Our client added an extra floor on top of an existing building in Johannesburg. Due to weight restrictions, the construction had to be as light as possible and the architect decided on galvanised iron for the main structure.
To soften the effect, we were requested to create a green wall that will soften the effect, but that will also aid in cooling the building. The request was also that the creepers be grown to a three metre height at Wildflower Nursery prior to installation.
The containers were delivered to our premises. It is actually used concrete moulds that were in a good condition.
The containers were placed in a tunnel with sufficient height to allow the climbers to reach at least 3 m. The biodegradable hessian was added to attach the creepers to.
Three different climbers were planted. Thunbergia alata would cover the wall in the short term, to be overtaken by Combretum microphyllum. Asaparagus falcatus.
The climbers responded very well. A groundcover was added that would eventually cover the container. It purpose is also to keep the soil cool.
In order to transport the plants to site, the hessian to which the climbers were attached, were dropped onto the container. This ensured minimal damage to the creepers during transport.
The containers were lifted onto the site with the aid of a crane and placed into position. An irrigation system was installed earlier and connected when the containers were in place.
The hessian was rolled up and the plants attached to a mesh that covered the galvanised iron wall. Note the ground cover that is already softening the visual impact of the containers.
The effect was immediate. In some places the Thunbergia alata was more than 4 m high. Even the Combretum microphyllum reached at least 3m.
All that was left was to set the timers that control the irrigation. Two systems were installed since the one wall was facing North and the other South.
- The species mix is crucial to ensure a short term effect before the climax plants have reached the desired height.
- Retain the services of the contractor until own staff has been sufficiently trained to take over.
- Living walls are not maintenance free!
Want some help with the design and installation of a green wall? Or maybe you just need someone to bounce some ideas around. Call Johan on 082 801 1741.
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