Natural green wall brings smiles for elderly residents

Residents in Dutch residential care home feel the real benefits of a natural planted green wall

The installation of a green wall in a care home in Enschede has given its elderly residents a welcome green boost.  The green wall has prompted a host of positive feelings and feedback – so much so that a Dutch university is going to investigate further to find out

“The plants are so beautiful”

The green wall installation has created three-dimensional, tangible, naturally planted masterpiece.  With plant varieties specially selected for their air purification properties, the planted expanse also provide an element of moisture in the air – a freshness that has given its residents an overall feel-good factor.  And that “feel-good factor” is being explored by Tia Hermans, the researcher leading the way at Wageningen University.

Sensors

“In the panels with hanging plants, there are sensors that measure the air quality, the temperature, humidity and a few more things. Through a wireless connection, the data is transmitted directly to the laboratories at Wageningen,” Hermans said.

At the official unveiling of the wall last month, the residents commented on the beauty of the plants and their prominence as a feature in their home surroundings.   Whilst taking a prominent position on the wall, the plants themselves need relatively little maintenance – another important factor in its choice

Air Purification

“From our final selection of 85 plants, we believe we’ve created a great combination of varieties.  These are the friendliest of plants that can be touched or brushed against without causing damage or allergies.”  The plants’ air-cleaning properties are measured by comparison of the air in the two living areas where the green walls hang, in contrast to two non-green control areas.  Sensors are in both areas, transmitting data back to the research facility.  These are then compared and measured.

Creating a happy environment

So far, it is not only the researcher Hermans who is happy with the results.  The positive effects on the  residents’ demeanour is clear to see – and those in management of the care home agree.   Director Rick Hogenboom  states: “Some of our residents spend a lot of the day sitting in one place, so making their view an enriched one is really important.  Bringing nature indoors and encouraging its enjoyment, seeing its growth improves our residents’ outlook.  It’s the perfect backdrop to life for those in their later years.”

Original article in Dutch: https://www.tubantia.nl/enschede/bewoners-de-posten-in-ensschede-voelen-zich-prettiger-door-plantenwand~a2b172f8/ – Hans Brok  

Advertisements

Mobilane Green Screens used to create Highways England’s first ‘green bridge’

Highways England has installed its first ‘green bridge’ as part of the new £192 million A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway, and has used Mobilane Green Screens as part of the innovative new feature.

The project to improve links between M6 and M56 includes seven new bridges plus a pedestrian underpass along the length of the 4.5 mile new road. Other work includes concrete retaining walls and repairs to two existing bridges.

The new ‘green bridge’ has been built to provide a safe crossing for wildlife and is part of a focus on the environment which Highways England is committed to in order to minimise the impact of roads on native species and the natural environment. Other measures include reducing noise, and protecting watercourses from pollutant spillage.

Mobilane Green Screen
Mobilane Green Screen

“The ‘green bridge’ features the use of Mobilane Green Screens,” explains Paul Garlick of Mobilane. “Green Screens are wire security fences upon which ivy has been cultivated. In total 88 1.8m high screens were purchased and installed by Costain. These screens feature Hedera Helix Woerner and powder coated steel posts.

“Green Screens have a wide range of uses for domestic, public sector and commercial applications including housing developments, schools, hospitals and car parks. Many local authorities use them on roadside verges. However, the use of our Screens on this ‘green bridge’ is a first. It really helps to underline the sustainability credentials of the Screens and we are very proud they have been used on this landmark construction.”

The new dual carriageway will make travelling between the M6, south Manchester and Manchester Airport quicker and more predictable. It will bring significant benefits to strategic traffic by reducing journey times.

May 2017

Garden Villages – An opportunity not to be missed

The news that the first ever garden villages have been given government backing is to be cautiously welcomed, however, we need to ensure that these new developments, which have the potential to deliver more than 48,000 homes across England, deliver more than just a solution to the pressing problem of a housing shortage.

While the word ‘garden’ is included in the name, these new developments must amount to more than merely high density housing to solve a single problem. The name ‘garden villages’ certainly conjures up images of picturesque traditional English villages, but we need to remember that greenery very much underpins that images. Hedgerows, shrubbery, trees, ivy-covered walls – these are all staples of that image. So what should the planners and designers be doing to truly deliver something that delivers on this image?

The garden villages will be between 1,500 and 10,000 homes and are part of the government’s commitment to support locally-led development. The soundbite claims the ambition is to ‘make sure this is a country that works for everyone’.

Fourteen new garden villages have been given support and a £6 million fund has been made available over the next two financial years to support the delivery of these projects.

