What is the Definition of a Green Facade?

The terms ‘green facade’ and ‘green wall’ are often used interchangeably, but they refer to two different types of green infrastructure.

Let’s take a look at the definition of a green facade.

Green facade definition

A green facade is a type of vertical garden installed on a building wall. A facade generally consists of a support structure and plants that are trained to cling to it and grow upwards. The plants are often grown hydroponically, although in some cases they can be grown in soil at the base of the building.

Where a metal support structure is used in a facade (as opposed to plants clinging directly to a wall face) the gap between it and the wall can create a cooling effect.

Green facades often result in a ‘hanging garden’ look, where plants appear to cascade from a building in an elegant, filigree-like manner.

Plant selection for facades

Twining plants such as wisteria and honeysuckle work well with vertical steel columns in a facade. Tendrils and leaf-stem climbers on the other hand tend to do better with trellis-like structures such as steel mesh, that enable them to grow outwards as well as upwards.

A top-heavy look can be avoided by planting low-growing plants (such as jasmine) at ground level to fill-out the base area.

How is a green facade different to a wall?

Standard green walls are usually denser than facades, which comes from growing herbaceous or shrub-like plants in containers at intervals across the wall face.

However, a facade may also have plant containers set at various levels along the wall, especially in cases of very tall buildings, in order to avoid sparse plant density at the top.

What is the Definition of a Green Facade? / Tensile Design & Construct

Image source: Fytogreen

Hybrid green structures

Hybrid systems combine elements of both green facades and walls. For example, they might have a combination of shrub-like plants and climbers along different parts of the wall. This approach allows for dense growth in some areas, combined with lighter growth in others to allow light into the building.

What is the Definition of a Green Facade? / Tensile Design & Construct

Tensile specialises in green facades for multi-storey commercial buildings and apartment blocks. Get in touch with our team if you would like to discuss a green facade project.

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