November 12, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Covered by 5000 plants forming a map of the European continent, ‘Europe in Bloom: a Living Façade” hovered, until late October, over one of the most prominent squares in Copenhagen. An effort by the European Environment Agency to raise awareness about the benefits of urban biodiversity, the EPA living wall utilized 20 annual flowering plant species from across Europe.
A contribution to the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity, this first outdoor green façade in Denmark was a collaboration between architect Johanna Roßbach, LIFE (Faculty of Life Sciences) at the University of Copenhagen, the municipality of Copenhagen, engineers from Ramboll Denmark, and Green Fortune, a company specializing in the construction of green walls.
The wall utilizes a felt pocket system mounted on plywood. These felt pockets are generally made from geotextiles–permeable fabrics which, when used with soil work to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, and drain.
Geotextile fabrics, made from polypropylene or polyester, usually appear in three basic forms: woven (looks like mail bag sacking), needle punched (looks like felt), or heat bonded (looks like ironed felt).
Many green wall systems, like this one, employ drip irrigation systems (small tubes) and use growing mediums such as loose medium systems that have their soil packed into a shelf or bag and then are installed onto the wall (as Urban Gardens used for the vertical garden in our show house), mat type systems that tend to be either coir fibre or felt mats, or structural mediums using “blocks.”
Hat tip to Lushe: Urban Greening.