What are Jakob Trellis-based Green Walls?
You may be familiar with residential trellis systems such as those in domestic gardens, where ropes run vertically across horizonal rods (available here). Essentially rope and rod Green Walls are professional, larger scale versions which enable clients to create unique designs even before schemes are fully planted. The combination of stainless steel rod, rope and fixings provide elegant design options; and with its unique customizability, Jakob Webnet wire mesh can also be introduced to the system to support a ‘fuller’ coverage of plants – giving additional texture to facades and providing strong shadow definition.
What are Pocket-based Green Walls?
Simply put, pocket based Green Walls, are planter boxes or pockets, which are mounted to a wall. They hold natural soil and plants. Unlike rope and rod Green walls they do not use ground water and tend to require an irrigation system for plant maintenance, offering a full coverage when initially planted.
There are many benefits of both systems with just a few main advantages below:
Benefits of pocket based Green Walls:
Like most systems however, pocket based green walls come with their disadvantages. Due to their design, where pockets/boxes are directly fixed to the wall, they can be extremely heavy, especially once the soil and plants are added as well as large amount of water need to keep the plants alive. As a result, additional structural support may be required, making the system very expensive – typically 2-4 times more expensive than a trellis-based system.
Unlike pocket based green walls, trellis systems are fixed away from the wall which means the plants grow up a trellis not directly against the wall. This allows for an air gap which prevents the wall from being constantly damp and the plants from becoming heavy (once fully grown).
Maintenance is extremely important when it comes to keeping a green wall healthy, some systems require more upkeep than others. Most trellis systems do not require an irrigation system as the plants are grown from the ground up, meaning natural rainwater or manually watering of the soil around the roots is sufficient.
Pocket systems tend to require a full recirculating, or direct irrigation system where water is operated by a timer or controller with a corresponding tank of water. It is important that pocket based systems are properly maintained and that irrigation is effective as a planted wall can fail quite quickly.
However, given sufficient budget is available to cover the initial installation, including structural support and regular maintenance, then pocket-based system can work well.
Jakob Trellis Green Walls have been installed across hundreds of projects worldwide for both residential and commercial applications, with one of its projects being Sihlcity in Zurich. Here, Jakob installed a 23m high by 25.5m wide trellis system to one of Switzerland’s largest and most advanced shopping and leisure complexes. The result is a striking, living green wall which delivers an elegant aesthetic solution to the car park façade.
Used both internally and externally, Green Walls not only look fantastic and are helping bring flora and fauna back to our towns and cities, but deliver a wide range of operational, cost and sustainability benefits for building owners.