Today's topic on the Green Conscience blog stems from a number of discussions I had at the fifth anniversary party several weeks ago.  There are no shortage of ways to go green with the interior of your living space (American Clay, anyone?), but if you really want to up the ante, you might want to check out the product that kept getting discussed at the Green Conscience anniversary party: Living air greenwalls.

Living air greenwalls are the newest addition to the Green Conscience inventory, but they're hardly a new concept.  The idea of greenwalls has been around at least since the 1930's, but only recently is it starting to find mass appeal. 

Simply put, living air greenwalls are vertical, panelized gardens, that are grown using hydroponics.  They can be either free-standing or attached to walls, and in some purpose-built structures, the hydroponic mechanisms can be built into the walls in question.  Living greenwalls take the concept of ivy and other plants that naturally grow on buildings and extend it to interior spaces, in a structured manner.

According to Ambius, the concept was first patented in 1938, by a man named Stanley Hart White. Patrick Blanc brought widespread attention to the idea with his wall at the
Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, bringing nature back into urban environments while simultaneously giving greenwalls a foothold in the court of public opinion.

Living air greenwalls have a variety of benefits for interior living spaces, some of which are less obvious than others.  It seems like a no-brainer that they vastly improve air quality, but this is a particularly salient point when you consider that traditional wall coverings have no lack of harmful chemical compounds.  Unless you're using American Clay, there's very little that can beat greenwalls for interior air quality.  They not only remove carbon dioxide from the air, but also act as natural filters for particulate matter, a benefit that is exponentially increased as more plants are added to the wall.

There are other benefits when it comes to greenwalls, both visual and aural.  Aside from being aesthetically pleasing in their own right, greenwalls provide several layers of protection for walls, diverting moisture away from them, displacing sunlight and UV radiation, and regulating temperature.  Sonically, they provide insulation from high frequency sounds.  Combined with the natural ability of a supporting wall to block low frequency waves,
greenwalls can serve to insulate living spaces from the unwanted noise pollution of city life.

Greenwalls can also help to offset the urban heat island effect.  Researchers have been able to determine that urban, metropolitan areas generate significantly higher amounts of heat than rural areas
.  Living air greenwalls help to offset this effect by providing shade, deflecting direct sunlight from heating building surfaces.  They also naturally reflect sunlight instead of storing heat, and help to cool the surrounding air via evapotransportation.

Later in the week, we'll go further in depth with living air greenwalls, specifically looking at their construction, maintenance, and varied uses.  As always, thanks for reading, and enjoy your week, Green Conscience friends!



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