If you really must build a wall… why not make it green?

If you really must build a wall, why not make it green?

I’m not sure about you, but I am not a fan of staring at a blank wall. I’d much rather admire the plants. 

One of the challenges of any development is balancing safe, practical solutions to groundworks, landscaping and access routes with the desire to sustain ecological balance. With DEFRA’s recent guidelines on measuring biodiversity net gain, you would be forgiven for scratching your head and wondering how to fit this all in – particularly if your site is constrained. Achieving a scheme that is both beautiful and functional within budget can feel like an insurmountable obstacle – but it need not stay that way.  

Vegetated walls are one innovative solution which combine the best of engineering acumen to provide structural integrity with eco-friendly planting options that can be as diverse as imagination allows. Yesterday the EP team were given an insight into GeoGrow’s Rootlok system, to help us understand how we could incorporate this kind of solution into our clients’ schemes. Their vegetated wall system can be used for a vast range of applications: retaining walls, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, landscaping features, boundaries, erosion control, river and flood protection, culvert headwalls and outlets… The flexible system means it can be easily adapted for difficult, confined spaces; built around existing structures and features; and shaped in an infinite number of ways.

 

Vegetated walls are one innovative solution which combine the best of engineering acumen to provide structural integrity with eco-friendly planting options that can be as diverse as imagination allows. Yesterday, as part of our ongoing inhouse CPD programme, the EP team were given an insight into GeoGrow’s Rootlok system, to help us understand how we could incorporate this kind of solution into our clients’ schemes. Their vegetated wall system can be used for a vast range of applications, from retaining walls to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, landscaping features, boundaries, erosion control, river and flood protection, culvert headwalls and outlets… The flexible system means it can be easily adapted for difficult, confined spaces; built around existing structures and features; and shaped in an infinite number of ways.

Quite aside from being a convenient, flexible and economical product, we realised that this system cuts to the heart of so many of the current challenges facing planners and built environment professionals: 

  • Reversing the trends of habitat fragmentation and biodiversity loss through reimagining how diverse habitat systems can be hosted and integrated within human habitats
  • Challenging the normative obesogenic urban form by providing spaces of delight that encourage people to be outside, thus increasing incidental exercise
  • Mitigating cumulative flood impacts from the proliferation of impermeable surfaces
  • Restoring psychosocial wellbeing associated with easy and consistent access to green spaces and planting
  • Improving carbon capture through increased planting of carbon-efficient species near emission sources
  • Creating playful and interesting areas as an alternative to dull, lifeless concrete and hard engineering structures.

We are really excited to see how we can begin to use this system for our clients – bringing benefits to them, the environment and helping to raise the bar of integrated blue-green infrastructure across a huge range of schemes. Huge thanks to Jeremy from GeoGrow for his informative session, and we look forward to working with you in the future!

If we can help you create a low-cost, biodiversity rich space, why not get in touch? 

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