Vertical gardens, or ‘green walls’, have become a popular feature for new buildings, though until now they have always been more of an accent piece—typically reserved for just one wall or a small section of one at most (rapper Lil’ Wayne bought a Miami house with one as just one example). That is all about to change with the influx of several different technological advances.
Optima, a developer based in the dry climate of Arizona no less, has come up with a vertical planting system that has self-contained irrigation and drainage so plants can grow up and over the side of the building. This provides a natural shading system while also creating cleaner air and decreasing the excessive temperatures so common to Arizona. Vertical gardens are one part of their overall greening initiative which aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.
A few years ago green walls were considered an elaborate and expensive endeavor. Pumping water up to the top of a building to keep the plants watered was a complex affair. But now with sensors that can alert your phone or hydrophilic material that can adhere to concrete there is every chance this will become much more feasible to implement. It could also help lower the heating costs of a building since it decreases the ambient temperature in the surrounding air. I expect we’ll soon start to see more green walls cropping up around the country.
Read more from Forbes here.