Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Living Walls in Florida, Plants and Vines and LEED Credits

Living Walls can be designed with climbing vines (neatly trimmed or rambling) and also with typical herbaceous, flowering plants.  Today we will look at vines as the mainstay for Florida Living Walls.

We are involved with several LEED projects where living walls make up an important part of the landscape component and points.

In fact, one project was just awarded three exemplary points for use of living walls in part.

On those projects we incorporated recycled chain link fencing as the support system for the vines.

Florida has many wonderful native vine species perfect for living walls.  The colors and varieties are many, including passaflora, carolina jessamine and coral honeysuckle.

Living Wall Florida - Passaflora - MetroVerde
Living Wall Florida, Carolina Jessamine - MetroVerde 
Living Wall Florida, Coral Honeysuckle - MetroVerde
Vine selection includes both evergreen types and deciduous vines (evergreen for year round shade and deciduous for summer shade and winter sun).

Because these vines are native species they are well adapted to Florida's environment.  Most are considered xericaping friendly once established and are part of the 'Florida Friendly Landscaping' planting schedule.

Living walls can also provide a strategy to maximizing site design for urban development sites.  Some municipalities are allowing a reduction in horizontal landscaping for vertical landscaping installed.

And living walls are good for cleaning stormwater.  Roof runoff and site runoff can either be directed down through the living walls (for irrigation and for water purification) or can be collected in a cistern and used for living wall irrigation.
Living Walls Florida - Invasive Species   
Make sure the vines you choose are not invasive though.  Air potato, wisteria and others may present a problem with taking over other vines.  Some invasive species are also illegal to sell.  For a list of Florida's invasive plants click here.

Remember to incorporate living walls into your next design project!

As always, email us or call us 904-446-8620 with your questions or suggestions.

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