Green Infrastructure for Environmental Gain
To demonstrate environmental gain our client included a living wall as part of their Planning Application for an extension at this house in St Brelade. The idea of a living wall was discussed to create nectar rich 'vertical garden' on the new block wall of the extension.
We engaged with Scotscape UK, who supply Fytotextile™ panels - the lightest Living Wall system on the UK market - to design the wall and deliver the first living wall of this type to Jersey. We installed the wall with Scotscape in July 2022, using the installation to train our team and become a provider of this trailblazing system to our clients locally.
The living wall is made from strong, lightweight and fully waterproof panels, which was fabricated to bespoke fit around the existing windows and vents. Each panel includes dozens of small planting pockets, which were planted with species chosen to suit the exact location, aspect, colours and desires of the homeowner. An irrigation system is integrated into the panels to ensure every single plant is watered, attached to a timer to give a twice daily dowsing of water.
The planting pockets accommodate established plants which meant an instant living wall was created, which within hours was buzzing with butterflies and bees. Within 6 weeks the wall was almost completely green. It will be cut bi-annually by our team as well as ‘health checked’ to ensure things like irrigation system and drainage are functioning properly.
Living walls are becoming popular in cities and rural areas alike as they absorb pollution, provide clean air, absorb noise, provide insulation, increase biodiversity, and simply add a WOW factor - and look beautiful!
We believe that green infrastructure is part of the solution for sustainable development in the Island, and offers a huge number of benefits. With the training and availability to install and maintain green infrastructure locally now, we hope that Islanders will start to see this type of product isn’t just for busy cities such as Singapore but has a real worth and place in Jersey!
To top off this install we also included a Flex MSE® green retreating wall, below the living wall, to hold back the steep road verge. These completely organic, soil-filled bags were hydro-seeded to result in another layer of green, avoiding the need for an unsightly concrete retaining wall.
Guy Plante, the homeowner, said ‘We needed to show environmental gain in order to get Planning Permission to create an extension at our property, and this living wall system seemed the best way to do it. We are delighted with the outcome and love the planting design that gives so many colours and textures. It will provide an important pollen and nectar source for many insects throughout the summer months. We are so excited to see what it looks like next year once it’s fully established’.