The concept of Green Building, to be specific, Green Facade is one of the most promising ways to ensure energy savings in buildings nowadays. It contributes to the reduction of the urban heat island effect in the hinterland. The shadow effect provided by the plants on the facade is the most significant parameter that serves the purpose of controlling the heat wave and pollution.
A green facade is created by growing the climbers up and across the facade of a building. The plants are either grown in garden beds at its base or by container planting installed at different levels across the building. The climbers are used in two ways. Either they are attached directly to the surface of a building or they can be supported on a structure independent of the building.
The climbers that anchor themselves to the structure by twining stems or tendrils, enables a green facade to be installed in front of solid walls or some other structures like aluminium composite panels to create a partition, privacy screen or a sunshade for a particular building.
The density of a green facade coverage varies to suit the required function of a particular construction. For example, a facade designed to provide shade to a building wall would ideally have greater foliage density compared to space where just a screen has to be installed near a window. The facade density is all the less where just a partial view is thought of to enjoy the environment beyond the facade.
Basic Technicalities that Must be Kept in Mind While Building a Multi-Level Green Facade
- For multi-level facades, particularly placed at a height, wind can create significant problems for plant attachment. In these settings, twining climbers are preferred over plants as they attach strongly around vertical and horizontal supports.
- Foliage may still be stripped under extreme wind conditions, so foliage type and size should be matched to the level of wind exposure wind strength.
- Usually, the higher the planting is done on a building, the more extreme are the growing conditions likely to be.
Other factors that must be taken into consideration in multi-level facade design includes:
- Planter box design (volume, substrate, drainage)
- Maintenance access design
- Irrigation system design
Why Choose Green Facade Design for Your Construction?
- Green facades are often installed to provide an attractive look to a building wall
- They can be used to block out a view
- Green facades can effectively provide shade to a building
- They can create a cooler microclimate from plant foliage (transpiration of water through the leaves)
- Climbing plants used in the green facades provide some retention of stormwater
- Green facades provide protection of a building surface
- The foliage in green facades capture airborne particulate matter and volatile gaseous pollutants thereby maintaining environmental balance
Retaining the foliage cover all year round in green facades will help in maintaining the overall ecological balance of the particular area.
Benefits of Green Facades
Research shows that the health and wellbeing of patients, students, working personnel or residents at home can significantly get improved when a building has extensive green spaces. The living facades not only provide an environment and physiological benefits but are also economical in the long run.
Some of the major benefits you will get after installing green facades are:
- Better air quality
- Increased thermal insulation
- Noise damping
- Natural beauty
- They maximize a project’s green space with a minimum-sized footprint
- Creates a living landscape
- They are both low-cost and low-maintenance in comparison to other greening options
Architecturally designed, eye-catching green facades can make a project stand out from the pack. Besides improving the local environment, they even increase the desirability of the building.
Places Where Green Facades Can be Used:
- Both interiors and exteriors
- Retail and office spaces
- Residential projects
- Industrial constructions
- Stadiums and Arenas
- Hotels and restaurants
- Highway buildings
- Parking structures
- Roof Top Gardens
- To create enclosures
Installation & Maintenance Costs of the Green Facades:
Costs are varied depending on the project, but once installed, the annual maintenance of the green facade is minimal. Primarily, it is just basic plant care.
Green Facades vs Living Walls and Green Walls
Green facades distinctively differ from living walls. In the living wall, plants are rooted in the wall modules. On the other hand, an architect uses a trellis system to hold the vines of plants that are rooted in the ground to create a green facade.
To sum up, green facades are significantly less expensive to purchase, simple to install and very easy to maintain. Owing to its very little infrastructure requirement, green facades are an ideal choice for upgrading an existing structure, such as commercial complexes, highway supports, buildings, etc. as compared to living walls.
It is quite difficult to distinguish between green walls and green facades as in both the design, use of plants on vertical surfaces expand and these systems become harder to define. A green building can be designed using both the green wall and green facade technologies. In this type, the two considered different categories are merged together to create something very new, awesome and beneficial.
Green facades do not require any extra structural requirements. They can be comfortably attached to concrete walls or to almost anything, such as Aluminium Composite Panels. They can even be free-standing. Green facades have brought a new trend in architecture nowadays. Even the commoners have started loving the vibrancy of these living landscapes in their residential, commercial or recreational spaces. If you’re planning new construction, creating green facades will not only enhance your building aesthetically but will also help you contribute to the environment.