Living walls, also referred to as green walls or vertical gardens, have gained significant popularity over recent years as a way to incorporate more greenery into urban landscapes. Whilst the first living wall structure can be traced back to 1938, today, living walls are often seen as a modern-day trend, with some raising questions around their environmental claims.

In this article, we uncover the true value of living walls through their environmental and commercial benefits, supported by research.

Environmental benefits of living walls

Since urban greening features have become more widely acknowledged, greening solutions such as living walls have gained recognition as an efficient way to bring more greenery into cities. But how exactly do living walls benefit the environment?

1. Living walls decrease air pollution

Air pollution is a combination of particulate matter and gases such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO), which contribute to seven million deaths annually.

Exhaust fumes from cars, bikes, and other vehicles are the biggest contributor to this air pollution in cities – especially where large buildings line either side of the street. This creates what is known as ‘street canyons’ which trap pollution at street level.

So, how can living walls help reduce such a lethal problem?

According to research into the Effectiveness of Green Infrastructure, introducing living walls can reduce the concentration of pollutants in street canyons by as much as 60% for particulate matter and 40% for NO2.

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