October 17, 2017

Living Walls – A Top Trend in Green Engineering Designs

From LED lighting, rain water harvesting, day lighting, efficient mechanical systems, and water saving plumbing fixtures, sustainable designs offer numerous benefits for businesses, their community and their occupants. Positively impacting overall building efficiency, many biophilic engineering designs, such as living walls, can also enhance indoor air quality and productivity.

Biophilic Impact on Occupant Health

The concept of biophilic, first popularized by Edward O. Wilson in 1984, describes the innate relationship between humans and nature- the basic human need of continuously being connected to a natural environment. In today’s frenzied world, people ultimately want to feel more connected to nature and often seek out sustainable businesses. Biophilic green engineering designs not only improve occupant wellness by filtering out common pollutants like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) but also works to enhance the occupant’s connection with nature and decrease stress levels.

Research shows that views of nature and greenery in the workplace can have a positive impact on employee productivity levels. Just four hours a day in a room with plants, or a living wall, for example, can improve productivity. In fact, a study published by the American Psychological Association showed that employees were 15% more productive when plants are introduced to their workplaces.

Putting the Green in Green Engineering Designs with Living Walls

Living walls, also known as green walls, are self-sufficient, vertical gardens attached to the interior or exterior of a building. Either secured to a wall or freestanding, they can be designed to fit both retrofits and new sustainable building projects. While one benefit is that they are aesthetically pleasing, living walls also aid LEED project and green engineering designs to earn credits in a variety of categories such as water efficiency, indoor air quality, energy and atmosphere. Additionally, living walls help to reduce noise pollution by blocking and naturally absorbing high frequency sounds.

When implemented on the building’s exterior, living walls help to protect against temperature fluctuations thus reducing energy usage and protecting against deterioration. They help to cool the air in the hot summer months through evapotranspiration and insulate the building during the cold winter months.

Need A Resource for Green Engineering Designs? We’re Here To Help.

For businesses with ambitions to be industry leaders and compete for the most valuable employees, green engineering designs can create a differentiating opportunity to improve employee wellbeing, boost productivity and increase property value. But green engineering designs, such as living walls, require careful consideration and consultation.

As a full-service engineering solutions provider licensed in the United States and Europe, KMB takes a systematic approach to developing comprehensive engineering solutions for each of our clients. Our experts have always been passionate about sustainable practices.

Contact us to learn more about the kinds of green designs that will work best in your space to keep residents, employees and customers healthy and happy.

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