At the same time the government also announced its support for three new garden towns in which alongside the seven garden towns previously announced and the 17 new garden villages have the potential to deliver almost 200,000 new homes. However, the same caution needs to be applied to these towns as well as the garden villages.

The worry is that there is no single model of design needed to be approved for a garden village, other than they should be ‘built to a high quality, be attractive and well designed, and be built as a response to meeting local housing needs, especially for first-time buyers’.

This is worrying vague and without specifics and ideas of ‘high quality, attractive and well-designed’ are purely subjective.

Of course there are simple things that developers and designers can do to ensure these new developments are suitably green to ensure the ‘garden’ aspect of the name does not seem cynical. Instead of fences between properties, living ivy green screens can provide an instant green solution very much in keeping with traditional English villages. They have a very narrow footprint, so even if houses are built close together they take up much less room than a hedge.

Public buildings can also be designed with greenery in mind. While the ivy clad wall is beautiful, it can place a strain on a building. However, the latest developments in living walls offer a solution. Easy to install and maintain, living walls are proving increasingly popular, even in our city centres.

Garden villages and garden towns sound appealing, but to ensure the reality matches the dream, these are the technologies designers need to consider.

MOBILANE GREEN SCREEN SUSTAINABLE SECURITY FENCING ON DISPLAY AT FUTURESCAPE

The ultimate in secure sustainable security fencing will be on display at the Futurescape event, which takes place Tuesday 15th November at Sandown Park Racecourse, Surrey. Visitors to the Mobilane stand (70) will be able to see the multiple uses and applications for the company’s market leading Green Screen, which has become the sustainable fencing solution of choice for domestic, public sector and commercial applications including housing development, schools, hospitals, car parks and roadside verges.

Mobilane’s Green Screen is a pre-cultivated screen which features a galvanised high carbon steel weldmesh that supports 65 ivy plants, each of which is trained through the mesh as it grows. The steel weldmesh itself delivers a very effective security barrier, while the ivy flourishes and requires minimal maintenance – unlike a traditional hedge which requires periodic heavy pruning and is prone to collapse in high winds or snow. As well as different species of ivy, the screens can also feature Hornbeam, Beech, Ligustrum and Pyracantha. The screens come in a variety of lengths, and are 3m in height.

Crucially, Green Screens have an extremely narrow physical footprint and an expected life of 45 years, giving them a very high biodiversity footprint. They also have additional benefits over walls and wooden fences as they deter graffiti and vandalism.

“Mobilane Green Screens are our most successful proven system,” explains Paul Garlick, National Sales Manager for Mobilane. “The system has proven itself in a wide variety of scenarios and uses, from high-end domestic developments that require the highest levels of security, to large estates where space is at a premium, through to commercial applications around offices, hospitals and car parks, and even as a safety measure along busy roads.

“The benefits of plants in the urban environment is well understood and the need for more plants is a pressing one to help combat pollution. However, the challenge has always been how to introduce plants quickly and effectively. Mobilane Green Screens deliver on all fronts, as their widespread use illustrates. Whether your pressing requirement is aesthetic, sustainability, security, or the need for a rapidly installed instant solution, Green Screens deliver all benefits in one.”

For further information on Mobilane systems visit www.mobilane.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter @Mobilanekant-klaarhaag-lr

 

Mobilane LivePanel on display to help attract new franchisees at Inleaf

Inleaf, the Manchester-based commercial plants specialist has added a Mobilane LivePanel system and three LivePictures to its showroom to allow the company to better demonstrate their benefits to clients, as well as to other installers interested in becoming Inleaf franchisees.

Founded by husband and wife Daniel and Charlotte Atherton – a qualified Landscape Architect – Inleaf are keen supporters of Mobilane systems and have recently completed the design and installation of a 25m square installation as part of an office refurbishment for a pharmaceutical company in Chester.

“Having the LivePanel and LivePicture at the showroom is useful for demonstrating the systems to clients,” explains Daniel Atherton. “However, Inleaf is a franchise operation and all our franchise events are held at our showrooms, so the LivePanels and LivePictures are useful for educating potential franchisees about the unique products they can offer.”

Daniel and Charlotte set the company up with the aim of becoming a franchise, and created their showroom to allow them to train people. With a long-term goal to have franchisees nationwide, Inleaf will recruit, train and support franchisees, as well as taking the lead on new products such as Mobilane systems.

“We launched in February,” continues Daniel, “And we are getting our first franchisees lined up. The industry is very competitive, but with our franchise opportunity we believe franchisees can become successful. There has been a sea change in the last few years and there is a growing market for living walls. The sense we are getting is there is a lot more awareness, which is largely client-led. For example, the Chester installation was part of the client and architect’s brief. We are seeing this more and more.

