Living Walls Support Air Quality improvement initiatives in cities
Research highlights the superior ability of living walls to benefit air quality. The nature of city landscapes creates ‘street canyons’ which trap pollution at street level, living walls can increase the deposition rate of harmful particulate matter by as much as 40% of nitrogen dioxide and 60% when planted correctly.
Scotscape selects the best plants to trap particulate matter (PM) to improve the health and well-being of city residents.
Living walls create a WOW factor unrivalled by other interior or exterior finishes. They are not only beautiful but also help companies communicate green credentials to their customers. Championed by well-known retailers, hoteliers and commercial businesses – green walls demonstrate a company’s sustainability targets and corporate social responsibility.
Living Walls reduce the urban heat island effect
High urban temperatures are caused by the increased capacity of the urban land surface (eg. roads, buildings, pavements) to absorb and trap heat. This causes our city temperatures to be up to 10c higher than rural areas, resulting in the Urban Heat Island effect.
Adding living walls and green roofs to urban structures mimics the conditions presented in rural surroundings, evapo-transpiration from plants mitigates the urban heat island effect and makes cities more comfortable places to live in the summer months by both reducing temperatures and dust in the air.
‘Green facades effectively remove 50% of solar radiation. In summer vegetated roofs can be up to 50c cooler than conventional roofs.’ – Arup Green Buildings
Living walls provide great insulation
Living walls provide great insulation - keeping buildings cool in the summer and warmer in the winter – creating proven energy efficiencies. Our research and development programme includes research into the thermal benefits of living walls, undertaken at the University of Sheffield and sponsored by Scotscape, this year long study exposed irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of living walls to cool buildings in the summer and insulate buildings in the winter.
Improved urban biodiversity
Living walls can ‘mimic’ biodiversity in areas where green has been stripped away and replaced with the built environment, supporting insects and birdlife. Scotscape Smartscape offers a bug habitat to all of our living wall clients to further promote the message of the benefits that living walls bring to urban environments.
Living wall structures can reduce noise levels in buildings. Plants are regularly used to reduce noise on motorways and within urban environments. Living walls reduce noise levels by reflecting, refracting as well as absorbing acoustic energy. This further assists with reducing stress in working environments leading to happier healthier staff and improved staff retention.
‘Green facades can absorb traffic noise reducing sound levels by up to 10 decibels’ – Arup – Green Buildings
At an early stage, we meet with you to discuss your proposed living wall, after which we develop a concept and planting design. We then design the structural support framework, if required, to suit your site along with the type of irrigation required. Our planting design is entirely bespoke to each project, bringing your vision to life. Alternatively, we can share our specialist living wall knowledge with your architect or designer.
To support Architects our system is on the NBS BIM library enabling quick and easy digital specification.
Planting Design Example
We supply all the components required to fit the Living Wall system to your site. Scotscape’s Fabric Living wall system is planted on site for instant impact, providing an immediately green aesthetic. Our experienced construction team interfaces with architects and structural engineers to ensure that best practice is applied at each and every location.
The fabric living wall system is fast and easy to install, fixed to a steel or timber sub frame, and hung from a steel fixing rail. The system is planted in situ, minimising lead times and allowing for instant vertical greening which further develops as the season progresses. Easy to access integrated irrigation systems also allow for a smooth installation processes.
We offer a full maintenance service on every living wall we sell - checking and adjusting both irrigation and plant feed systems - as well as weeding and trimming to keep the plants looking at their best. Maintaining living walls is essential. Scotscape have a dedicated specialist horticultural and irrigation team, working all over the UK to ensure that optimum plant health is achieved. We carry out remedial work on all living wall systems and guarantee all walls maintained by our teams.
Living Wall CPD for Architects
CPD for Architects and Specifiers
As specialists in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of Living Walls, we are delighted to be able to offer CPDs' on this topical subject.
Integration of living walls into urban areas is essential to create greener cities, improve biodiversity, mitigate the urban heat island effect and poor air quality.
We offer three unique CPD's
1. Living Walls 'Breathing Life into Cities' - Design, Installation, Maintenance and Benefits
2. FLEX MSE civil engineering living wall product - Design, Installation, Applications
3. LivingPillar and Green Infrastructure Innovation
CPD is offered via webinar only in the current climate - we will be happy to visit you and your team in person post COVID.
Expert plant selection for the long term health of living walls is crucial. Correctly specified plant content which is relevant to the site and exposure of a living wall, will ensure the wall is kept looking good all year round.
