When it comes to designing green walls, no two are ever the same, with each one needing to be designed to suit the individual characteristics of its location. We’ve identified 5 key green wall considerations that will impact on its climbing plants, all of which must be taken into account: light, shade wind, temperature and rainfall. By researching and analysing each of these, in the environment where the green wall is to be located, precise planning can be carried out, and a green wall that will thrive can be designed.
Light and Shade
As for all plants, those on green walls need natural sunlight. So, it’s not only important to make sure the green wall is positioned where natural sunlight will reach the plants, but also to consider the light intensity, reflection and any possible shading on the site.
For example, some green walls may become shaded due to nearby structures. Also, light intensity will be stronger at higher locations, where there are fewer impediments to solar radiation and greater reflection.
These factors will contribute to the on-site climate; therefore, it is important that they are assessed throughout the year, ensuring the light and shade levels are analysed across the changing seasons. The possibility of future nearby developments is also a matter to consider, as new buildings may have an impact on the light and shade of a location. Once the light and shade has been assessed, the most suitable climbing plants can be chosen for the green wall. There are varieties of climbers that are more suited to shaded areas and although they do not grow so quickly, they can achieve great results even on more shaded green walls.
Wind speed increases the higher up you go, and wind can have an impact on temperature. The speed of wind can also increase the risk of plant dehydration, particularly at higher levels. Downdrafts from nearby tall buildings can also impact the wind in a location. It is important to take wind levels into consideration when choosing an irrigation system for a green wall, to ensure that the plants do not get dehydrated.
When selecting which plants to incorporate into a green wall, it is very important to assess the temperature at the site, so that the most suitable plants are selected. Temperatures are higher on the top levels of buildings in comparison to the bottom levels, due to greater thermal mass and heat gain at height. To ensure the green wall flourishes, select plants suitable for the temperature and conditions at its location.
To ensure that the plants on green walls have what they need to thrive, it is crucial to research the amount of water the plants are going to get. This will highlight any need for an irrigation or drainage system and ties in with knowing how much water the climbing plants for the green wall are going to need, so that any necessary systems will meet the needs of the plants.
To ensure a green wall thrives and flourishes, it is important that on-site analysis is carried out to make sure that all its needs are going to be met. While this may appear daunting, our experienced and knowledgeable team are here to help and can find a design and plant choice to suit almost all scenarios. If you would like more information about the design of a green wall, please contact us.