long as you use some creativity, you don’t have to spend a great deal of money building one yourself.

 ken myers headshotKen Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.

 

Asst. Ed. ~ Green Diva Gal

 

Bonus:

Listen to this Green Divas Green Dude episode with actor and green builder James Michael Reilly in the studio talking about intensive green roofs and more.

About the author / 

The Green Divas

The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts. Working with talented partners and credible sources, the Green Divas produce content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more, and check out The Green Divas on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter too!

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