Green infrastructure projects such as green facades and vertical gardens can go a long way towards improving our towns and cities, making them not only more beautiful but also healthier and more liveable too.
Every building has the potential to contribute to a greener future and benefit the local community with the addition of green infrastructure.
Why green infrastructure is so important
At Tensile, our team is passionate about the benefits green infrastructure can provide for building users and residents.
Here are five key reasons to consider installing green infrastructure on existing buildings, and incorporating it at the design stage for new developments.
- Cleaner air – living in built-up areas usually comes with pollution. Green walls and roofs on buildings have been shown to filter out as much as 95% of the particulates generated by vehicles and industry.
- Shading, cooling and reducing the ‘heat island effect’ – the urban heat island effect occurs when cities warm up and trap heat due to industry, hard reflective surfaces, vehicles, and people and all their activities. Cardiff University studies have shown that green roofs and walls may be able to cool the local temperature by as much as 11°C. There’s even some evidence that green roofs can improve the efficiency of solar panels by up to 15%.
- Aesthetics and health benefits – people are naturally drawn to gardens, and a well-designed green roof or wall can greatly beautify a building for its users and occupants. In addition, numerous studies over the years on plants and green environments have demonstrated their ability to reduce stress levels, and to improve health, mood, creativity and worker productivity.
- Noise insulation – a green wall or roof can be sound-absorbing, resulting in reduced noise from human activities and vehicles.
- Effect on property values – greening your building may improve its market value, and provide a unique selling point due to the benefits it provides.
The way of the (greener) future
Recent studies have shown the extent to which a green wall can improve air quality.
Junglefy’s Breathing Wall in Melbourne for example (a unique modular structure that incorporates active ventilation) has been proven to reduce air pollutants, absorb noise and to cool and humidify indoor air, but with greater efficiency than ever before.
The wall was able to remove 95% of small particulates from the air within minutes, and to lower reflected noise by 41% compared to a standard wall. It also has the potential to reduce the HVAC energy use by 33% in an average office.
Junglefy continues to innovate and to test and measure results from what it calls ‘living infrastructure’, with regards to air purification and other effects.
We have collaborated with Junglefy on several green structure projects – including Westfield Bondi and One Central Park Sydney – providing benefits to users and occupiers of these structures.
In these and other projects, Tensile provided the fully engineered support structures for the attachment and growth of the plants and substrate.