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David Cartwright

Living Green Walls are Causing Serious Structural Issues

David Cartwright

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Mar 23, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Green walls have become a popular high-impact design element in both residential and commercial projects. However, it’s important for builders to know some of the long-term ramifications of installing living plant walls for their clients.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the serious structural issues being caused by living green walls, and explore some safer alternatives.

Root Damage

Roots seem like they would be benign, but they can actually cause significant damage to man-made elements. For instance, once roots start reaching outside of their initial soil containers, they can cause damage to the fabric of the walls, to the plumbing that brings water to the plants and even to support structures. It can be difficult to keep roots under control, especially during the growth phases of the plants’ life cycles.

Damage from Branches and Leaves

Some buildings have been damaged because of falling or moving branches associated with living green walls. Outdoor living green walls are subject to wind and rain, and if branches grow beyond their structures, they can scrape walls or even fall on man-made structures below.

Leaves from living green walls can also cause structural damage. They (and other debris) fall into the drainage system and cause clogging, overflow and spill. This can cause significant damage to walls and foundations.

Moisture Retention

With living plants covering up some of the walls of a building, the building never has a chance to completely dry out. Without exposure to the sun and wind, buildings begin to deteriorate far sooner than they normally would.

12 tips to building eco-friendly

This happens to interior walls as well as to exterior walls. Chronic dampness can damage drywall, plaster and other interior wall materials just as it can damage concrete, bricks and siding.

Vermin and Pests

The vermin and pests that gravitate towards living walls pose a serious problem, causing damage to walls, structures and piping.

Waterproofing Issues

Finally, living green walls can cause problems to the waterproofing and building envelope of a structure. Once the waterproofing has been compromised, you might have to worry about leaks, foundation issues and even flooding.

Artificial Green Walls: A Smarter Alternative

What is the solution to all of these structural issues caused by living green walls?

If you want to enjoy the great appearance of a green wall but you don’t want to worry about maintenance, pests, drainage systems, soil and water, an artificial green wall might be just what you’re looking for.

Companies like Evergreen Walls are experts at creating artificial green walls that add beautiful greenery to any space, indoor or out. Since they don’t require drainage systems, UV lighting or weight-bearing scaffolding, they can be installed just about anywhere, including places where you normally wouldn’t be able to grow plants.

These artificial garden walls look realistic and they’re very durable. You won’t have to worry about consistency of coverage because they’ll always look as if they’re at their peak. Better yet, they’ll never damage your walls or cause structural issues to your building.

For more information about using new innovations in your own construction and design business, get in touch with us at Buildsoft. We’re working every day to provide innovative solutions to help you in your business.

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