Universities installing greenwalls to improve wellbeing of students
The Greenwall Company has been working with a number of universities across Australia to design and install greenwall technology, as part of an attempt to increase concentration levels and the wellbeing of campus communities.
Founded by Mark Paul, a horticulturist, designer and advocate for greening cities, The Greenwall Company uses award-winning design techniques across both residential and commercial projects. The company’s vision is to reclaim the urban environment, wrapping facades of buildings with epiphytic and lithophytic plants creating living, breathing architectural function.
“There have been a number of studies conducted to prove the benefits of greening community spaces, one of which is improved concentration levels,” said Paul, with a 2015 study from the University of Melbourne finding that that glancing out at a greenroof for only 40 seconds markedly boosts concentration. “Over the past three years we have been working closely with a number of universities to create bespoke designs to work within the architecture of the buildings.”
In 2013, The University of Queensland introduced the Global Change Institute’s Living Building, which features The Greenwall Company’s greenwalls as the key design feature and achieved a 6-star Green Star rating. A 70 m2 panelled greenwall was installed over the air-conditioning vent. This formed part of the air filtration system, allowing the greenwall to clean and purify the air, which facilitates the idea of a ‘living building’. The greenwall design also included a pond of native rainbow fish with water plants and a vertical wetland to strip nutrients from the pond water.
More recently, the company completed the installation of a greenwall at La Trobe University’s Health Sciences building. Featuring a mainly native planting covering 20 m2, Paul and the team worked with the students and the university’s locally native plant nursery to incorporate plants grown on-site.
The greenwall at La Trobe University, currently in progress.
Beyond the increase in concentration levels, greenwalls also help to improve air quality, are aesthetically appealing, lower power bills and even act as an insulator.
Top image: The greenwall at the Global Change Institute.