Boring lobbies and indoor spaces of buildings and offices are things of the past with the lush, healthy plants of the SemperGreenwall. This vertical plant wall gives lots of texture and color to buildings. Moreover, it brings nature indoors. Unlike other products, the SemperGreenwalls are specially designed to be low-maintenance and have a long-term plant performance. For the indoor green wall systems pre-grown panels cultivated on one of our local nurseries are used. In this blog we will answer the most asked questions about the plants and maintenance of the SemperGreenwall system and will inspire you with some great examples of biophilic design by applying a SemperGreenwall.
Why do you see much bigger plants in a SemperGreenwall than in other living walls?
When applying the SemperGreenwall, the plants are given plenty of room to grow as they are not limited to the size of their pot. As the root size impacts the size of the branches and leaves (how bigger the rootzone, how bigger the plants) the plants can grow to a large mature size. With the SemperGreenwall system the plants feel truly happy. Upon delivery, the living wall will be at least 90% covered with plants which ensures a long-lasting, green result.
Why do plants live longer if they grow better?
Plants live longer if they can grow better. The reason behind this is that these plants experience less stress due to the presence of sufficient roots. When plants receive too much or too little nutrition or water, plant growth is not healthy. If a plant is given too much water or fertilizer, the plant will grow too fast and become too large. If a plant is not getting the right amount of water, plant growth will be too slow.
Why is rockwool better for the plants in a living wall?
The Sempergreen living wall system is based on rockwool. The rockwool ensures an equal supply of moisture to the roots and buffers moisture for several days. If plants root better, they live longer as they are less sensitive for drying out. The plant is more resistant. The roots of the plants can develop through the rockwool as they would in nature. The SemperGreenwall is a hydroponic system, which reduces the risk of plant loss caused by viruses, fungi, and harmful bacteria. The main reason is that normal soil would attract these. Therefore, the amount of normal soil present in the SemperGreenwall system is very limited.
How does a SemperGreenwall need to be maintained?
Plants are like humans, if you always have access to food and water your basic needs are fulfilled. However, if you eat and drink too much, you will not feel well. That is why the SemperGreenwall is made up of modular Flexipanels, which are equipped with an irrigation system. And since the presence of soil in the SemperGreenwall system is limited, the amount of water it receives is controlled by an irrigation control. With this Plant Care System the plants are monitored 24/7. By receiving the perfect amount of water and fertilization, the plant growth and root development will be optimal. This will make the plant stronger and more beautiful. Thanks to this system, the SemperGreenwall requires relatively little maintenance compared to a potting system.
Examples of biophilic architecture projects
While most SemperGreenwall projects reflect the principles of biophilic design in one form or another, several stand out as prime examples:
1. Westlight Condos – Washington DC
Perfectly situated in Washington, DC’s West End, Westlight brings distinguished new luxury condominiums. The distinctive cantilevered glass building unveils breathtaking residences bathed in natural sunlight. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Enrique Norten, Westlight sets the new standard of luxury living in the US capital. The lobby area features a lavish indoor SemperGreenwall of approx. 1,000SF (100m²). The living wall covers about 25% of the wall surface in the lobby, 50% is glass and other 25% is reception desk and elevators. There is an extreme amount of depth in this wall as some of the plants reach out about 6” and some of them are over 36” tall/deep.
2. Rittenhouse – Philadelphia PA
In 2017, two SemperGreenwalls were installed at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, PA. The project includes an indoor SemperGreenwall of approx. 1000SF (100m²) and an outdoor SemperGreenwall of approx. 500SF (50 m²). The two living walls are separated from each other by a unique retractable glass ceiling that, when opened, gives you the impression that the living wall is continuous. With very lush planting, complemented by seasonal orchids and other flowering additions and surrounded by several other exotic planting, this courtyard is turned into a tropical masterpiece of biophilia.
3. Mercedes Benz Headquarters – Nieuwegein (the Netherlands)
Another good example of a living wall project with large and lush plants is the new Mercedes-Benz headquarters in Nieuwegein. The former ’Bruynzeel’-building had been vacant for almost two decades and was considered a ‘difficult’ building. The office building has been transformed into an ultramodern building by OPL Architects in collaboration with Delta Development. The Cradle-to-Cradle philosophy was the guiding principle in the sustainable transformation, which involved working with virtually no waste and using only sustainable energy and materials. By removing the central part of the building, a magnificent atrium with sightlines and plenty of daylight has been created, where the green walls of Sempergreen have been applied on a large scale. In total 8 green walls have been installed with a combined surface area of over 180m². A planting plan was designed to match the interior. Large Monstera plants have been incorporated into the green facades, which can root well and grow exuberantly thanks to the Flexipanels in the SemperGreenwall system.
These are just a few of the many examples of biophilic design, where the application of a SemperGreenwall has brought nature indoors. Are you looking for more inspiration for your own project? View Sempergreen’s many reference projects here.