Living Walls — 6 Comments

  1. Hi Owen,

    I’m currently planning on making a vertical wall garden using geotextile. The idea is to make pockets of geotextile sewn on a large sheet of geotextile. What gsm do you recommend I use?

  2. Hi Owen

    I’m thinking about terracing my sloped garden by creating a number of earthbag retaining walls. Ideally I’d like to cover them with vegetation rather than plastering them. Do you have any experience of this?

    Do you know if woven PP bags are root permeable? I would hope that by planting on the bags it would promote root growth to further stabilize the walls, but I’m concerned that I may have difficulty keeping seeded soil in place on top of the bags. I plan to fill the bags with a 70/30 sand/soil root zone mix.

    There are some (pricey!) products on the market being sold for this purpose, but i notice their specs state that their PP bags are non woven – what’s the difference? They also advocate ‘live planting’ which involves making small cuts (up to 3 in the top third of the bag) to insert plant plugs – am I right to think this might compromise the integrity of my wall?


    • Regular poly bags will disintegrate in sunlight in about two months. You need to either plaster the bags and plant behind the wall or use special bags/tubes for living walls.

  3. I’ve always been slightly wary of ‘green wall’ systems piggybacking on the sustainable agenda – in most applications, the energy required to build, water and maintain a green wall on a conventional building has a significant energy load which is often in direct opposition with the architect’s stated aim of ‘sustainability’. The environmental benefits to the local atmosphere of cities is a separate issue, and possibly the main area of merit for this type of construction.

    The possibility of building thermally massive buildings from geotextile bags is possibly the antithesis of the ‘green wall’ systems comprising a watered framework as cladding for office blocks and similar – and possibly a good idea! Whether, from a global perspective, there is much different between an ‘earthship’ type building and an ‘earthship’ type building with grassy outer walls is another question entirely!

    Nevertheless, nice post and great to be aware of this type of technology.

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