Like any green space or garden, a green wall will fail over time without the proper care and attention.
A plan for maintaining a green wall should ideally be developed at the design phase. It will need to consider how to keep the wall healthy and thriving, and risk management steps to prevent injuries and property damage while maintenance is being carried out.
Here is a basic guide to maintenance tasks, and factors to consider when designing a plan for the ongoing maintenance of a green wall.
Typical maintenance tasks
Examples of maintenance tasks include:
- Weed control, pruning and mulching.
- Waste removal – such as leaf litter and clippings from pruning.
- Checking plants for signs of disease or stress and taking steps to remedy where necessary.
- Replacing or adding plants to maintain the density of the wall.
- Ensuring that plants do not intrude into fixtures such as windows or drains.
- Removing dry vegetation and ensuring adequate irrigation to reduce fire risk.
- Checking the support structure for damage or loose fittings and making any necessary repairs.
Some maintenance tasks will be regular and routine. Others may be preventative, reactive (such as in response to a failure), or for renovation purposes.
Maintenance plan considerations
Factors to consider in the maintenance plan include setting maintenance schedules, personnel training and responsibilities, the need for staff supervision, ensuring safe working conditions and safe moving of maintenance equipment, and costs.
If external contractors are to be used for maintenance, a written contract should be drawn up. Here you will need to consider the contract terms, such as its length, scope of responsibilities, provision of equipment, access for maintenance tasks and so on.
Access and maintenance methods
Maintenance methods will depend on a range of factors, including the size of the building and the green wall.
Examples of methods include roof-mounted systems for tall buildings (such as building maintenance units or BMUs), scissor lifts, rope systems, ladders, harnesses and work platforms.
Getting professional assistance
The installation of a green structure is only the first step. Ongoing maintenance is crucial for ensuring its health and longevity.
At Tensile, we provide 12 months of maintenance after installation, to ensure the green wall is well established. Talk to us about designing and installing a green wall as part of your building project.