Living walls come under the research spotlight in industry-led project

A landscape contractor has teamed up with a university to weigh up the good and bad points of living walls.

Scotscape designed and installed several systems at Sheffield University and is maintaining them for research and development projects. 

The 12-month programme will assess the performance of each living wall type.

They include hydroponic, compost, stainless steel wire and ivy systems. Each one is being monitored to assess its performance over a range of environmental conditions, said managing director Angus Cunningham.

"Sheffield University has an enviable reputation for the quality of its research into sustainable building materials and we are sponsoring and working with the team to help future clients select a system more appropriate for their budget and goals.

"This is the most comprehensive piece of research ever undertaken into the thermal benefits of living walls and we’re looking forward to seeing the results in the autumn of 2013’’.

A key exercise was looking at the benefits of living walls in terms of providing habitats for essential invertebrate life, birds and bees. The charity Buglife is also assessing Scotscape’s living-wall portfolio.

Scotscape is maintaining a living wall built recently at Edgware Road station in London, commissioned by Transport for London to counter air pollution.  The Government’s Clean Air Fund put up money for the project.

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