Tag Archives: improving air quality

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/

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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 LIVEPICTURE ON DISPLAY AT RHS TATTON PARK

Mobilane will have its LivePicture XL on display at this year’s RHS Flower Show Tatton Park as part of the ‘R Space’ garden designed by Pip Probert.

“We are particularly pleased that our LivePicture will feature in the ‘R Space’ garden,” said Paul Garlick, National Business Manager at Mobilane UK. “It’s the perfect setting for LivePicture and we think our system will complement the garden.”

Designed for a large family, the ‘R Space’ garden is sponsored by Hulton Landscapes Ltd and Gareth Wilson Garden Design Services Ltd, is both attractive and practical, with a homely feel and provides a place to sit, dine and entertain. Low walls hug a patio area and the boundary is deliberately kept low so as not to block surrounding views.

The LivePicture XL system featured in the garden is a living wall-hung picture system that uses plants to create a healthier and more attractive environment. Due to its innovative design LivePicture requires no power and consequently can be installed virtually anywhere. The benefits of using LivePicture include cleaner air, improved humidity, reduced noise pollution, lower stress levels and increased productivity levels in the workplace. The LivePicture plant cassettes can be changed in moments and need watering only every four weeks.

LivePicture comes in four sizes: The Small LivePicture measures 725mm x 725mm x 105mm, while the Large LivePicture measures 1125mm x 725mm x 105mm. The XL LivePicture measures 1160mm x 1120mm x 70mm, and the XXL LivePicture measures 2160mm x 1520mm x 70mm. The frame comes in three colours; white, silver grey, and charcoal/anthracite.

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

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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

Mobilane is supporting the International Conference on Living Walls and EcoSystems

Mobilane is excited to be attending the International Conference on Living Walls and Ecosystem Services, hosted by The University of Greenwich at the Green Roofs and Living Walls Centre 6-8 July 2015

The three day event will offer delegates a range of international speakers and industry-lead workshops, as well as walking tours of London living walls conducted before and after the conference, as well as a networking reception and an exhibition of living wall systems.

Workshops at the conference will focus on; system installation and maintenance; plant selection; valuation of ecosystem services; and living walls for vertical farming.

“This is a very exciting event,” says Paul Garlick, National Business Manager at Mobilane UK. “The market for living walls and green roofs is becoming well established in the UK and across many other territories, but there is still a lot of work to be done in underlining and promoting the value of living systems in the urban environment.

“For many people they are an aesthetically pleasing novelty, however, the full benefits are not always understood. So events like this are crucial for not only explaining the benefits in detail, but also for explaining the practical considerations for anyone thinking of embarking on a living system installation.

“The International Conference on Living Walls and Ecosystem Services is attracting the leading experts in the field and is a must-attend event for those who work in the industry, as well as those with an interest in living walls and green roofs. It is a rare opportunity for the living systems community to come together and focus on the industry and to network.”

The International Conference on Living Walls and Ecosystem Services takes place Monday 6th July – Wednesday 8th July at 10 Stockwell Street, SE10 9BD, the brand new library and academic building of the University of Greenwich, which is located within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For more details visit http://www.greenroofslivingwalls.org/

2013 ‘A Year of Air’

Europe – in particular the European Union – is very much in the news at the moment. David Cameron stated earlier this week on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he is looking to seek a ‘fresh settlement’ with Europe and is due to make a much-anticipated speech on the issue on Friday.

Whatever your views on Britain’s involvement with Europe, 2013 looks like it will be an important year when it comes to the formulation of EU air pollution policy. This year is the EU’s Year of Air. For those unfamiliar with this initiative, it is a time when EU air pollution policy will be revised.

With a recent survey by Eurobarometer, the EU’s public opinion poll analysts informing us that the majority of EU citizens do not think their governments do enough to tackle harmful pollutants, now is a good a time as any to join together and push for appropriate legislation to be put in place across the entire region to create standards that will drastically reduce the level of pollutants in the air and so decrease the public health consequences.

Only last year the EU ruled that the UK is already in breach of its air quality directive and that 16 areas of the UK will not meet the legal NO2 limits by 2015.  But what is government putting in place to help resolve this?

