If you are an architect looking to incorporate a living wall into your next project, you may be wondering what the lifespan of the living wall may be, to ensure it will be a worthwhile investment.
At ANS Global, we are specialists in producing and working with green infrastructure systems such as living walls, to help architects and developers integrate the right solutions for long-term environmental assets. So, let’s explore how long an ANS Living Wall will last looking at the work at London Wall Place, completed in 2017. Throughout this article we’ll share photos of the same section of living walls at 2 London Wall Place throughout the years.
What makes a living wall long-lasting?
The survival of your living wall, or the extent to which it will flourish is dependent on two main points: the maintenance schedule, and the living wall system itself.
Above: 2 London Wall in February 2017
Installing a modular living wall system designed to suit your particular project needs is key in ensuring a long-lasting living wall that will remain healthy and continue to provide the environmental and structural benefits they are designed for.
At ANS, our living walls are all engineered to create long-term environmental assets, that suit the particular needs of your project. Our living walls are all designed with nature in mind, with the system itself based on an organic soil substrate which not only provides a natural home for the plant life, but also means greater resilience. This means, even if the fully integrated irrigation system fails or is switched off, the plants will take longer to die (compared to systems based on man-made growing mediums) as the soil protects the root system.
Above: 2 London Wall in May 2018
Another key part to the longevity of this system is that the module design allows the plant roots to migrate around the entire module, so as old roots die, they compost at the back of the cell and the soil regenerates as part of the natural process.
Our understanding that nature’s way is best means our living walls last longer.
Above: 2 London Wall in October 2019
Even though a well-designed modular living wall system is long-lasting on its own, it will still need regular maintenance from a horticultural specialist to ensure it remains in full health and continues to deliver on your purpose. At ANS, our specialist maintenance team tailor each schedule based on the location, aspect, plant mix, light levels, and seasonal changes to carry out a range of tasks, from removing weeds to replacing selected plants and providing any plants with specialised treatment if necessary.
The bespoke maintenance schedule ensures the overall health and stable growing conditions that allow your living wall to flourish and blossom throughout the seasons, ensuring a stunning visual impact all year round!
Above: 2 London Wall in November 2020
So, how long will a living wall last?
Under a maintenance contract, a living wall will stay healthy for as long as you like. Think of it like a garden, if it’s well-cared for, it will continue to flourish in full health year after year.
An example of a living wall that has continued to deliver for biodiversity (as that was the primary purpose of the designs) and remain visually striking for years after installation, is our project with SpaceHub and Make Architects at London Wall Place.
We recently returned to this living wall and noted how 5 years after installation it has only gotten better as the infrastructure has settled into the space.
Above: 2 London Wall in April 2021
Designed with nine different plant palettes to suit each aspect and the different microclimates, there is so much to see and experience around the site, using the pathways, Salters’ Garden and the highwalk. Regular commuters that pass the site often comment on the joy they get from watching the nature change through the seasons.
The addition of greenery gives the Barbican a vibrant pocket of nature that can be enjoyed by visitors, locals, and of course wildlife. The monthly maintenance visits by our team ensure the living walls at London Wall stay lush and healthy 5 years on.
Above: 2 London Wall in August 2022
Take a look at the case study to see how a living wall is able to flourish with the correct care and maintenance approach, year after year.
Design a living wall with ANS Global and reap the benefits
Are you in the early stages of development? Are you looking to capitalise on environmental assets? Are you interested in learning more about living walls? Then look no further. Our team at ANS Global have you covered.
At ANS, we use over 20 years’ experience designing and maintaining green infrastructure, we form detailed analysis on how a scheme is to meet regulation. We aid a faster planning process and provide you with what’s needed to take your project to the next level. Learn more about our living wall consultancy right here.