New component to green building design: green walls

The practice of incorporating green walls into commercial building design continues to gain in popularity.


According to an AP story , PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh recently installed a green wall the size of two tennis courts on one side of its headquarters. Green walls, similar to green roofs, are covered in vegetation and provide benefits of natural insulation and removal of air pollutants. PNC estimates that it will be 25% cooler behind the wall than the ambient summer temperatures.

The PNC w all features more than 15,000 ferns, sedums, brass buttons, and other plants that create a pattern of varying hues of green above the company's logo. The assortment of vegetation is divided among hundreds of 2 x 2 ft aluminum panels that are anchored into the building's frame. The wall itself covers nearly 2,400 sq ft with an average building cost of roughly $100 to $125 per sq ft.

Green Living Technologies LLC, Rochester, N.Y., designed the green wall at PNC, which appears to be a trend that is catching on, with green wall installations showing up in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The green roof will help cool the building, but it will also capture rainwater and release it slower into the atmosphere and stormwater systems.


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