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Methods

There were many different research methods utilized to achievement the final results. Correlational
research method is used to find the causality between the effectiveness and the types of green wall.
Quantitative research and qualitative research methods are used to find the accurate factors which
control the effectiveness. Besides, the case study method and data collection method are used to find the
support to this research.

In Zhao Ge and Su Dingxuns study (Discussion on Application of Vertical Greening in Urban Landscape,
2009), authors observed on different climbing-plants and recorded the shape of leafs, roots, and growing
status. After this, Authors used correlational research method to find out the best supporting structure on
the vertical surface of buildings for their growing. Authors tried to use mesh, wires, high-strength steel,
vertical pole, plane gridding support system, three-dimensional gridding system, wood grids, and concrete
member support on the wall to test the growth and distribution of climbing plants. They tested the
effectiveness of wall greening on each supporting system and finally find out the best match for each type
of climbing-plants.

In Li Lings research (Study on the Construction Methods of Exterior Greening Wall in the Summer Hot
Area, 2011), the construction methods of the exterior greening walls are divided into five types and eight
subtypes. Through the research methods of field research, expert interviews, data access, experimental
testing, and computer simulations, a qualitative and quantitative research is carried out about these eight
exterior greening walls species at three aspects: the constructive components; construction and plants;
construction and environment.

In the other studies, authors used experimental method, data collection method and quantitative and
qualitative research methods to find the accurate factors which control the effectiveness. For example, Liu
Jianni made a statistical analysis to study the relationship between noise attenuation and the
characteristics of leafs. In her study, she recorded noise reduction data by different area of leafs. She
also recorded noise reduction data by different texture of leafs. Similar with Liu, Wang Dan and Pang Bo
did the experiments on 24 different types of the green plants with different supporting structures that used
in green wall systems to test the effectiveness of air filtering.

Results

Result 1: Classification by climbing plants

Wall greening can be classified into 4 different types base on the growing mechanism of climbing
behavior. The first type is direct-climbing type. This kind of plants has mucilaginous suckers and aerial
roots that climb on other objects for growing. The second is hanging type. The planters and pot on the
roof or the wall can efficiently support sprawling, crawling and drooping plants to hanging down their
branches. The third is twining climbing type. This climbing type needs to install mesh, wire or concrete
member support on the wall for curly climbing plants, grapple plants and twining plants to grow. The last
type is combining type. It needs to grow climbing plants both on the top and corner of the wall, while the
branches hanging down from the top, plants in the corner will climb up on the wall which will create a
overall greening landscape.

Result 2: Efficient Support Method

For large scale wall greening, the supporting structures are very necessary. From Li Ling, Liu Xinwu, and
Zhang Yous study, there are three efficient supporting structures. The first is point/ dot supporting
structure. It is installed as a series of metal constructions to fix the vines. It is very efficient when applying
on small plants. If these dot units can be connected by wires, it will become a dot and string support
which can form the distribution of the plants to a certain composition as designed. The second is line
supporting structure. It provide horizontal or vertical cables or poles along the wall to allow the plants to
climb. The most efficient support for twin-climbing plants is vertical poles, which can lead the direction of
climbing. Vertical steel-wire tied on the outthrusts of the building also can serve for the plants to climb and
make the building elevation green. The third is Gridding supporting system. It includes plane gridding
support system and three-dimensional gridding system. Both metal and wood grids can be efficiently
used in plane gridding support system and the size of the grids needs be adjusted based on the vine
plants to achieve the best effectiveness.

The wall greening of the administrative building in Tongji University is made of climbing plants and
supplemented by plants in container and form a large scale green wall of facades. Climbing plants often
uses plane gridding support and partially uses line support. Install steel frame on the exterior facades with
the horizontal frame to support the plant containers and the vertical frame to support the wood grids for
twining climbing plants, supplemented by some vertical strings for the plants to climb up. Climbing plants
twisted on the strings or grids forms the design effect. Two kinds of plants are used in this wall greening:
Chinese rose of long florescence but low plant, and Chinese wisteria which can grow up to 10m height.
Both of them are deciduous plants which will shade the building in summer and defoliate in winter for the
building to get enough sunshine. On the other hand, use wood grids and strings as supports will prevent
the plants from high temperature in summer.

