Delivering projects on time to a high standard.
Need a specialist living wall contractor to partner with?
Whether you’re carrying out a refurbishment or managing a full new build we are experienced supply chain partners and will be able to deliver on schedule and on budget. With more than ten years’ experience and a proven long-lasting system, we are a trusted partner for design, installation and maintenance of living walls on high-end schemes.
Award Winning, Accredited Biodiversity Experts
Contributed to several Gold and Silver award winning projects
Best of Customer Service on Houzz
Constructionline Gold Member
In line with CSCS
SMAS Worksafe Contractor
Compliant with SSIP
Trained under Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme
First class classification for BS 476: Part 7: 1997
People we’ve worked with
Sir Robert McAlpine
Featured case study
London Wall Place
This extensive scheme is transforming the historic London Wall and creating a thriving new business quarter and public amenity space.
Featured case study
The ANS Living Wall system has been proved by M&S as being the most sustainable, boasting very little water usage and an organic substrate.
Featured case study
The ANS Living Wall system was chosen for its modular design and long lasting impact (with maintenance in place the living wall should last forever!).
Featured case study
ANS Global were delighted to install this living wall for Nando’s, working with the sign team to create a huge living billboard on the side of the eatery.
Your living wall questions, answered
Yes, rainwater can be used to irrigate a living wall. We call this rainwater harvesting. However, it is something to be discussed as early as possible in the project, as how the rainwater is collected and fed into the irrigation system needs to be planned out and integrated into designs.
A living wall will indeed help you to achieve a BREEAM rating. There are several things you can focus on using that will help you:
- Native species
- Rainwater harvesting
- Recycled materials
A living wall that uses natural soil uses less water than most other substrates used in green walls. Here’s an example of water usage per week in the winter:
- Sunny wall: 16.8 litres/m2/week
- Shady wall: 7.6 litres/m2/week
The only part of the living wall that will use energy on-going is the irrigation system. This is entirely dependent on the design and irrigation system structure. However, the electrical loading is minimal.
There are 6 key factors that can determine whether your living wall integration will be a failure or a success. We detailed them all in this blog on What could go wrong with a living wall? 6 points to consider for your project, which you can read more about here.
- System choice
- Plant selection
- Irrigation and water management
- Ensuring no obstacles during planning, installation, and on-going maintenance.
For more detail under each point, please read the blog!
We often speak about adjusting the planting design for a living wall so it provides more value for biodiversity. Whilst this is important to get the most out of your installation (if improving biodiversity is your purpose), the plants are only half the story.
Soil is hugely important for biodiversity, and enables you to reach the right biodiversity net gain score. For the environmental success of any green infrastructure habitats, soil is key. It allows for:
- Burrowing insects
- Solitary bees
- Provides water storage/buffer
- Fungal biodiversity
- Resilience against adverse conditions
Yes, how long a living wall lasts depends on the system used and the maintenance. Living wall systems based on natural processes (for example using a natural planting medium so plants are growing in their natural habitat and go through the same processes as they would planted traditionally), are more resilient and with maintenance, can last forever as opposed to systems based on man-made substates.
Under a maintenance contract, a living wall will stay healthy for as long as you like. Again, think of it like a garden. If it’s well-cared for, it will continue to flourish in full health year after year.
Yes, living walls can be installed around windows. As our system is modular, it makes it very simple to cut to shape. For details or considerations when integrating around windows, take a look here (we put it all on one page).
In practical terms, there is no height limit with a living wall. The height you can build to however is capped by regulations such as fire regulations. To find out more about what you can and can’t do with a living wall, this blog is useful.
The sub-frame used for our living wall system can be concrete, steel, aluminium, timber or backing board. Anything that is structurally able to take the weight of the living wall. You may find our living wall installation guide helpful.
Yes a living wall can be installed on any aspect, it is simply a case of designing for the elevation and climate. To give an example, on some south-facing elevations, like at 2 London Wall Place, we were able to use Mediterranean herbs like thyme due to the high levels of sun that area was receiving. On the other hand, on the north-facing walls on the same site, we used a completely different plant palette.
