Beyond beauty: a living wall for today's food landscape

Posted by Amy Storey on March 5, 2015

In addition to providing free information, this particular post highlights the launch of a great new product. Be warned: we talk about how cool our technology is.

The living wall isn't a new idea.

Dreams of living walls have enchanted the peoples of the world for ages.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the green facades of the 19th century were only the first steps in our journey to a widely viable green wall.

architecture-21702_1280In the last few decades, people like Stanley Hart White and Patrick Blanc have brought us even further in that journey.

Today, most living green walls are built using one of three traditional methods:

1) Soil cells

2) Growing Mats

3) Trellising

#1) Soil Cell Green Walls

One method is using small soil pots (or another kind of soil cell) on trays that are stacked using a frame that is built into the wall. (Or by bolting the cells to the wall itself- one example is VersaWall) It looks good, but the cost is high.

Most of these systems require that you change your wall to hold the frame or the weight of the bolted cells.

Maintenance for soil cells is inconvenient and requires lots of time. When you water, the weight of the wall will increase drastically. Can your building support the weight?

A way to counteract the weight problem is to reduce watering- but this also limits the type of plants you use to some succulents and air plants.

#2) Growing Mat Green Walls

Another method is using growing mats.

Many hydroponic green wall designs employ this method.

As with the cell method, mats usually require that the building is fortified, reinforced, or even built specially to facilitate the green wall. Most mats that you'll encounter consist of felts and plastic liners, often structured like pockets. (Like OferText's green walls.)

leaves-141654_1280#3) Trellising Green Walls

A third method, used mostly for building facades or patio spaces, is to trellis with a climbing crop and either a rigid trellis or a cable network.

This method took off in 19th century Europe with green facades on the faces of homes.

Common vines used for trellising are ivy, Virginia creeper, or grapevine.

Can a living wall do more than beautify a space?

Are these types of green walls beautiful?

Oh yeah. They're breathtaking!

But, here's the problem: on average, the cost of building a green wall by one of these methods is $120 per square foot. And while beautiful, most modern green walls are just aesthetic pieces.

For years now, we've been realizing the potential and versatility of our relatively simple technology. Our ZipGrow towers have enabled thousands of small and big growers alike to reduce costs while making the most of their space.

The ZipGrow tower isn't just for greenhouse and indoor production, however. It's also a disruptive technology for living, breathing, food-producing green walls.

In fact, it reduces the typical $120/sq ft price tag down to a mere $14-$21 per square foot. ZipGrow green walls also help you expand your crop horizons from only being able to grow ornamental crops.

Now you can grow food crops in a way that's easy to plant and upkeep.

Beauty + Food + Easy to Use = Good Idea

Today, Bright Agrotech is launching the ZipGrow Green Wall.

ZipGrow Farm Walls are lightweight and need no additional support or special building design.

We designed our green wall around our fundamental design philosophy (i.e. simple, accessible and flexible to the user's needs).

In that sense, this living wall is easy to install and inexpensive to maintain.

 

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 Not only will our green walls function as energy-saving, air-cleaning living art, but they will be interactive.

You will be able to plant aesthetic crops as well as food crops, and harvest from your walls.

Why should the farm be limited to the field?

"Mankind was born in the jungle," I once heard Dr. Nate say. “It's about time we start bringing it with us into our cities and homes.”

We need you and your creativity.

We've got some great minds at Bright Agrotech.

But still- the biggest developments and revolutions in history happened as a function of thousands or millions of people working together- thinking together- to churn the great wheels of innovation and invention.

That's why we are inviting you to participate in this forward movement of agriculture. Stay connected with us. Share your ideas with our online community of innovators with guest blogs or on social media. Your unique insights matter.

 Start participating today

If you want an easy way to participate, consider building your own green wall with the ZipGrow Farm Wall.

 

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