The Greentexx team of SIOEN is happy to support the research of Wonderwalls. Together with the Wonderwalls researchers we aim to better understand the mechanisms behind the many co-benefits of our living walls and to push the science of success factors for living walls.
Our participation to the project is focused to expand the knowledge base on acoustic dampening & thermal insulation with our textile composite, on particulate matter capturing via the plants, but also on improved strategies for low-cost maintenance, water use and water recirculation.
In our increasingly dense urban environment, there is a growing need for green spaces. Since there is little space left at the ground level to integrate greenery in a traditional way, alternative solutions are needed. Although green roofs are increasingly common, vertical building surfaces remain largely unexploited. Nevertheless, in cities, the vertical surface area of facades is a multiple of the roof surface area of buildings. Both ground-bound green facades and green walls with a growth medium supported on the vertical face of the host wall, have enormous market potential. In addition to the economic opportunities they offer, they go hand in hand with a positive ecological, social and urban impact. Greening facades therefore offers a cost- and space-efficient way to increase the liveability and climate resilience of cities. Vertical greening systems filter pollution and CO2 from the air, they increase biodiversity and they have a positive influence on people's productivity.
The latent potential of vertical greening systems is ready to be harnessed in terms of its positive economic, ecological, social and urbanistic impacts. To tap this potential, in the course of WonderWalls*, the knowledge on vertical greening systems concentrated in research institutions and manufacturers will be prepared for dissemination to the field and translated into practical tools and guidelines. To achieve a breakthrough in facade greening and to stimulate new innovations, WonderWalls will focus on:
1. Developing an objective assessment framework to demonstrate the performance of vertical greening systems. This will include environmental, economic and building physics elements. Systems will be evaluated based on their performance throughout their full life cycle.
2. Developing practical and reliable decision tools that help the various actors within the construction sector to prescribe and apply vertical greening systems judiciously. In doing so, various elements that may influence the final choice, including the installation and maintenance will be accounted for.
3. Targeted product innovations and testing in demo applications, such as evaluating and optimizing the efficiency of growth regulators.
4. Disseminating the knowledge to the various target groups by means of demos, workshops, etc. Special attention will be paid to the dissemination of knowledge and experience to education (e.g. students of architectural sciences and industrial engineering in construction, as well as practical training courses in construction and landscaping).
*WonderWalls is a practice-oriented research project funded by the TETRA funding program of VLAIO, the Flemish Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.