In any facade project, installation of the structure and plants is only the first step. Ongoing maintenance of your green structure is required to get the most out of it.
A maintenance plan for a green structure needs to be allowed for at the design stage. In the case of multi-storey buildings in particular, the maintenance system should be designed to be as easy as possible, so as not to inconvenience building occupants or management.
Typical maintenance tasks for a green structure include pruning, weeding, debris removal, inspection and repair of the structure, and occasional replacement of planter beds and plants.
Considerations for maintenance
Plant selection is very important, as some plants require greater levels of care and maintenance than others, and they may also vary in their ability to attach to support structures. Location is also a consideration here, as plants that suit one climate may not suit another.
There are several options for accessing green structures in multi-storey buildings:
- BMU or building maintenance unit. This is a moving mechanical device suspended from the roof, of the type often used for window-cleaning in high-rise buildings.
- Boom or scissor lift. These lifting devices are raised from the ground and have a working platform at the top.
In these systems, weight restrictions will apply. This means the weight of planters, people and tools needs to be factored in when designing maintenance scenarios.
- Rope access. While rope systems are usually simpler in design, they tend to be slow and costly to use.
Design-your-own system. At Westfield Bondi for instance, the decision was made to install a gangway for easy access. This was discreetly incorporated into the structure behind the green facade and eliminates the need for BMUs, lifts or ropes. This provides a good example of giving serious consideration to long-term maintenance during the design phase.
Tensile makes maintenance part of the plan
We recognise the importance of not only the installation and aesthetics, but also the practicalities involved in green facades. A maintenance plan need not be an expensive or complex exercise. It really just involves thoughtful consideration at the outset to incorporate it into the design.
We also do 12 months of maintenance on every project to ensure the plants establish well and begin to thrive.
Contact us if you would like to know more about our specialised consultancy services for commercial green facades.