Introducing more greenery into the inner city areas where the PM10 and other pollutant levels are at their highest is a quick and easy step to begin improving air quality. Encouragingly, a number of local councils and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, are beginning the process of introducing living walls and green screens in order to absorb pollutants.

Why use living walls and green screens? Well, planting trees is all very well, however time is needed for them to establish themselves in their new home and grow.  Green screens, such as ours, are a more convenient choice as they can begin to work on reducing the levels immediately. We have seen a growth in interest for these and now even sell screens that are as high as 3 meters.

Local authorities should be held more responsible and be given further support in reducing the air pollutants in their areas. With some co-ordinated thinking, hopefully the EU’s Year of Air can help them achieve this – for the sake of everyone’s lungs.

Work with researchers and clients undertaken to highlight benefits of welI designed green spaces


We have started a pioneering partnership with academics from Staffordshire University which we believe will help both our existing and future customers better understand how well-managed green planted spaces can enhance wellbeing and help to solve social and environmental problems.

From improving mental health and reducing crime to improving air quality, the issues that the installation of a well-designed green space can resolve are diverse. In order to put these benefits on a more scientific footing, we, along with Staffordshire University, are asking clients – whether from the private or public sector – to come up with suggestions of what areas they would like investigating. Scientists from the university will then work with the client and us to research the precise benefits that these intelligently designed green spaces can bring to a particular area, for example building insulation, employee attendance rates or an improvement in general human well-being.
Clients will then have some scientific data that will enable them to fully grasp the problems that green spaces can help them solve.
Research by Staffordshire University is already under way and scientists are conducting a study which is investigating how successfully carefully designed green spaces influence biodiversity, improve building insulation and capture microscopic pollutants, thereby improving air quality and human health.
The current research being completed at Staffordshire University will help to provide more information on how pollutants known as PM10s – particulate matter that is less than 10 microns in diameter – are absorbed by plants. The reduction of PM10 levels is a focus of policy for the Department for Transport and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The three-year research study, which is in its final year, is being carried out by PhD student under the supervision of two Professors at the University.  A variety of sophisticated scientific techniques and instruments are being used to understand the nature of a green space’s interaction with particulate matter, including an environmental scanning electron microscope, which is used to establish the size of particles that are trapped by plants. Once complete, the research is due to be published in a number of international peer-reviewed journals.
Through an on-going partnership with the university, we hope we will bring similar scientific rigour to research into the other benefits of carefully planned and maintained green spaces.

Our Green Screens help Marlow become a safer place for drivers

We have helped to increase road safety and support the environment in Marlow as we have installed our Green Screens. Our six-foot high Green Screens can now be seen on the central reserve area of the A4155 Marlow Road, on the east side of the roundabout at the junction with the A404.  They have already proved effective in the aims of reducing both driver distraction and roundabout approach speed.

This project comes about after the local authority in Marlow following a review of the analysis of reported injury collisions in the last three years took the initiative to act to improve safety at the junction.  It was found that these were mainly as a result of excessive approach speeds towards the roundabout.  The installation of our Green Screens have restricted the visibility on the approach to the roundabout which has instantly provided the desired effect and created an aesthetically pleasing barrier which is sustainable and environmentally sound.

The addition of the screens serves to restrict drivers’ views of traffic to their right as they approach the roundabout, encouraging them to reduce their speed. Initial results from speed flow data show an average total reduction of around 4mph in approach speeds and also a significant reduction in the number of vehicles approaching the roundabout at higher speeds.

Green screens are a simple yet remarkably effective concept, featuring a biodegradable pot which holds a wire mesh ‘fence’ onto which vegetation, usually ivy, is grown. Our screens are cultivated offsite and are delivered ready to install. As soon as they are installed they provide an attractive barrier solution with aesthetic, environmental and maintenance benefits over traditional walls and fences.  They also provide an acoustic barrier which reduces the traffic noise in the surrounding environment.  Unlike hedges the vegetation in the screens does not grow significantly above the height of the wire fence, so they do not require regular pruning, and they are much narrower yet more dimensionally stable than hedges.

Green Screens have a wide range of uses, including encouraging biodiversity, improving air quality and tackling graffiti.  Local authorities are increasingly adopting innovative uses of the screens as they continue to see their versatility, sustainability and low maintenance costs. We are pleased to see Marlow leading the way and the results from this installation.