Vertical gardens are a great way to both maximise limited space and reclaim disregarded space by transforming empty space into something aesthetically pleasing and creatively stimulating. They can be seen as a natural tapestry on a building.
Vertical gardening can be a very interesting task for every homeowner. It’s an alternative type of gardening when you don’t have enough horizontal space, want to cover up an unappealing wall, or want to experiment a little bit. Some of the main advantages of having a vertical garden are: providing an extra layer of insulation, keeping homes cool in summer, bettering the air quality and reducing noise pollution.
There are several benefits of vertical gardens –
A. Environmental benefits
1. Reduce the urban heat island effect and smog. Urban heat island (UHI) refers to a city or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than the surrounding rural areas because of human activities.
2. Clean the outside air of pollutants and dust and also help to offset the carbon footprint of both people and fuel emissions.
3. Plants also improve indoor air quality as they remove harmful VOCs(volatile organic compounds) and other harmful toxins like benzene and formaldehyde.
4. Act as a natural sound proofing barrier. The vegetated surface blocks high frequency sounds, and when built with a substrate or growing medium support they can also block out low-frequency noises.
5. Increase biodiversity by creating habitats for birds and insects. Green walls can help to mitigate the loss of biodiversity caused by urbanization and help to sustain a variety of plants and insects.
6. Can be used to grow food such as small fruit, vegetables and herbs in urban settings, creating sustainable and local control of food sources.
B. Physiological benefits
Plants reduce stress – Professor Virginia Lohr of Washington State University found in a study, that plants reduce the physical signs of stress. Dr. Lohr discovered that people working in an environment with plants present were 12% more productive and less stressed than those who worked in an environment without plants.There are numerous other studies that highlight the positive impact of green spaces upon human well being. Honeyman 1987 found that buildings that feature and promote access to vegetation have a greater positive human health impact than those without. Green buildings have even been shown to increase post-operative recovery rates in medical facilities (Ulrich 1983).
C. Economical benefits
1. Increase foot traffic in retail spaces as green walls create spaces that people want to spend time in.
2. Provide thermal insulation.
3. As green walls provide insulation to buildings there is less demand upon power, saving cash as well as reducing the amount of nasty polluting by-products that are released into the atmosphere.
4. Vertical gardens both insulate and cool buildings, providing a kind of safety blanket that protects the building from the elements, saving money on repairs in the long run.
5. Create local jobs. Vertical gardens require the expertise of professionals from a variety of disciplines including landscape architects, architects, irrigation consultants and more.
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