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The History of Green Walls

July 4, 2016

Imagine the garden city of the future with buildings covered with nurtured biopermeable green skin.  Picture mile after mile of leafy flowering sound barriers along our highways, where every square foot producing oxygen and even sheltering bird nests. This is all reality today in places devoted to green living technology like Singapore.

 

Plants have been serving humans since the dawn f time, supplying food, clothing, house-building materials and innumerable other gods.  With the emergence of modern industrial cities, now more than half of the world's population , planners, designers, and urban advocates are once again turning to plants - green infrastructure.  They are using vegetation as a key strategy for providing cleaner air and water , while simultaneously improving living environments, human health and mental well being.

 

Wondering how it all started?

 

The concept of green walls is an ancient one, with examples in architectural history dating back to the Babylons - with the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon being, one of the Seven Wonders of the  Ancient World.  

 

Here are some historical highlights:

3rd C. BCE to 17th C. AD - Throughout the Mediterranean, Romans train grape vines (Vitis species) on garden trellises and on villa walls.  Manors and castles with climbing roses are symbols of secret gardens.

 

1920s - The British and North American garden city movement promote the integration of house and garden through features such as pergolas, trellis structures and self-clinging climbing plants.

 

1978 - The first article referred botanist Patrick Blanc as "the creator of vertical garden".

 

1988 - Introduction of a stainless steel cable system for green facades.

 

Early 1990s - Cable and wire-wire-rope net systems and modular trellis panel systems enter the North American marketplace.

 

1993 - First major application of a trellis panel system at Universal CityWalk in California.

 

1994 - Indoor living wall with bio-filtration system installed in Canada Life Building in Toronto, Canada.

 

2002 - The MFO Park , a multi-tiered park structure opened in Zurich, Switzerland.  The project featured over 1,300 climbing plants.

 

Since 2005 - Green wall design became popular all over the world, especially in Southeast Asia.  Singapore has turned into of the leading countries in this field, with its remarkable projects of Newton Suites (2007), School of Arts (2010) and Parkroyal on Pickering (2012).

 

 

 

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