Tag Archives: LivePanel

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

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InLeaf installs LivePanel and LivePictures at showroom

InLeaf, the Manchester-based commercial plants specialist has added a 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. The company will shortly embark on a major Mobilane installation with a pharmaceutical company in Chester that already has a living wall at its office in Uxbridge. The renovation of the client’s office in Chester includes the installation of a 22m square LivePanel living wall for which InLeaf is doing all the design, installation and maintenance.

“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 we are looking for franchisees. All our franchise events are held at our showrooms, so the LivePanels and LivePictures are useful for educating potential franchisees about the products they can offer that are different.”

Daniel and Charlotte set the company up with the aim of becoming a franchise, which is why they have a showroom to allow themto 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 only launched in February,” continues Daniel, “So it’s still early days. However, they are getting our first franchisees lined up. The industry is very competitive, which is why we think the franchise idea can help other companies compete. There is a growing market for living walls and there has been a sea change in the last few years. The sense we are getting is there’s a lot more awareness, which is largely client-led. For example, the Chester installation was part of the client 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

Visit https://inleaf.co.uk/ to know more

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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Radisson Blu goes green!

When Radisson Blu opened its £22 million luxury 218-bedroom hotel at East Midlands Airport, it was keen to have some eye-catching and innovative features.  To help achieve this, the hotel became the first building in the country to feature a Mobilane LivePanel Indoor system, which they installed in their reception area.

The attractive living wall has helped the building achieve the highest ever BREEAM sustainability rating for a commercial hotel in the UK. BREEAM evaluations consider a whole host of desired sustainable features and take into account not only energy-saving factors but also look at the interior environment.  By installing the LivePanel Indoor system in the reception area, not only is the hotel ticking all the right boxes for the assessment criteria but it has also introduced a beautiful talking point that makes it stand out from the crowd.

The panel used by Radisson Blu is 10sqm and contains a variety of plants which were grown off-site and delivered ready for installation. The aesthetically pleasing centrepiece of the hotel reception took just one day to install and the only work needed prior to its installation was the fitting of some growing lights.  Among the many advantages of the wall is that it has its own integrated irrigation system and is self-contained, cutting out the need for any damp proofing behind the system.  The panel contains a specially developed substrate which helps the plants to establish themselves and thrive. The irrigation system is powered by a standard 240v supply and the wall requires minimal maintenance. Any work that is required is done by Hedera Screens, which installed it.

We have been given some great feedback from the hotel on the views that staff and guests have had about the living wall, all of which has been positive.  Our hope is that the LivePanel Indoor system will fire the imaginations of more interior designers and architects, who will be inspired to incorporate one into their latest project designs, whether offices, call centres, health centres, gyms, retail or business centres. Their potential application is immense.

LivePanel Living Wall features in Waitrose Greenest Store

When Waitrose opened its Bracknell store at the end of last year it was announced as their greenest yet.  It is a remarkable example of how sustainable and environmental design is truly at the heart of all new developments.  A key feature at this store is one of our beautiful LivePanel Living Walls which, at 49 square metres, is hard to miss when you arrive to do your shopping.

It truly is an array of colour.  The plants chosen to feature in this wall are from a large variety of colourful and variegated plants to ensure that it remains an attractive feature all year round.  Our plants were specially grown off site and delivered ready for the installation so that all in all it took our contractors, Hedera Screens, only 3 days to install on site.

The beauty of our LivePanels is not just in there aesthetic value it is also in that they are extremely flexible in  design and offer extensive environmental benefits.   In terms of scale and size there really are no boundaries and we can create bespoke designs to suit the topography and weather conditions of each site.  We can even build in company logos, choose specific colours and ensure the wall stays green through the winter months.

Historically, there have been issues involved with planting and maintaining living walls however the design and systems we use overcome any failure problems.  Put simply, we use a modular construction system meaning that the panes can be easily adjusted to fit any space.  The sections have a specially developed substrate which is designed to enable the plants to easily establish themselves and thrive.  There is an integrated automated irrigation system which provides the plants with essential water and nutrients to ensure that they are kept in the best condition and mitigates against the human error of forgetting to water them!   The panels are installed onto the face of the building and secured by an aluminium frame.

One of the most advantageous benefits about our LivePanel system is that it is extremely low maintenance leaving it a hassle free addition to help enhance the appearance of buildings.

Lack of standards is ruining the reputation of living walls

A lack of regulations and standards is to blame for a commonly held belief that living walls are problematic. Sean Farrell of living wall supplier Mobilane explains why.