Three-dimension gridding system is also called green screen, including three-dimension gridding plate
and subordinate construction. This kind of gridding system can be shaped into different forms and colored
differently according to the designers intention. This unique gridding structure is light but strong which
can be installed in all kinds of wall for climbing plants and form a large scale green wall, and also can be
used as independent fence or barrier. In addition, the three-dimension gridding plates can be used as
modules which can be combined vertically or horizontally to satisfy the different shape and size needs of
the greening area. Besides, both sides can provide support for the plants which can be more effective in
greening.

The three-dimension gridding plate can be installed tight against the wall or keep a certain space from the
wall. The space between the plate and wall is in accordance with specific conditions mainly taking the
connection type between into consideration. As in picture 12, the maximum range between the plate and
wall is shorter than 239cm, however, if there are components stretching out the building to connect the
supporting plate, the distance between the wall and plate depends on the length of the components (while
support itself, it can also hold the plate, plants and wind).

The wall greening of the NWF headquarter in Reston, VA adopts the three-dimension gridding support
system. By an overall design, a large quantity of plants is put on the south elevation and form a huge
ecology wall, being the natural habitat for animals and mechanical system which can prevent the heat
from outside. Deciduous vines in the system shade the building in summer and provide sunshine in winter.
Elevation with green plants or green wall close to building elevation mainly has two benefits: first, they
can provide shade and natural cooling which can reduce the load of air conditioner system indoor; second,
green wall provides a transition region between the building and nature that bring the nature into the
building by shading.

Result 3: Selection Principle

The combination of the green wall and the building elevation should be in architecture style, and does not
affect the utility and appearance of the building. The efficient way should pay attention to the structure
design when using supporting construction to minimize the damage brought to the building elevation and
avoid harm to the building envelop construction.

From the study in Li Lings report, the selection of the wall greening type depends on the plants
supporting system on the elevation. Compared to aerial and sucking roots vines, twining, climbing,
curving and creeping vines are more suitable for three-dimension system. Vitaceae vines with soft shoot
system and less wood properties are best to grow on the three-dimension plate; some climbing plants
(like Chinese wistaria) grow fast and in a good shape, they are suitable to grow in a big container but not
in a three-dimension system because they are too heavy. Besides, the ability to hold the load outside
from the building elevation should be tested; Supporting components should be fixed tightly in order to
hold the plants, wind pressure and snow load which should be designed by the structure engineer; There
should be given a certain place between the wall and the independent structure system or wall anchoring
system, it is a kind of appropriate solution for building elevation which cannot hold external load.

Result 4: Efficient way when apply climbing plants in wall greening

In Su Dingxun s study, we can see that the plant material for wall greening should be chosen based on
the height and artistic style of the building, and combine different plants together to extend the ornamental
time in order to keep the landscape all year round. In addition, the following should be considered. First
are geographical factors. There is a wide range of climbing plants, we should choose indigenous plants
that fit into the local ecosystem in wall greening. After a long time of growing domestication, Indigenous
plants have been able to withstand extreme climate, so that the survival rate in greening can be
significantly enhanced. Besides, climatic and environmental factors need to be considered. Climate and
environment in north distinct greatly from that in the south, therefore, we should consider the cold
resistance and drought resistance of the plants in the north, while in the south, their humidity resistance
should be taken into accounts. Besides, based on the function of vertical greening in improving
environment, we should reasonably allocate the plants for different purposes. Another is architectural
factors. To achieve the best effectiveness, wall greening for buildings should meet function needs,
ecological needs and landscape needs, and different kinds of plants should be selected in accordance of
greening types. For example, to cool down the indoor temperature, we should choose slow
wilting climbing plants with high density leaves and good heat insulation; shade plants should be
selected for the north building elevation, while sun plants and drought-enduring plants for the
west.(Discussion on Application of Vertical Greening in Urban Landscape, 2009) In addition, plants
should be in harmony with the color and style of the building. Plants collocation is also important. In wall
greening, wed better give preference to climbing plants that grow fast, clamber tight, and can cover the
wall rapidly. To enrich the stratification of landscape, we need to combine different plants together
reasonably, like using evergreen plants with defoliation plants, flowering plants with leafy plants, herbs
with woods, etc.