It's all down to planting design.
Yes, a living wall can be installed on a north facing façade. As with any living wall, the planting design needs to be created for the aspect of the elevation (north, south, east, or west) and general conditions (wind, shade, climate). For a north-facing green wall, we would design with shade-loving species, such as some ferns and perennial flowers. The living walls at United Caps and most of the high walk at London Wall Place are good examples of this. It’s simply a case of designing with shade-loving plant species and irrigating the soil and plants to suit.
It is essential that a living wall is maintained, and the irrigation serviced on a regular basis to ensure healthy plants and the wall establishes and thrives for the long term.
When thinking about maintenance for a living wall, consider it in the same way as a garden. If it’s neglected, it will not flourish and is not likely to survive. The same applies to living walls. They are essentially just vertical gardens.
Maintenance is imperative for the health and longevity of any living wall.
The living wall itself is a turn-key solution. We look after everything from initial concept designs, through production, installation, and maintenance. However, we do also ask for some parts to be provided by the main contractor, which is:
- Drainage (water run-off is minimal, however this is still required as precautionary measure)
What about hidden extras? We are upfront in all proposals to make sure you know exactly what we’re providing and what you need to provide for us. A list of assumptions and exclusions is provided in all proposals.
ANS and Scotscape’s systems are non-comparable. Let’s break it down and look at the separate parts so you can differentiate more easily:
Yes you can value engineer a living wall. Be aware, it could be proposed to replace a modular soil-based living wall with wires, climbers or troughs and ivy screens. However, this is not true ‘value engineering’ as whilst you are reducing the cost you are also reducing the value considerably. For example, in regard to plant coverage and aesthetics, you’ll never get full plant cover with wires and climbers, yet with a modular soil-based system you will. For biodiversity, soil is key.
Always be aware of the value you are getting from a system before swapping or engineering it out.
With an ANS Living Wall, you can value engineer the system. By procuring early, we can do a contract grow for your project, meaning we propagate the plants which is more cost effective. A simpler planting design also makes a cost saving for you.
Here is a list of our accreditations:
- ANS is a Constructionline Gold member
- In-line with CSCS
- SMAS Worksafe contractor
- Compliant with SSIP
- Trained under Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
The ANS Living Wall System has a fire rating of B,s2-d0. No living wall system will ever achieve better than this, as plants will always be combustible.
Here’s an overview of fire ratings of green wall systems in the market:
ANS Living Wall: B,s2-d0
Biotecture Hydroponic Living Wall: B,s3-d2
Important note: watch out for living wall systems that claim a Class A rating! It’s been found out that some companies are fire testing the build-up components (so for us that would be like testing the sub-frame, membrane, and the module) without the planting medium and plants. This gives a false report.
You may find these resources on fire regulations and guidance helpful:
PDF Document: Method to Limit Spread of Flame and Restrict Combustibility Guide
Online CPD (view upcoming sessions): How and Where to Design a Living Wall to Meet Fire Regulations
Blog: Living wall fire regulations explained: All you need to know
PDF report: ANS Living Wall Fire Strategy & Design Considerations by Hoare Lea
There are several other companies who provide living or green walls in the UK. It is important to note that the systems however are not the same or even comparable in some cases.
- Biotecture (bought out by Mitie), they focus on hydroponics.
- Scotscape, focus on felt pocket system.
- Hedera, offer a mixture of hydroponic, pocket and screens.
- Oasis, similar to Hedera in living wall offering.
- I Want Plants, main focus is on indoor plant displays.
If you’d like to talk through the differences between the companies in more detail, please feel free to reach out to us. We’ve done extensive research and are able to offer a concise comparison to help you make your decision.
Contact us for:
- Take offs from architects drawings
- Detailed quotation package
- Tailored project support & site visits
- Living wall tender submissions