While the concept of adding foliage to buildings is an old one – the greek historian Dionorus recorded a technically detailed description of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – the modern market for living walls is relatively new, yet it has suffered some negative publicity due to the failure of a few high profile examples. These have been pounced upon by critics who have claimed that living walls are both vulnerable and cannot be considered sustainable due to the watering and feeding requirements. These criticisms are wrong and the logic behind them is flawed. It is akin to claiming that cars are not a good idea because Toyota made some mistakes in 2009. It fails to take into account the development of successful systems which are far more efficient and sustainable.

The sustainability criticism is flawed because it fails to consider the green benefits against physical footprint which living walls deliver. For example, if you have a cube shaped building – a square plan and 4 square walls – with all four walls and a roof which are all greened, then that building will have a green ‘footprint’ which is five times the physical plan size of the building. Or to look at it another way, if the building were demolished and its footprint given back to nature, it would still not match the same area as the entirely greened building.

While it is a nice idea that areas of our towns and cities are given back to nature, the reality is that we need all those buildings and roads. There simply is no way that we can realistically introduce sizeable new green spaces in built-up towns and cities when we are already pushed for space. The government’s controversial push for expansion into the countryside reveals just how unrealistic it is to think about returning urban areas to green land. If we are going to add greenery to towns and cities, we have to look at adding it to new and existing buildings, both roofs and walls, that means going up the sides of buildings, and across the tops of them.

The sustainability of a living wall also depends on the efficiency of the system itself and the substrates used. The best modern systems are highly efficient, using low energy sensors to deliver only the exact amount of water required by the plants with no wastage.

However, while the environmental and social benefits of living walls are well understood, living wall systems, screens and living roofs are relatively free of regulatory frameworks and concepts which apply to most other parts of the building envelope, and there are no nationally recognised performance standards in place to reassure the specifier interested in adding greenery to buildings. Designers and specifiers are having to trust living wall suppliers’ claims on the performance of their systems and do not have minimum standards to guide them.

The Government and construction industry has, for many years, been committed to a programme of sustainable and more efficient construction. During this time Building Regulations have become increasingly onerous and there is a myriad of performance and quality control criteria which apply to the vast majority of building products and systems. This has been welcomed by manufacturers and suppliers and as a result the envelope is being pushed when it comes to research and development. Insulation systems, cladding systems, waterproofing systems etc, all have to meet minimum standards to exist in the marketplace and to be competitive. However, living systems such as green walls do not currently have the same requirements.

With no minimum standards in place, and no strong regulations governing the marketplace, suppliers of living systems are free to take systems to market which have not been properly tested and which are not fit for purpose. The result is a marketplace which has seen several high profile failures and in which good systems and good suppliers are being tarnished by the failure of bad systems. It is hardly surprising that living walls are viewed with some suspicion in some quarters, but living wall systems are incredibly important and offer many environmental and social benefits. It is a tragedy that development of the market is being hindered in this way.

Yet it is a market which is developing at a phenomenal pace. The latest living wall systems offer designers a phenomenal design palette and support a huge range of plant types. The external living wall has even moved indoors and it is now possible to have a LivePanel interior wall system installed within a building in less than a day and with no need for alterations to the building fabric. All that’s needed is a blank wall and a power point. The effect is stunning and the benefits to users of public sites such as airports, offices, shopping centres cannot be overstated.

As for the longevity and robustness of exterior living wall systems, there are many examples where the best systems have been thriving for many years. For example, the 150m long, 8m high living wall system at the O2 arena in London which four years after installation continues to thrive with minimal maintenance. The system took a little over a week to install and has not lost a single plant. There are also other excellent examples, such as the impressive living wall installed at Kendal College in Cumbria, the wall at Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon, the Mercedes Research and Development Plant, and a stunning wall at Monaco (surprisingly a harsh, water impoverished marine environment) which six years after installation is still regarded as the best example of a living wall in Europe. All of these installations thrive silently and without fuss, never drawing attention to themselves but always drawing admiration.

Maintenance of living walls is an important consideration and reflects on the lifetime cost of a wall. But the best suppliers will offer competitive maintenance packages.

Until such a time when minimum standards are introduced, designers and developers who are interested in specifying living wall systems need to ensure that suppliers they are speaking to can illustrate their heritage and can prove their systems perform as stated at a fixed price with guarantees for planters. At Mobilane we are able to show photos of progression of growth over 6, 12 and 18 months, as well as examples which continue to thrive after many years. Specifiers should also ensure they choose suppliers who can offer maintenance systems to protect their investment. In our opinion, green walls should not need replacing every four years, they should last a lifetime.

[This article will appear in a future issue of fc&a magazine]