LiveWall Brings a New Dimension to Green Design with Plants
- Jun 19, 2012
By Mike Ratliff, Associate Editor
Just because it is already mid-June does not mean it is too late to get your property greener for summer. Sure, you might already have a few rose bushes or flowering shrubs near the main entrance. Or maybe you went all out and have a green roof that your residents adore. That doesn’t mean you can’t add more. The more plants the better, as far as I’m concerned. Every apartment building has walls, and now every wall can now be green thanks to LiveWall.
LiveWall is the result of four years of research and design from the makers of LiveRoof. The planted wall system transforms ordinary walls—whether of the outside of an amenity space or on your resident’s balcony—into vertical green landscapes.
“Transforming an ordinary wall into a vertical green landscape adds a living, organic element to a building,” says Dave MacKenzie, horticulturist and president of Hortech and its LiveRoof LLC and LiveWall LLC subsidiaries. “For multi-housing developers and managers, green walls offer a new way to create a visual amenity that greens up their properties. Green wall applications add color, enhance privacy, and can create vertical gardening opportunities for residents.”
The LiveWall system has some inherent advantages to its design compared to what else is on the market. While most green wall systems are oriented so plants grow sideways, MacKenzie knew off the bat that this was not ideal for healthy plant growth. A vertical system would allow plants to grow as nature intended, but there was a of a struggle figuring out the details for an even irrigation system at first.
“Water percolated downward from the top compartments to the bottom,” MacKenzie adds. “We had to overwater the top in order to water the bottom. The top level of soil got soggy, oxygen-deprived, and nutrient-depleted, leaving the plants starved and sick with root and crown rot.”
To solve this problem, MacKenzie and his team devised a slick design that integrated irrigation nozzles into the mounting tracks of the planters. This mist-like irrigation provides water just like rain would.
A professionally installed LiveWall system will run $90 to $125 per square foot. This includes green wall planning and design, pre-installation consultation and technical assistance, all the system elements and components (including irrigation), all the plants, delivery, and the installation.
The design video below should answer any questions your might have. Be sure to visit the LiveWall website for additional information.