A green wall is often thought of as a welcome alternative to concrete. However, some of the living walls of the future may be seen in a different light. This is because of an interesting experiment in Spain which has the potential to influence some of the construction done in the decades to come.
The innovative idea has already received a patent, but it is still too soon to prejudge what outcomes will flow from the project.
Moss promotion not moss reduction:
Many people in wet climates are irritated by the growth of moss on concrete. In Barcelona, the experiment at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya is about deliberately trying to grow moss on concrete. The basic idea is that a new type of structure can be built which will have some of the qualities of today’s planted walls. It is hoped that there will be no need for the kind of support structure a conventional planted wall demands.
Pursuing standard aims by a new method:
A planted wall is often built with ecological aims in mind. The new type of concrete will also be created in the hope that it can make a positive difference to levels of air and noise pollution. The concrete will be roughened to assist the growth of moss and algae.
Potential drawbacks of moss promotion:
The new variety of concrete will not have the beauty of a normal planted wall. This means that it will probably not be able to give as large a commercial benefit to an organisation as might be hoped.