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Frequently Asked Questions

LIVING WALLS »
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LIVING WALLS
 
What are the benefits of living walls?

There are so many benefits that can be felt with living walls. The following are just a few examples: Living walls conserve energy by insulating the building envelope, reducing the need for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. They create biodiversity conservation opportunities, and absorb and filter storm water, which reduces local water body pollution and helps prevent the overwhelming of municipal storm water infrastructure. Living walls also filter air particulates, improving air quality and help to reduce the urban heat island effect (UHI). With our interior kits the plants clean the air in your office or home and also add humidity to the air when you have your central heating on in the winter. What is the weight of Living Wall panel? Unplanted panels weigh approximately 2kg each. Our newest living wall panel 100cm x 100cm with 30, 36 or 64 pockets gives plenty of planting space for an increased variety of plants - either native or exotic. Fully saturated and planted weight can be as much as 76k per square mete so a sturdy frame or concrete wall is best.
Panel sizes available (width x height)
- 100cm x 100cm, 30/36/64 pockets
- 100cm x 50cm, 15/18/32 pockets
Please visit our product page for the full range of our living wall and vertical garden panels.
What is the weight of a Living Wall panel?
Our unplanted panels weigh approximately 2kg each. Our newest living wall panel - 100cm x 100cm gives plenty of planting space for an increased variety of plants - either native or exotic. Fully saturated and planted weight can be as much as 45kg - 76kg per sqm, so a sturdy frame or concrete wall is best.
How do the plants stay in the panels?
Each panel has pockets which keep the soil and plants in. The roots of the plants also spread throughout the panel securing the plants in place.
Do I need to plant every pocket in the panels?
The plants you choose will influence this decision. You can choose plants that spread or are larger when they fill in and plant every few cells, or more compact plants that suggest planting every pocket. It is up to you what look you are trying to achieve.
How do the panels attach to a wall?
Direct wall installations are very simple. We suggest first covering the wall with a waterproofing material. Either mount them directly on the wall with the supplied screws and plugs or on sturdy framing.
What plants do people plant in them?
Plant choice varies greatly depending on budget, taste and aspect. With the generous planting depth there is a great variety of plants to choose from - both for internal or exterior walls. Our full design consultation service is available.
Can I grow vegetables in my living wall?
Living wall panels can take many varieties of salad crops and vegetables. Strawberries do very well as do herbs.
How are the walls watered?
The panels are designed to allow water flow from pocket to pocket within each panel and then from panel to panel in a complete wall. For direct mount wall installations we suggest installing a drip irrigation line between every row of panels depending on the micro climate of the installation.
How much water do the walls need?
The amount of water required is plant and climate dependant but an average would be approximately 8 liters per panel per watering. We always say - keep an eye on your plants, they will look sad if they need water.
What are the maintenance requirements?
The living wall panels requires very little maintenance. With carefully selected plants and proper irrigation they take care of themselves. The only thing that may need to be done is the odd trimming of dead leaves, fertilizing or adding plants as necessary if replacements are needed. It is very similar to house or garden plants in that way.
What happens to my living wall in the winter?
For outdoor applications only this depends on your geographical location, climate and the plants selected. Some sedum species are evergreen and will turn a shade of maroon in the winter but will then return to their green color as soon as spring appears. Some grasses will go dormant and look brown all winter but then will regenerate from the centre of the plant, turning green again in the spring. In some of the warmer climates the plants survive all year round. Of course in some of our extreme cold climates the plants will recess into the cells of the panels to come back out again in the spring just as perennials do in the garden. To avoid this you can also plant all season evergreen plants in our panels if you use extensions. For indoor use they are just beautiful all year round.
Can I install living walls on my own?
Yes! The living wall panels are for individual use as well as large installations.
Why are our living walls considered sustainable?
Each living wall panel has 30, 36 or 64 individual pockets which help regulate the water flow so plants retain water for a long enough time without getting 'soggy feet' and then the water filters down through to the bottom of the panel to the only exit route for any excess water.
If I am doing a direct wall installation what do I need to have prepared?
You will need to waterproof the area that will house the living wall panels and irrigation controllers. You will also need a water source and electrical outlet brought to the wall and a drain detail at the bottom of the wall.
What size irrigation line do we use for direct wall installations?
We run 4mm to 12mm line horizontally across the panels. We would recommend installing lines every 1 row. These lines are generally fed by a water supply line.
What kind of light do I need for my living wall?
It is best to locate your wall where it will receive some natural light. Otherwise you can augment with artificial if necessary. The most important thing is to specify plants that will survive where you are planting them. There are some species that survive very well for instance in low light. Others require more light. Talk to the plant experts or refer to the suggestions on our website.
 

GREEN ROOFS
 
What are the benefits of green roofs?