Our plant list offers guidance on the best plant content for living walls in all environments. Download the list here
When you work with the Scotscape Smartscape team our in house designers and horticulturalists ensure that your Living Wall design will be sustainable.
Living Wall Maintenance
Scotscape offer award winning living wall maintenance services. We are the experts.
Living Walls require specialist maintenance to ensure that they look good all year round and provide maximum aesthetic and biodiverse benefits. The presence of green walls in our urban landscape is increasing, keeping them looking good, helping the environment and providing habitats for birds, bugs and bees is essential. Green walls have an important role to play in our future landscaping of cities as population and urban expansion increases.
Scotscape Living Wall Maintenance department is dedicated to the maintenance of living walls throughout the UK. Our team consists of experienced horticulturalists and irrigation operatives. It is crucial that green walls are correctly fed, monitored and maintained, so that all of their benefits can be realised.
As well as maintaining our own living wall projects, our team has an enviable track record for reviving walls which have not been maintained correctly back to their former glory, this is essential for clients who have invested in green walls. Please do not hesitate to contact us if your living wall requires remedial works, we are always happy to help and have detailed experience with all systems on the market.
A Mark Laurence Living Wall maintained by the Expert Smartscape team
Research and Development
Research and development into living walls to support tree growth
The 'Large Pocket System' Living Wall
Scotscape install first engineered Living Walls designed to support trees and shrubs on the side of buildings
This living wall is natural a progression to our hugely successful patented Living Wall system, which has been widely used in the UK and abroad over the past 7 years. Our goal is to make our cities more resilient to climate change and urban pollution and this evolution of vertical greening could play an important role. Retrofitting our existing buildings successfully is crucial to improving climate resilience.
The two key variations to our standard Living Wall system are that the pocket size has increased to allow the planting of up to 3 litre shrubs and trees and the density of planting has been reduced to allow for healthy root spread.
To monitor the general health and growth rates of the trees and shrubs
The structural ability of the system to support the loadings that trees will exert
To trial specific species of tree that help with reducing pollution
The Large Pocket System Living Wall concept and principle has now been applied to the Orchard Lisle Living Wall for Team London Bridge where the larger pocket concept has been integrated to enable improved typography of the living wall supporting better particulate matter deposition - improving localised air quality.
Learn more about the Team London Bridge Living Wall.
Thermal Benefits of Living Walls
Scotscape’s commitment to building a sustainable and green future is demonstrated via our continued investment into research and development of living wall systems.
Our projects include a study into the thermal benefits of living walls, carried out during a year long study at the University of Sheffield. Our test bed produced strong evidence proving both the insulation and cooling properties of living walls. We learnt that using living walls as a method to retrofit existing property assets are hugely valuable – keeping indoor temperatures more static throughout the summer and winter months – reducing energy costs for both heating and cooling buildings. This project has led us to develop our unique living wall system which embraces what has been learnt and enables architects and sustainability specialists to fully quantify how living walls affect the ‘u’ value of a building.
Plant Power - Creating Electricity with Living Walls
Another fascinating project sponsored by Scotscape is based at the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge. The P2P hub is the brainchild of researchers at the biochemistry department at the University of Cambridge’s Downing College. The ‘hub’ uses the Scotscape living wall system with an additional layer of carbon fibre to enable the electricity created by growing plants to be harnessed, this ground breaking project combines our living wall system with solar panels to further enhance the potential of this inspired concept.
Living Wall Training Days
Living wall Training and CPD for architects, designers, local authorities and planners.
We offer specialist immersive living wall training and CPD for Garden Designers, Landscape Contractors, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers and Architects at our HQ in Surrey. Local authorities, planners and private sector businesses are also warmly welcomed to learn more. Held throughout the year, these sessions offer a perfect opportunity to gain a full understanding of living walls and their benefits to greening up the built environment.
Participants will learn about the Scotscape Fytotextile Living Wall System and will receive specialist advice on design, installation and maintenance from our pro-active in house team. We incorporate in our session guidance about Living Pillar and other new urban greening innovations.
10.40 CPD Presentation on Living Walls and Living Pillar
11.00 Talk on installation and irrigation
11.15 Talk on plants and maintenance
11.30 Summary and Q&A
12.00 Practical Workshop
13.00 Refreshments and any further questions
Those attending are advised to wear weather appropriate clothing, although we will be inside for most of the day the practical workshop is run outside.
To book a place on one of our Living Wall Training days please click here - Book My Living Wall Training Day Space