Tag Archives: green features

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/

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Mobilane and BSI Bomenservice complete Europe’s Largest green wall in Belgium

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The front wall of a recently opened European distribution centre in the Belgian community of Laakdal, is displaying the largest green wall of Europe for the most renowned sports shoes manufacturer. The green wall surface consists of about 100,000 plants spanning over 2,000 m2. The green wall system used for this project, LivePanel, consists of a carefully selected range of plants, including Alchemilla, Bergenia, Campanula, Geranium and Nepeta. The innovative new building of the leading sports brand is fully powered by renewable energy from solar panels, wind turbines and a geothermal system.

Saving water The BSI Bomenservice, based in Baarn, was in charge of installation and maintenance. The giant planted wall is equipped with an integrated irrigation system, permanently distributing enough moisture and plant food Mobilane and BSI Bomenservice stated that “The client required a sustainable green wall with minimum water consumption. After an extensive selection process of available systems, we chose Mobilane’s LivePanel in consultation with the architects”.

The minimal water consumption, the relatively low weight and the proven performance of the green wall system in combination with the excellent quality/price ratio were the key factors.

Innovative Mobilane is a supplier of innovative green systems, and the plant wall consists of Mobilane’s modular LivePanel system. The green wall is not soil-bound and contains a total of 11,000 exchangeable plant cassettes. Each row of cassettes is placed in an aluminium duct profile which also serves as a water reservoir. The plants in the cassettes are automatically watered by an innovative capillary irrigation system operated by wall sensors. The innovative system requires little maintenance, is leak-free and not susceptible to breakdowns. Once disassembled, the living wall can be fully recycled.

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Read the article on the Mobilane Website: http://mobilane.co.uk/news/mobilane-and-bsi-bomenservice-complete-europes-largest-green-wall-in-belgium

20 Fenchurch Street: The Walkie-Talkie building

Since its completion in spring 2014, 20 Fenchurch Street, commonly known as The Walkie-Talkie, has become one of London’s most controversial and iconic skyscrapers. The 34 storey commercial building in the City of London financial district has attracted tenants from the worlds of insurance, finance and legal, including Shard Capital Stockbrokers – an independent full-service Financial Institution that relocated to the 23rd floor in 2015.

Shard Capital’s new office space was designed by Sterling Grey who worked to a remit of delivering a modern feel. As office Manager Lauren Clayton explains “We wanted to continue the modern theme and do something different with our office plants. Sterling Grey put us in touch with Darren at The Plantman who discussed our options and recommended a LivePanel system.”

Two LivePanel living walls were installed in a single day December 2015; the larger 10 square metre installation in the reception area, and a second four square metre wall outside the company’s boardroom. The main challenge facing the installer was to choose a mixed selection of plants suitable for the very light environment of the 23rd floor.

“Installation was really rather easy,” continues Lauren Clayton. “We discussed options with Darren in October and by start of December it was all completed with the installation taking only a few hours. The walls have been well received by both staff and visitors, and maintenance is non-existent from our point of view.”

To ensure the walls are maintained and the plants monitored, Darren from The Plantman visits the site every 10 days.

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View the case study on the Mobilane website:

http://mobilane.co.uk/case-studies/20-fenchurch-street-the-walkie-talkie-building

Every urban green gain counts

Early this summer, Brent Council unveiled its £90m new headquarters. Boasting a BREEAM rating of ‘outstanding’, the civic centre has a plethora of green features ranging from a clever natural ventilation system to wildlife friendly measures like bat boxes. It also features no less than 200 of our green screens as part of its landscaping scheme.

It’s an ambitious building. Brent has demonstrated what can be achieved when there are substantial upfront resources available. But valuable energy and sustainability gains can be made with far more modest means and, deployed in volume, can have a major beneficial impact on our the environment, our finances and our quality of life.

Across the board, public bodies are increasingly thinking more creatively about ways to create marginal green gains alongside grander greening schemes like, for example, congestion charging. Consider Bristol City Council which is set to save £500,000 per year on its energy bills by simply replacing high-pressure sodium lamps with ceramic metal halide lamps.

Urban greening is one instant and cost-effective method of boosting the sustainability credentials of both existing buildings and new build. For example, housing association Eastland Homes recently commissioned a 44m high living wall as part of the refurbishment of an apartment block in Manchester. It’s the highest living wall we’ve yet created.

Other public bodies such as Enfield Borough Council are using ‘living’ hoardings to help offset the carbon footprint of new developments – and enhance the locality. Enfield has installed a total of 70 sq m of ivy screens around a major regeneration site in Ponders End.

