Horticultural Art in Your Lobby Green Walls Can Enliven a Building’s Common Area

A green wall in a residential space is like having both an indoor garden and piece of art all rolled into one--and you don’t even have to travel far to a botanical garden or a museum to experience it.  It’s a currently a very popular trend in landscape design in which walls are covered with plants and can be found these days in some businesses, public spaces, and homes.  

Not only will green walls (also known as living walls or vertical gardens) appease the conservation-minded, but they also provide an opportunity for boards and managers to think about how they could spruce up their lobby or common area. Installing a green wall in a residential building is sure to be a conversation piece between tenants and visitors, but there are definitely things to consider before embarking on such an undertaking. 

The Benefits of Green Walls

Those who specialize in green or living walls agree that the major advantage of having them is purely environmental, in addition to freeing up more space compared to traditional floor plants. “There are lots of benefits in terms of purifying the air,” says Jean Berg, general manager of Phillip’s Interior Plants and Displays, located in Oak Brook, Illinois.  “A lot of places have lots of toxins that plants can purify and clean the air.”  

And there is also a psychological benefit from green walls that is mood enhancing, according to Molly Meyer, founder and CEO of Omni Ecoystems, based in Chicago. “People are happier with plants around,” she says. “There's lot of studies in this field called biophilia that show that humans are happier and healthier when they can see and experience and interact with greenery.”

Anthony Caggiano, owner and president of Plant Connection, Inc., located in Riverhead, New York, notes that green walls can reduce the “heat island effect.” This sort of wall acts as a layer of insulation, keeping a building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, as it “insulates and cools the building envelope, as well as protecting it from the elements.”

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