There are so many benefits that can be felt with green roofs. The following are just a few examples: Green roofs conserve energy by insulating the building envelope, reducing the need for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. They also extend a roof's life by protecting the membrane and create biodiversity conservation opportunities. They absorb and filter storm water which reduces local water body pollution and helps prevent the overload of municipal storm water infrastructure. Green roofs also filter air particulates, improving air quality and help to reduce the urban heat island effect (UHI).
What is the weight of a Green Roof System?
Extensive systems range from 50kg saturated per square metre depending on your climate and depth of the panels ordered. The soil depth is specified in accordance with the plants used and the microclimate of the project. The intensive roofs generally start at 150k and higher depending on the plants used.
What plants do you use?
Our extensive pre-grown system uses a variety of sedum species specially chosen to thrive in your climate. Sedum are chosen for their drought tolerance and hardiness and the species used vary depending on the hardiness zone and the type of project. With our planted in place and intensive systems there are many plant choices. We like to use Native plants & sedum whenever possible and we also use a variety of perennials, shrubs and grasses. There are many types of plants that can be grown on the all in one system. The factors that will affect your choices are your climate zone, irrigation supply, budget, exposure, and load bearing capacity. Our talented designers can help you choose the plants that are right for you.
What are the maintenance requirements of the 3 types of Green Roofs?
Pre-grown extensive roofs require very little maintenance as the plants are fully mature and hardy upon delivery. Generally 4 maintenance visits are required per year. The planted in place extensive roofs require more maintenance for the first 2 years during the plant establishment period and then become low maintenance like the pre-grown in the following years. The intensive roofs require the most maintenance. Maintenance visits are dependant upon design. Although most sedum and other properly selected perennials can survive an extended period without irrigation, it is advisable to install a simple auto control drip line irrigation system with every green roof. The water wicking capabilities of our system spreads the water out over the roof in a very efficient manner. making irrigation times very minimal. The irrigation system provides moisture as required during periods of drought. With the changes in our climate there are extended drought periods in most areas and plants all require water to survive. Irrigation is included in the Vertical Plantscape quotations.
What is the cost of an green roof?
Per square meter costs can vary greatly depending on the type of green roof, installation costs, location of site, whether the roof has a balustrade and access.
How far in advance should I order my green roof?
Please contact us to check stock levels in your area of our pre-grown extensive panels. The planted in place system has a fairly quick turn around time and is installed by using plant plugs which we grow at well experienced grower nurseries. After discussing the details of your installation with one of our project managers, we can outline the time lines needed for your green roof installation.
Is my roof more likely to leak with a green roof on it?
This is one of the most misunderstood issues surrounding green roofing. A green roof must be installed over a roof that has a waterproofing membrane that is in excellent condition. Green roofs are not meant to fix a leaky roof. In effect your green roof actually lives about an inch above the roof allowing water to drain off normally. With a high quality waterproof membrane your roof is extremely well protected against leaks and it has been shown that adding a green roof can actually more than double the life of your membrane or more. This is possible because the roof is protected from damaging UV rays as well as the constant heating and cooling cycles which cause expansion and contraction leading to cracks in your membrane over time. Not to mention the cushioning that a green roof provides against hail and falling debris that could otherwise damage your waterproofing.
What is the maximum slope that you can install a green roof on?
We recommend using Pre-grown roof panels on slopes up to 25%. The pre-grown panels have plants that are already rooted into the hemp bio-blanket which holds the growth medium in place as well as the plants. We would use our living wall panels for roofs over 25% slope right up to vertical applications. Now there is no slope that cannot be greened.
What happens to my green roof in the winter?
This depends on your location and the plants selected. The majority of sedum are evergreen and will turn a shade of maroon in the winter but will then return to their green colour as soon as spring appears. Some grasses will go dormant and look brown all winter but then will regenerate from the centre of the plant, turning green again after the first few warm spring rains. Other perennials will do just as they do in your garden.
How is a green roof affected by wind uplift?
Each project is unique presenting different wind uplift problems in different locations. After a wind analysis of the building is done to see high wind uplift areas, a fastening plan can be designed. This may be as simple as additional ballast in the form of river rock or paving stones around the perimeter or could even involve point loading deeper depths of substrate over beams or columns. All of these solutions can be custom designed to create a beautiful planted berm or paver edge detail that will both resist wind uplift as well as contribute to the overall aesthetics on the roof. For sloped and flat roofs without parapets there are a variety of mechanical fasteners that can be implemented around the perimeter that provide a nice clean edge but also securely fasten the green roof to the structure, all without impeding drainage off the edge.
Can I install a green roof on my own?
We have recently developed a Do It Yourself Green Roof system with either pre-grown or plant-in-place panels. We will be offering this to customers in the form of a custom green roof kit. You will need to supply us with the dimensions of your roof and we will provide you with all the different components you need to make it green.
Can I grow trees and bushes and roses and vegetables in my green roof?
If your roof can support the added weight of the soil and plants when fully saturated and fully grown, then yes. More times than anything the load limit of a structure is what determines what plants can be grown on the roof. If the building is a new construction then these larger loads can be designed into the structure from the beginning allowing for more planting options.
How long does it take to install my green roof?
Most residential projects can be installed within a few days. Most commercial installations can take up to one week or longer due to generally larger roof sizes. The installation process with the all-in-one roof system available from Vertical Plantscapes makes for one of the quickest installations available. Installation time will depend on size and detail of project.

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