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Buildable Green Facades

When it comes to utopian vocabulary, the word “green” features heavily. Nowhere has this been more pronounced than in discussions relating to the benefits of ecologically sustainable building design, and biologically “alive” building structures like green walls. But these living walls or green facades are now commercially viable prospects.

Australia’s own world leading specialist tensile contractor, Ronstan Architectural, has found a way to drive fundamental response to climate change through its aggressive development of support systems for vertical landscapes. It’s not just talk. With density threatening urban environments, and space at a premium, real, buildable trellising solutions are required to unlock the green benefits we all know await.

Aside from the restoration of ecological balance, the right species of plant correctly positioned over a façade will assist with thermal control, limiting heat gain by shading wall surfaces and cooling through evapotranspiration. Both impact positively on a building’s running cost and develop microclimates that not only insulate thermally and acoustically, but produce oxygen at the same time. But these, and the social and psychological benefits of green facades that drive people to engage with the building, need carefully planned structure (fig. 1 – Green Wall Benefits).

The Ronstan Façade Team understands the key design considerations for the support of climbing plants. With species specified for their light tolerance, water requirements, foliage density and coverage, and with the immediate environment assessed, the inputs of wind load, plant mass and water loads are considered. Cable nets and components are modelled, with meshes and cables designed to ensure the plant loads mate with the building façade. Standard systems are available and Ronstan will design and install the complete structure.