The inaugural International Green Wall Day 2021 has been set to celebrate the 130th birthday of Stanley Hart White, the inventor of the green wall. Founded by UK green infrastructure specialists, Pritchard & Pritchard, and supported by industry leaders, Green Wall Day celebrates green and living walls worldwide.
Green Wall Systems & Benefits
Green walls (also known as living walls) are structures designed to house vegetation, allowing for vertical greening to be created. There are many different types of green wall systems, including Webnet mesh systems, rope & rod trellises and pocket-based/modular systems. A multitude of plants can be grown on living walls, including wisteria, trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine), holboellia latifolia and many other climbing plants. Using a combination of plants can create beautiful green walls, adding a splash of colour to both indoor and outdoor environments.
Living walls provide many benefits upon installation, not only to the environment, but also to the buildings they are housed on.
Green wall benefits include:
- Improving aesthetics – well designed and maintained green walls can significantly enhance a building’s appearance.
- Protecting building façades – green walls can act as a shield to heavy rain and block damaging UV rays.
- Increasing biodiversity – in addition to introducing new plants, green walls provide habitats for wildlife and essential pollinators.
- Regulating temperature and reducing carbon footprint – green walls provide an extra layer of insulation, reducing energy costs in the winter and acting as a sunscreen in the summer, keeping the building cool.
- Improving air quality – urban green walls improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, in addition to trapping dust and pollutants.
- Noise reduction – by adding a thermal and acoustic layer of insulation, green walls absorb sound, making a positive impact for the building’s occupants and the local environment.
Stanley Hart White
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1891, Stanley Hart White was a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Illinois from 1922 until 1959. Known for modernising landscape architecture and for his creative teaching methods, Stanley developed ‘botanical bricks’ which could be built up to create vertical gardens, patented under the name ‘Vegetation-Bearing Architectonic Structure and System’ in 1938. This system was used for creating the first known green wall or vertical garden, constructed in Stanley’s own back garden. Although green walls didn’t fully catch on until the 1980s, after French botanist Patrick Blanc created the first successful indoor green wall in 1986, it is safe to say that Stanley’s system was certainly a pioneering one.
Since Stanley Hart White’s introductory idea of vertical gardens, various green wall systems have been developed, becoming increasingly popular since the turn of the century. Our Jakob Webnet and rope & rod green wall systems can be found across the globe. A few of our favourite Jakob green wall installations include the Drapers Garden Green Wall in London, Sihlcity Green Wall in Zurich and the free-standing green wall at St Dominic’s College in Harrow.
The Vision of International Green Wall Day
Green Wall Day has been introduced as a way to highlight the benefits of introducing green walls into indoor, outdoor and urban areas. Green Wall Day founders Pritchard & Pritchard explain their vision ‘What is our vision for #GreenWallDay? This not only celebrates the living wall industry and Stanley Hart White, but will also lead to greater collaboration and best practice, living wall installation standards, guidance on how to incorporate living walls with sustainability at the forefront, including smart maintenance, recycled water, system origin, carbon footprint, biodiversity benefits and above all the need for progressive legislation worldwide to ensure all new walls are living walls.’
To take part in celebrating International Green Wall Day on Stanley Hart White’s 130th birthday (February 15th, 2021), share your green wall photos and videos using the hashtag #GreenWallDay on social media. We’d love to see your living wall projects!