To begin with, living air greenwalls generally fall into one of a few categories, depending on how they're constructed. Freestanding greenwalls are most commonly utilized for interior functions, and have the benefit of being ultra portable. It is also exceedingly easy to modify a freestanding greenwall, usually taking only a few minutes to shift it to a different area. The biggest drawback with this type of greenwall, however, is its restricted support structure. Freestanding greenwalls are limited in size due to the fact that they rely exclusively on their own construction for support, unlike other varieties, which are integrated into pre-existing or purpose built walls.
Panelized systems are another type of greenwall, far more commonly used on building exteriors. These systems are immobile, yet compared to freestanding greenwalls, they can be much larger. In some cases, the entire side of a building has been converted with panelized greenwalls, often with an engineered design or image built into it. Panelized greenwalls are structured to hold plants on a vertical plane, however, and as such, are limited in terms of what can be grown with them.
The third type of greenwall is the tray system. A semi-permanent structure built into a wall, the tray greenwalls feature a built in irrigation system that delivers water to each individual plant, greatly reducing concerns over excess moisture in the room. Tray systems are highly versatile, as plants can be easily swapped in and out of the system seasonally, and can be arranged to create elegant displays of living art.
Tray system greenwalls are most often built on the idea of one pot, one plant, which prevents competitive growth between root systems. This arrangement is amenable to a wide variety of plants, including those that do not adapt well to a vertical growth plane. Irrigation and maintenance are often automated, with water reservoirs either tapping off of the building's existing lines, or easily filled from a built in access point, negating the need to water each pot individually. Recirculation systems are some of the most efficient, moving water repeatedly through the irrigation tubes until it is completely utilized.
Some greenwalls have even been adapted to grow food or herbs in a limited, urban space, although these systems are highly dependent on lighting conditions. Out of necessity, growth lights can be used, although there are aesthetic and energy consumption concerns that accompany such a setup.
Greenwalls are versatile enough to be installed in most any room, and can either be added during new construction or retrofitted later. While the cost of greenwalls varies with the size and the nature of the installation, the hardware has been seen in some cases to last over 25 years. Many companies also require a mandatory one-year warranty on their greenwall systems, covering what is the most critical time for growth.
Each living air greenwall installation is its own unique project, combining form, function, and aesthetic. If you've got an empty wall and a desire to spruce up your living space, stop in and see Karen at Green Conscience to learn more about living air greenwalls.