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The use of vertical gardens as an aesthetic method of improving air quality and keeping buildings energy efficient is not a radical new idea. The hanging gardens of ancient Babylon and the ivy found on classic buildings throughout the western world are great examples of this wonderful green housing idea.
Green walls have several applications and can be used externally or internally, and on residential or commercial projects. For the purpose of this article, the residential and external green walls will be the focus as they are both beneficial to the environment and cost effective for homeowners. Green walls are vertical gardens that attach to the sides of existing walls. The plants within the panels are pre-planted and remain in vertical positions because they are anchored anywhere from 2 to 4 inches into the soil within the panel. Several varieties of local plants can be used in the green wall, but those that require less water and little upkeep are recommended. (Alive Structures)
Green walls can improve the air quality around a home by acting as a natural air filter. The plants located in the wall absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen in return. This helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gas located in the environment and makes the air cleaner around the home. This is especially beneficial to those who live in urban environments with little plant life present and an abundance of vehicle and industry emissions. Green walls are great for backyards and patio areas where homeowners spend lots of time doing outdoor activities. (Alive Structures)
Green walls attached to the existing wall of a home can also help reduce energy consumption and costs. The thick layer of soil and vegetation on the exterior of the house acts a layer of insulation that can help keep the building cold in the summer and warm in the winter. Green walls act as a great natural method for driving down the utility costs of owning a home. Additionally, the insulation of the wall can help block harmful UV rays and sound waves from entering the home.(Alive Structures)
Green walls are not just great for your bank account and the environment; they are also a great accent to your home. Green walls can liven up your backyard view, or give neighbors something pleasing to admire. The presence of lush vegetation arranged in beautiful patterns and designs are sure to impress and provide a change of pace from the standard brick or vinyl wall.
As more and more builders and homeowners look for new and efficient techniques to build more eco-friendly houses, ideas like green walls are gaining a lot of popularity. With this popularity has come some very practical and easily accessible ways to utilize the method. Green walls can now be purchased in individual pre-planted panels that interconnect for easy installation and maintenance. For those concerned with mold or irrigation issues, panels are hung so that they do not come in contact with the house's walls. This ensures that air flows around the home and water is contained within the green walls. Green walls are becoming a very popular cost saving and visually pleasing home building option. (Examiner)
In short, green walls are very sensible way to save some money and improve your local environment. They provide a beautiful and practical solution to improving the air you breathe and allow you to conserve the amount of energy and money needed to ensure your house is comfortable to live in.
I would like to thank Tyler Morgan from Artistic Garden Stone Works for his insight on this article.
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