Result 5: Noise Attenuation

In Liu Jianis study, plant which has big and thick leaf, low bifurcate height and small planting distance
have the best effect to reduce noise. The broadleaved trees have better effect to A-weight attenuation
than conifer, but the broadleaved trees cannot reduce the sound when the frequency is below 2000Hz
and the conifer has the ability to reduce low frequency sound(<500 Hz). The statistical analysis shows
leafs area, width and texture have the significant effect to noise reduction, and width is more significant
than area. Arranging density is proportional to the A-weight attenuation, but when the density is too high,
it has the negative effect to low frequency. When the density is the same, the crossing form has the better
effect than abreast form and random form; when the density is very low, random form has the best effect
while the abreast form has the worst. Through the test about different types of green belts, authors realize
that as long as there are enough plants to disturb the diffuse of sound at the height of the noise accept
position, it can provide good attenuation effect, so it is not necessary to make the belt so dense from the
top to the ground. The soft ground surfaces have the better noise attenuation effect than the concrete
ground, but the effect of ground cover plants is similar to the soil.

Result 6: Air filtering

People believe that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) can be reduced
by controlling emissions, increasing dispersion, or increasing deposition rates, but little attention has been
paid to the wall greening as a pollution control method.Base on Thomas and Roberts study, in
Eectiveness of Green Infrastructure for Improvement of Air Quality in Urban Street Canyons(2011),
both NO2 and PM are deposited onto surfaces at rates that vary according to the nature of the surface;
deposition rates to vegetation are much higher than those to hard, built surfaces. Previously, city-scale
studies have suggested that deposition to vegetation can make a very modest improvement (<5%) to
urban air quality. This study shows that increasing deposition by the planting of vegetation in street
canyons can reduce street-level concentrations in those canyons by as much as 40% for NO2 and 60%
for PM. Substantial street-level air quality improvements can be gained through action at the scale of a
single street canyon or across city-sized areas of canyons.

Discussion and Conclusion

The initial question at the start was what is the efficient supporting methods, and principles, materials of
wall greening? Through the research, it can be easily found. The most efficient plant material for wall
greening is climbing-plants. They are classified into four types; direct-climbing type, twining climbing type,
hanging type, combining type. Each type matches different supporting structures to provide best
effectiveness. Dot support structures match any types of plant materials as long as they are small plants.
And, this support structures are more efficient to work on the certain form when connected by cables.
Line support structures match direct climbing plants. The poles in this supporting structure can direct and
control the growth of plant to cover the targeted area. The gridding support any type of plant materials
after adjusted. It offers the most efficient systems to reduce noise and provide the largest area and layers
to absorb dust in the air.

In this research, it is explored the efficient methods and principles of wall greening. The existing way of
doing wall greening is re-examined. Base on the collected data and experiments, this research provided
the 3 most efficient way of doing supporting structures for wall greening by 4 classified plant materials.
Besides, in this research, two benefits of wall greening, which are noise attenuation and air filtering, were
re-examined. The results provided way to achieve the most efficiency. The result of this research can be
considered as a handbook to help architects and landscape architects using the green wall systems in the
design and checking the effectiveness.
Literature Review

The extensive literature review was performed on this research theme that relates to wall greening. The
first source is titled Discussion on Application of Vertical Greening in Urban Landscape, published by
Modern Landscape Architecture in 2009. In the literature, authors talked about the greening on vertical
axis of architecture and analyzed different types of green wall systems. Authors summarized 4 different
types of climbing plants: direct- climbing, twining climbing, hanging, and combing type. In addition,
authors studied on these 4 types. From their report, different types of climbing plants show different
growing behaviors. Authors noted that their biological characteristics decide where and how to apply to
achieve most efficient results.