“In terms of general plants in the commercial space, we are finding a wide range of companies coming to us for solutions, with clients understanding the wide range of benefits of plants in the work place. However, there is still a job to be done in educating smaller businesses, which is where our demonstration systems at the showroom come in.”

inleaf-demo-wall

For further information on Mobilane systems visit www.mobilane.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter @Mobilane

For further information on Inleaf and its franchise opportunity visit www.Inleaf.co.uk

MOBILANE AND UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH LAUNCH INTERIOR LIVING WALL RESEARCH PROJECT

Mobilane, the leading supplier of living systems for exterior and interior use, has partnered with the University of Greenwich Green Roofs & Living Walls Centre on a year-long research project that explores and measures the health and wellbeing effects of interior living walls and other similar systems in a classroom environment.

Mobilane LiveDivider and LivePicture systems, which use the same cassette technology as the LivePanel living wall system, have been installed in Windrush Primary School and Royal Greenwich University Technical College, both of which are within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The big idea behind the installations is to monitor and assess the effects of the living walls on students.

As Dr Benz Kotzen and Shelley Mosco of the Department of Architecture and Landscape, University of Greenwich explain “Children and students are especially sensitive to indoor air quality problems that may be alleviated through the use of plants, and because their performance and behaviour during study is so closely monitored and recorded, school and college classrooms provide an ideal testing ground.

“The research will build on previous studies which have shown that plants provide an effective method of regulating environmental conditions within buildings by improving air quality through the removal of impurities or through the increase of humidity, temperature control and abatement of noise. Indoor plants have also been shown to result in an increase in performance and creativity of employees and students, and to reduce levels of aggression and stress. A scientific investigation of this type of installation has the potential added value of incorporating the research process and results into the educational curriculum in science, biology, chemistry and maths. The students and staff will be tasked with maintaining the systems and daily collection of temperature, humidity and other data.”

The Mobilane LiveDividers and LivePictures have been installed in a library and one classroom, and the grades and behaviour of the students using those classrooms will be monitored over the course of the summer term in order to see whether there is a significant improvement compared with the period before the wall was installed. It is intended that the walls will be reintroduced in the new school year to collect more data.

The living systems have been installed by Darren Stobbart of The Plantman, who described the initial response by staff as extremely positive. “The staff at both the school and college were clearly delighted with the systems and keen to help with the research programme. The children at Windrush Primary School will certainly benefit from a better understanding of plants and their role in air purification, so there are additional benefits beyond the research outcomes.”

Click here to visit the Mobilane website http://mobilane.co.uk/

Click here to visit The Plantman’s website http://www.theplantman.co/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

GP Plantscape introduces Mobilane to its design-led offer

GP Plantscape, the family-owned commercial landscaping experts headquartered in Lanark, has added Mobilane systems to its core offer as a response to a trend towards office design that has plants as a key element.

GP Plantscape has offices across the UK including Manchester, Leicester, Newcastle, and up as far as Fyfe, giving the company a nationwide reach. The company handles contracts for blue chip clients such as banks, investment companies, and facilities management companies for whom GP Plantscape supplies and maintains interior and external landscaping across client sites nationwide.

“We are interior and exterior landscaping specialists with a focus on the commercial sector, interior plants for offices and exterior landscaping,” explains Alison Gilchrist of GP Plantscape. “We complement our core design and installation with maintenance.

“There is a clear trend within the office plant market that is moving towards more integrated office design, as well as more design within exterior landscaping. We find that Mobilane products lend themselves to this more aesthetic approach with the use of plants moving on from the days of simply a plant in a container.

“We see this as a growing area for the business as well as for our clients that are architects and designers and who are specifying plants as part of a wider design concept, instead of something introduced as an afterthought.

“We intend to increasingly build the use of Mobilane products like LivePicture and LivePanel into customer quotes and maintain the systems for them. We have used Mobilane products for both interior and exterior applications previously, and know how well suited they are to the commercial sector and design-led applications.”

Talking about the new relationship, Paul Garlick, National Business Manager at Mobilane UK said “GP Plantscape is the type of partner that is a natural fit for Mobilane. With an extensive nationwide network, and working to the highest standards, GP Plantscape understands exactly where the market is going and how it is evolving to a place where our products have a natural fit. We are sure our systems will help GP Plantscape to better attack the commercial market.”

For further information on Mobilane systems visit www.mobilane.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter @Mobilane

To visit the GP Plantse website, click this link http://www.gpplantscape.com/

gp-plantscape