But the full potential of green screens as a tool to benefit the environment is yet to be tapped. Wherever there is a bare wall, there is an opportunity to reduce pollution, boost biodiversity levels and enhance the appearance of a locality.

If we are to truly tackle the big issues of climate change, excessive energy consumption, pollution and carbon emissions then no stone can be left unturned. We do need the grand gestures like Brent’s new civic centre – they act as a beacon of best practice. But we also need the relatively smaller scale measures like the judicious use of greenery and low energy lighting to ensure that every opportunity to create even a marginal gain for the environment is seized.

Mobilane living wall at the Library of Birmingham
Mobilane living wall at the Library of Birmingham

Green facelift for Manchester apartment block

A block of flats owned by Eastlands Homes housing association in east Manchester has been given a green facelift with a Mobilane living wall that runs up the full height of the nine-storey building. The installation is one of our tallest installations yet.
The ivy WallPlanters will help to insulate the flats at Worsley Court in Rusholme as well as enhancing the look of the block, which was built in the 60s and is in the process of being refurbished by Eastlands Homes.

Importantly, the ‘green wall’ will also help to reduce pollution levels near the flats; Worsley Court is located on Wilmslow Road, a busy bus corridor with high pollutant levels. In total, nine ivy WallPlanters have been installed by Hedera Screens to cover 100 sq m of the building. The plants will remove the same number of pollutant particulates from the air as four to five average-sized trees, but take up a fraction of the space.

Despite being 44 meters tall, the WallPlanters will be easy to maintain because of a special root zone in the planters that has been designed to give the plants an ideal environment in which to grow. A sophisticated irrigation system supplies water and nutrients as required.

It was installed as part of a project to revamp the apartment block, whichforms part of a project of three multi-storey blocks owned by Eastlands Homes. One of the key priorities in refurbishing this building was to improve the insulation of the flats. The ivy will help to reduce heat loss from the building in winter, while in the summer months it will help to shield the building from the sun’s rays and keep the interior cool.

The finishing touches are added to Mobilane WallPlanters at Worsley Court, Rusholme.

Greenbuild Expo 2013 – The Air We Breathe

It was, roughly speaking, in the mid 1990s that someone, most likely in the US, thought to put together the words ‘green’ and ‘infrastructure’. Roll on to 2013 and the concept of green infrastructure is still a relatively unfamiliar concept outside the green sector, but it is one that is increasingly set to take centre stage. Though exact definitions of green infrastructure may vary, the consensus is that its key purpose is to produce cleaner air. And that’s a matter that concerns every one of us.

I had the opportunity to speak on the issues, practical challenges and solutions involved with greening our urban environments at this year’s Greenbuild Expo. The challenge is stark. World-wide, more and more people are living in urban environments with limited access to green space, while – at the same time – in many parts of the world pollution levels are increasing. In Europealone, a 10% increase in urbanisation is expected between 2000 and 2015, while 45 million people already have limited access to green space. There is a huge body of research that links poor air quality to higher asthma rates, lung problems and even stunted lung growth in children.

There’s also a growing body of research evidence to link greenery in the form of trees, plants and other vegetation to a happier, healthier urban living experience. Among their many virtues, plants breathe out oxygen and remove pollutant matter or dust – called PM10s – from the air. In addition, greenery also encourages bio-diversity in cities, offers shade, promotes a feeling of wellbeing and can even help reduce crime levels.

At Mobilane, we are working in partnership with Staffordshire University to explore more fully the range of benefits offered by green infrastructure. It was my pleasure to present at Greenbuild alongside John Dover, Professor of Ecology at the university, who talked about the meaning of green infrastructure and the potential for integrating greenery into urban areas.

A creative approach will certainly be needed to ramp up the green volume in our cities. Trees take up huge amounts of space and require relatively high levels of maintenance. Our living screens and Living Walls offer a vertical way to green up space that produces immediate results both in terms of aesthetics and PM10 reduction. We also have a range of temporary green screens such as Living Hoardings that can boost greenery levels around construction sites – and help offset building projects’ carbon footprint.

If green, living structures are to become an integrated feature of urban landscapes, our notion of how greenery is used will need to become far broader. But the results will be well worth it – cleaner air for everyone.

For more information about Mobilane’s green screens, Living Walls and other products, please visit our website www.mobilane.co.uk

 
 
Professor John Dover of Staffordshire University and  me at the Greenbuild Expo in Manchester.