The second and third literature discussed the techniques and construction methods of exterior green wall.
In Li Lings research, the construction methods of exterior green walls is identified as the research object,
and the construction methods of the exterior greening walls are divided into five general types and eight
subtypes. Through the research methods of field research, expert interviews, data access, experimental
testing, and computer simulations, a qualitative and quantitative research is carried out about these eight
exterior greening walls species at three aspects: the constructive components; construction and plants;
construction and environment. In another literature (LIU Xiwu, LIU Chunqiang, ZHANG You, 2010), the
greening techniques for the external wall of building is expounded, as well as the characteristics of the
wall greening, effects of energy-saving, the choice of plant species and the conservation methods

The other literatures focus on the effectiveness on different aspects. The 4th literature (Investigation of
the Noise Attenuation Function Provided by Landscape Plant, Liu Jiani, 2007) is an investigation report of
noise attenuation function provided by landscape plant. In this investigation, authors test eight types of
landscape plants including the climbing plants. They make a statistical analysis to study the relationship
between noise attenuation and the characteristics of leafs. They listed the relationship between
effectiveness of noise attenuation and shape of leafs, distance between leafs, density, leaf texture and
noise frequency.

The next literature (the present and further research of dust-retention by unban plants, Pang Bo, Zhang
Yinlong, Wang Dan, 2009) is about the dust attenuation of green wall. Authors studied on24 different
types of the green plants that used in green wall systems to test the effectiveness in a Chinese city called
Shengyang They use meters measured the difference of the dust distribution. And, they analyzed the
data and evaluated each plant materials to achieve the efficient methods and principles.

In the paper called Eectiveness of Green Infrastructure for Improvement of Air Quality in Urban Street,
Thomas and Robert discussed the relationship between plants and air pollution. This study shows that
increasing deposition by the planting of vegetation in street canyons can reduce street-level
concentrations in those canyons by as much as 40% for NO2 and 60% for PM. Substantial street-level air
quality improvements can be gained through action at the scale of a single street canyon or across city-
sized areas of canyons.

Even though the literatures above cover many different areas of green wall systems and their
effectiveness, in all these different topics, the most major and influential factor is that each source
analyzed the present status and development of green wall systems and their effectiveness in different
situations. Authors also discussed the future development of green wall systems. . From these studies,
the classification, structure supports, principles, methods can be summarized. The results can be used to
find out the most efficient matches among different plant classification, structure supports, and
application.

References

Su Dingxun, Zhao Ge, Li Xiaoqing, (2009). Discussion on Application of Vertical Greening in Urban
Landscape. Modern Landscape Architecture, 62(11), 52-55.

Pang Bo, Zhang Yinlong, Wang Dan, (2009), The present and further research of dust-retention by unban
plants. Journal of Shandong Forestry Science and Technology, 37(2), 130-134.

Liu Jiani, (2007), Investigation of the Noise Attenuation Function Provided by Landscape Plant. Zhejiang
University,

LIU Xiwu, LIU Chunqiang, ZHANG You, (2010), Greening Techniques for External Wall of Building,
Building Energy Efficiency, 21(02), 64-65.

Daisuke Tachibana , Satoshi Naoki , Takashi Maki , Yoshinobu Sato , Shinichi Kikuchi , Kazutaka Imai,
(2011), Important Issues in Green Wall Planning Necessary to Create The Fine Greening of Urban Areas,
AIJ Journal of Technology and Design, 36(02) 699-702.

Li Ling, (2011), Study on the Construction Methods of Exterior Greening Wall in the Summer Hot Area,
Huazhong University of Science & Technology.

Thomas A. M. Pugh,A. Robert MacKenzie, J. Duncan Whyatt, C. Nicholas Hewitt, Eectiveness of Green
Infrastructure for Improvement of Air Quality in Urban Street Canyons, Lancaster Environment Centre,
Lancaster University, Lancaster, U.K

2008, Introduction to Green Walls Technology, Benefits & Design, May 28th, 2013, from www.
greenscreen.com

Nigel Dunnett, Noel Kingsbury, 2008, Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls, Timber Press, USA

Patented Green Living Walls Grow Vertical, Green Living, July 13th, 2013, from agreenroof.com