By Maimun Mustafa
Residences and commercial spaces of yesteryears accommodated room for potted plants in office corners. However interior designing innovation has created headway in the form of vertical gardening to add to the much-needed greenery missing in the concrete jungle that urban development has promoted. As an alternative to the natural lateral expansion of individual plant units in pots, entire wall spaces of greenery provide more access to nature, cleaner air filtration, and other multifaceted benefits.
THE VERTICAL ALTERNATIVE
A traditional garden has flora or fauna rooted on the ground or the soil in pots. Alternatively, a vertical garden is a technique used to grow plants on a vertically suspended panel by using hydroponics, a subset of a method of growing plants without soil but instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. These unique structures can either be freestanding or attached to a wall. The concept although is not entirely new with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon being its best-renowned example in history. Vertical gardens are also very space-efficient and can fill up any empty spot on a wall, replacing the traditional paint, wallpaper or even the company logo.
Vertical gardens can be placed in hotel lobbies, major corporation headquarters, or even a small residential backyard. A corporate headquarter could add a pop of nature with interior vertical gardens in its waiting area, public walkway or a meeting room. Offices generally are known for cramming people into relatively small spaces can have a large panel that will provide a lush splash of color to any professional environment.
EFFICIENCY IN EXTERIORS
Many exterior vertical gardens contain moss, vines, and other plants that are often used on vertical gardens installed outdoors. Exterior vertical gardens have the advantage of having natural direct sunlight that helps them thrive. This also provides buildings with great protection and insulation from temperature fluctuations, UV radiation, and heavy rain. In the summer, exterior vertical gardens use a process called evapotranspiration, which helps cool the air around it.
When designing vertical gardens succulents are a popular plant choice because they are space-efficient, colorful, and easy maintenance. Succulents have a hard and fleshy exterior which makes them ideal candidates for easy molding and facilitates shaping vertical gardens to your interior needs. Watering and other maintenance are needed less for succulents and being fire-resistant they are great options for regions that face water shortages.
Vertical gardens work like a natural clean air system and promote a better breathing atmosphere and a healthier environment overall in addition to creating a wonderful centerpiece to your interior space. Many employees in office environments are exposed to a lot of harmful air chemicals like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Green walls help clean the air, improve the air with fresh oxygen produced by the plants.
CALM AMONGST THE CONCRETE
If you take into account the studies which show office workers who have easy access to view greenery or nature to improve creativity and overall mental health, then you start to see why having a green wall is important. Plants also help to reduce noise pollution which creates a quieter work environment for building occupants. The increasing growth of high rise structures makes it imperative that we align with nature in the same direction in regards to our structural design. Vertical gardening provides the optimum means for embracing that balance.