Living walls can improve biodiversity and air quality, as well as having a positive impact on health and wellbeing, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, and even increasing property values.
In a nutshell:
- Living walls can also help achieve building standards such as BREEAM and WELL, and comply with local planning policies
- They also provide natural resistance to ultra-violet light and acid rain, and protect against driving rain, temperature changes and direct sunlight
- Living walls act as insulation and save energy – they keep buildings warmer in winter and cooler in summer
- The top living wall systems have Class B fire ratings
- It’s important for architectural façade companies and living wall specialists to work closely together
But did you know that living walls can also aid compliance with regulatory requirements and local planning policies, and help buildings perform more efficiently?
It can be a complex subject – which is why architectural façade companies and living wall specialists, such as Maple and ANS Global, work very closely together on all projects.
The structural and regulatory benefits of living walls?
Living walls can solve regulatory challenges and planning conditions by helping projects hit important environmental targets. Living walls can also help achieve building standards such as BREEAM and WELL, and provide protection against the elements – and even fire.
Planning and regulation
Today’s buildings have more than local planning policies to contend with. Projects also have to achieve BREEAM and WELL standards, and comply with Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Urban Greening Factor (UGF). Living walls can play an important role, as well as satisfying ‘circular economy’ objectives.
Living walls can provide natural resistance to the corrosive effects of ultra-violet light and acid rain, as well as offering protection against driving rain, temperature changes and direct sunlight. It’s estimated that 50% of solar energy is absorbed by foliage and a further 30% reflected. Furthermore, green walls can flourish, while some materials and coatings deteriorate.
Living walls act as insulation and save energy1, keeping buildings warmer in winter and cooler in summer. They will also absorb and deflect noise.
Despite what you might think, plants are always combustible – no matter what types are used and how moist they’re kept. Nevertheless, the top living wall systems have Class B fire ratings, with many of the components – such as the planting modules – being completely fire retardant.
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1. London Living Roofs and Walls Report, Dusty Gedge and Gary Grant, 2019