Fytotextile Living Wall - not just a 'felt' system

28 October 2020

 

 

Did you know since 2007 we have installed nearly 50,000 m2 of living walls?

As professional landscape contractors, our early experience with living walls occurred in 2007 when we were contracted to install and maintain projects for other living wall companies. This was an interesting time in the living wall market. They had just ‘arrived’ in the UK and there was much to be learnt about best practice in terms of both installing and maintaining vertical gardens to get the best results.

We truly cut our teeth in these early years and found ourselves with a wealth of understanding about what worked, what didn’t and most importantly what could be done to refine and improve vertical greening systems.

We installed some of the most notable living walls in London including the Rubens Hotel and the magnificent 700m2 living wall at Fenchurch Street in London, the aquatics centre at the London 2012 Olympics many of Marks and Spencer Simply Food Living Walls and even the pop up living wall of a Van Gogh painting outside the National Gallery.

2012 Olympics Living Wall installed by Scotscape Group
2012 Olympics Living Wall at the Aquatics Centre installed by Scotscape Group
Van Gogh Living Wall at the National Gallery installed by Scotscape
Van Gogh Living Wall at the National Gallery installed by Scotscape

There is a well-known quote which says ‘repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment’ – the team certainly learnt a lot.

Fast forward to 2012 and we had discovered Fytotextile, a patented fabric led system which had been designed by a group of academics and architects in Seville – the Terapia Urbana team. We loved what they had created and started working together to optimise the design of the original system with our living wall installation, plant and maintenance knowledge… and their technical and manufacturing credentials.

What has evolved is a superior living wall system that has been designed around the plant requirements for sustainable long term health.

Living Wall at the Rubens Hotel Victoria installed by Scotscape
Living Wall at the Rubens Hotel Victoria installed by Scotscape


What is the Fytotextile 'difference'?

It is important to define the difference between Fytotextile and what might be described as a ‘felt’ or ‘fabric’ living wall system. Fytotextile is a patented and unique fabric comprising three layers. It is constructed to enable aeration to plant root systems which oxygenates and therefore supports excellent plant health. This aeration also means that this system actively improves air quality by trapping carbon in the soil. We have recently installed a living wall for Plymouth University and they are carrying out research to quantify the effectiveness of this.

The Multi-layer construction of the living wall modules includes a waterproof layer, an irrigation layer along-with the breathable aerated layer.

What are the other benefits of Fytotextile Living Wall?

At 40 – 50kg per square meter fully planted and saturated (weight taken after 3 years of plant growth), it is the most lightweight of all living wall systems, making this system ideal for retrofitting

It is STRONG – the specialist fabric is tested to load bear over 530kg!

It is flexible enabling intelligent planting to be applied to any surface, flat or curved

It supports optimum plant health

Irrigation is accessed from the front of the system, this means in practical terms, maintenance is more time efficient and any irrigation challenges can be identified and dealt with swiftly, without having to dismantle a living wall. This is seriously costly for clients. Limescale build up can affect the performance of the irrigation emitters. Having the irrigation lines accessible is a huge bonus of this system.

The system holds a 10-year warranty

Excellent Fire Retardancy credentials of B-s2-d0

Fytotextile can be manufactured in bespoke panels to support unique projects, and unlike any other living wall system, pocket size can be adjusted to enable the largest plant species selection including small trees and large shrubs

As the system is not restricted by solid structures (such as plastic) this means that the plants are not prohibited from meeting their true potential for growth

We believe in using soil, which is full of micro-organisms and bacteria which not only help in breaking down particulate matter but also benefits plant growth and health.

Since 2013 we have used Fytotextile exclusively for all of our living wall projects, exterior and interior, commercial and domestic, with great results. It is wise to remember that whilst on the surface all living walls can look similar the underlying system is crucial to support the broader benefits beyond aesthetics that vertical gardens can bring.

Our partners at Terapia Urbana have just completed the installation of a huge interior living wall in Santandar Spain. At 560m2 it is the largest interior living wall in Europe which is entirely constructed from Fytotextile using both standard and bespoke design to seamlessly fit into this ecclesiastical space.

 

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