Are living walls the next stage in garden office design?

Sedums are popular in living walls & roofs

Living roofs have become common place in garden office design, they enhance the look of a garden office and offer benefits such as increased thermal and acoustic insulation, but how soon will it be before garden office designers follow the lead of Patrick Blanc founder of the vertical garden, and start ‘cladding’ their buildings in plants?

Plants have been grown up the exterior walls of buildings for years, to help them blend in with their surroundings but vertical gardening takes this to a whole different level, as the living wall is part of the buildings structure and acts as a protective cladding.

Vertical planting has until now been predominantly artistic installations, found on large urban buildings but the technology is constantly evolving and being scaled down to a point where it can be used on domestic installations.

The type of vertical wall installation that would be suitable for use in garden office design consists of modular planted panels; these panels consist of angular planting cells which retain the planting medium and an irrigation system which percolates water from top to bottom, meaning that a living wall need little maintance

Like a living roof an living wall offers many benefits, soil and planting offer greater thermal properties than normal types of cladding which makes the building easier and more cost effective to heat and cool, planting also improves acoustic insulation which is an important factor in garden room design, particularly if the building is to be used as a music room. Living walls are good at absorbing  water, it is estimated that 30kgs of water is absorbed per sq meter of living wall; like green roofs, living walls absorb C02 from the atmosphere, and provide natural biospheres for insects and birds.

Some people are reluctant to build in their garden because of the loss of green space, but a garden building clad in plants could be the solution! While we wait for living walled garden offices to be designed will have to make do with living roofs – Pod Space and Tor Garden Buildings offer living roofs as standard.

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