How do living walls work on commercial architecture?

Commercial architectureThere is a big push to make commercial architecture gentler on the environment. One way to do this is to choose living walls. These plants can grow on vertical external surfaces to really enhance the building. The green walls can also be within the property. This can make the air cleaner, help reduce noise pollution, and boost relaxation. As a result, the plants make the internal environment much nicer too.

While most people will know how to spot a living wall, do you know how they actually work? We want to take a closer look at this so more people can include these wonderful features in their designs.

Two options

The thing with plants is you need to be able to water them effectively. This can be tricky when it is a tall vertical surface. How can you reach the top? You might think it is easier outside because of the rain, but there won’t be enough in the warmer, drier months to support the plants. So, you need to think about irrigation. There are two different methods to use.


This type of system generally has a tank of water and a series of pumps to distribute it to the plants on the wall. The thing to keep in mind is the water will be contained within the system so it will filter through, be collected, and then recirculate. However, it will be necessary to refill the tank periodically to top it up as some water will be absorbed by the plants and some will be lost because of evaporation.

Direct injection

The second option is a little different. It requires a link to the mains supply to obtain water rather than having a tank. There is no need for pumps here as the pressure from the mains should be enough to distribute it to the plants. Any excess water will go through the system to a drain.

Which to choose?

It is important to choose the right kind of irrigation system for the living walls. If you don’t, you could find that the plants don’t get the water they need and wilt. Generally recirculation is the best option for smaller walls while direct is for larger surfaces.

What are your ideas for commercial architecture?

There are many different ways you can have living walls in a commercial property. It could cover the entire facade, be in the lobby, or spread through all kinds of internal spaces. There are plenty of options and a good design can be a really great investment.

If you are thinking about designing commercial architecture, Coffey Architects would love to help. We take on all kinds of interesting projects and give our all to ensure they are successful. Contact us today if you want to find out more about what we can do.