Green walls bring vegetation to both interior and exterior surfaces, transforming spaces and providing wonderful benefits. They are typically seen in urban areas, on the outside of office buildings, and also utilized as partition and decorative elements. Green walls are versatile, natural systems that can enhance the beauty of an environment, improve quality of health and help with energy conservation. Green walls are not one and the same and can be categorized according to the type of medium in which the flora are planted and can be complex or simple. Let’s look at the different media types that you should consider when choosing a green wall.
- Loose Media
Loose media use small compartments and tend to be “soil-on-a-shelf” or “soil-in-a-bag” type systems that are installed onto a wall. This media type is less stable when compared to other green wall installations, and can be blown away by heavy winds. It is recommended not to fit loose media on structures above 8 feet high, unless there will be shielding systems in place to hold the media within the green wall system. Loose media generally require replacement at least once a year on exteriors and roughly every two years on interiors.
- Mat Media
When using mat systems, either felt or coir fibre mats are planted onto directly and the plants root themselves onto the mat. Mat media types are typically thin, and even in multiple layers, are unable to support mature plant with vibrant root systems for more than three to five years before the roots overtake the mat and water absorption through the mats become limited. As a result, this system may require much maintenance to keep it irrigated and provide a buffer for the plant roots that can cause clogging. Reparation of mat media generally requires cutting the mat, piece by piece out of the wall and replacing it with new mat. Sagegreenlife green walls can offer several options in media types that can match your needs.
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- Sheet Media
Similar to mat systems, sheet media differ in that it consists of patterned inorganic polyurethane sheets that are stronger than coir fiber or felt. In recent years, semi-open cell polyurethane sheet media with an egg crate pattern has been commonly used for green walls. This system has the ability to hold more water than coir and felt based systems. The durability of the polyurethane sheets is evident in its nonbiodegradable feature, which makes it viable as an active substrate that can last up to 20 years. Sheet media typically use a sandwich construction where a waterproof membrane is applied to the back of the polyurethane sheeting, followed by a mesh or anchor braces to secure the assembly to a wall.
- Structural Media
This media is a blend of both loose and matt systems in a block form. Structural media systems are known for their longevity and are suitable for indoor and outdoor green walls alike because of their robust nature. Structural media can be installed onto a wall with a built-in irrigation and the block that can be made in different shapes, thicknesses and sizes. Their structure can remain intact for 10 to 15 years, and depending on the plant selection, can be made to have a higher or lower water holding capacity.
Green wall media types have particular features that can help you to arrive a decision about the best choice for your business space. If you want a media type that is robust or thin, or one that has a combination of features of two different media types, you can weigh your options. You can find the best media type that will provide the benefits that you need.