14th June 2017. The Grenfell Tower block in North Kensington, London goes up in flames and 72 people are tragically killed. What followed was a shocking realisation that hundreds of buildings up and down the country were covered with materials that posed a huge fire risk. In the time that has passed, the building industry has become acutely aware of the potential hazards of products not fit for purpose and undertake a considerable amount of due diligence to ensure that anything used on a building, indoor or outdoor, is both safe and suitable.
History tells us that the Ancient Egyptians likely oversaw the creation of the first enclosed outdoor spaces created purely for aesthetic value, a precursor to the modern garden as a concept. And yet, while the emphasis has always been on creating something attractive to look at, it has also been important that prying eyes are kept out where necessary with the addition of privacy screening ideas. In modern society, privacy screening may present itself in the form of a simple garden fence or wall, or in the case of indoor dividers, perhaps a single-color fabric screen.
Greewalls integrate nature into the built environment in a highly systematic and visual scheme meant to provide sensory stimulation, screening or a refresh to featureless surroundings. Two approaches to green wall systems are consolidating within the design and architecture sectors. The traditional approach, living walls, idealise the urban greening impulse but are complicated to construct and maintain. The novel system, artificial green walls, on the other hand, provide a practical, cost-effective solution.