Friday, February 11, 2011

Constructing a 60mm Thick, Extensive Living Wall "La Paix Pour Le Piaf"

Starting a new living wall project, small or large, always brings mixed emotions.  For me living walls are difficult, more so than green roofs, yet as important with different reasons.

Green and living roofs are a reflection of habitat that exists locally on the ground around the site, an extension of habitat, stormwater treatment, biodiversity and a refuge for wildlife.

Living walls are different.  Sometimes it is difficult here in Jacksonville where the ground is flat, very flat, to find an existing natural habitat that living walls mimic, unless maybe it is a large Live Oak tree with resurrection fern growing up the side of its bark.  

So, from my perspective I consider living walls to be more of a work of ethno-bio-art.  I love to create ethno-bio-art.

However for me there significantly different approaches in creating living walls and green roofs.  When I am doing a green roof I follow more of a purist design approach.  'Follow what nature is doing on the ground' is the standard theme I generally follow for biodiversity habitat roofs and then 'Follow what a Good Garden should be like' for rooftop permaculture projects.

There are many beautiful native plant and biodiversity living roofs around the world to draw design inspiration from.

Likewise there are many successful rooftop permaculture projects to learn from too.

However most living wall projects I've seen are mostly beautiful works of art and not a reflection of local habitat, though there are a handful of stunning native plant walls.  Most living wall design combines the use of contrasting colors and textures to make an artistic statement.

I'm rambling on here only to justify my use of a copper sheet I recycled from an old solar panel to form the basis of the new small living wall panel.  The living wall is a blending of metal and plants together into a fun living art project.

Living Wall Copper Finish Cut

60 mm thick Living Wall Panel, 'La Paix Pour Le Piaf'

The frame is a structural ploypropylene frame in which will be embedded a growing media and mesh.

When complete the living wall design will be similar in structure to the following typical diagram.

The copper 'Peace Sign' will be attached to the frame and the entire wall panel planted with yet to be decided species.

I'll post more photos as the project progresses.

The living wall is entitled 'La Paix Pour Le Piaf' in recognition of the green roof efforts of those across the earth with particular mention to 'Toits Verts' in France.


Living Walls.

Bringing the world together in Peace.

Happy Green Roofing



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