Can Living Walls Save Us?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Trace One 6 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #154275

    Rob Halpern
    Participant

    This story is all over the place today, entirely without background or explanation:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2398398/Climbing-walls-Countrys-largest-vertical-garden-unveiled-experts-say-prevent-central-London-flooding.html

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/picture/2013/aug/21/london-largest-living-wall-big-picture

    http://www.rubenshotel.com/about-us/the-living-wall

    But I have my doubts. Aside from the structural challenge of hanging a wall of 16 tonnes (35,270 pounds) that will hold 10000 litres of water (22,000 pounds) on the side of an existing building (1912), I wonder at the watering system that will distribute rain water from the roof evenly through the wall (it can’t all come in at the top) and the maintenance of replacing plants and soil over the years on a 21m tall wall. I assume there is a massive rain water storage somewhere, and the wall is irrigated like any other, but what does the living wall add?

    Surely there was a better way?

    #154290

    Trace One
    Participant

    I saw this, I agree, Rob, it seems a doubtful way to store water or to buffer against storms.. It could be wildlife habitat, rats love this kind of stuff.

    But I think the best thing is reduction in the  human population. Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute thinks human population crash is inevitable, from zoonotic diseases or drought – he points out that water is already being imported in vast quantities to China and the Middle East in the form of grain.

    Cheerful thought for the day!

    #154289

    Rob Halpern
    Participant

    Sheesh, Trace, I was just thinking about urban water run off!

    #154288

    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    When are they going to propose giant sponges everywhere?

     

    #154287

    Tosh K
    Participant

    I recall a competition entry using a highly absorbent fabric buoy/levy system… seemed a bit hokey, but maybe not? 

    #154286

    Trace One
    Participant

    sorry, I’m a big picture kind of gal..

    : )

    #154285

    Rob Halpern
    Participant

    I guess my objection to what I am seeing here is that, if I am correct that they must be caching the rain water, that they build this huge structure that requires huge maintenance, and say it has to do with sustainability. If one is going to start with the large cistern, then wouldn’t the project be more sustainable if the water were used for existing needs: toilets? nearby parkland? washing the Queen’s corgis?

    #154284

    Jason T. Radice
    Participant

    Agreed about the building. And old masonry core building supporting an extra 27 tons (24 metric tonnes) of weight on one wall, which looks to have been a shared wall at one point, doesn’t seem all that safe. One major question of these systems is long term mold ramifications. Having been dealing with a mold problem myself, the lack of air circulation behind the system on a masonry wall, along with the added dense shade and adjacent humidity from the plants and water seem like a recipe for a problem. I could see if this were a modern building with a rain screen system, and it does look as if they put some sort of membrane on the wall, but if it isn’t a proper vapor barrier, you will have moisture behind it, so you will have mold.

    #154283

    Goustan BODIN
    Participant

    “experts say will prevent central London from flooding”

    As long as London is flood saved, the answer is clearly YES, living walls can save us. Listen to experts.

    #154282

    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    The same may be said about the green wall. I’d go with hokey. …. nothing against green walls, just the incredible amount of unrealistic earth saving attributes that go with their promoters.

    #154281

    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    How long before medical marijuana and green walls are combined with a few tomatoes and we can finally get rid of engineers, drug companies, Super Walmarts, and Monsanto?

     

    It is going to be interesting to see how history views some of these things in a few years.

    #154280

    Jason T. Radice
    Participant

    You would not want to consume anything grown on a roof or wall in a city. Who knows what is shoved into the fruits from what the plant pulls out of the air?

    #154279

    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    If my sarcasm is not coming through, I find the whole green roof/wall thing making a huge impact on the environment to be just as ridiculous as marijuana being a universal cure all (not saying it does not help a few things, just not all the things people are pretending it helps).

     

     

     

    #154278

    Jason T. Radice
    Participant

    Sometimes it is hard to tell with the typing and all. I personally know people who pretty much think exactly the way you had typed. Plus a good portion of the State of Colorado.

     

    #154277

    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    … and Washington State.

     

    I did my share to incinerate what I could some time ago and have a very hard time remembering believing that it is a cure all. It might, however, give rise to the notion that green walls will cure flooding and stop global warming …. “and it will cure your asthma, too”.

     

    Poncho by Sears (someone will know the reference)

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