The Santalaia is a high end multi-family residential building in the Colombian capital of Bogotá with a wonderful view over the eastern hills. In 2013 architects Exacta Proyecto Total approached Groncol, a vertical garden and greenroof design/build firm, with the idea of having the building entirely covered with plants. Due to Groncol’s experience using Paisajismo Urbano’s f+p hydroponic system, they were hired to design and construct one of the world’s largest vertical gardens at about 33,550 square feet. Completed in December 2015, the project took a total of eight months of planning and eight months of construction to build the green wall 9 stories above ground and 2 stories underground.
The architect’s intent was to produce a uniform green tone and plant volume, and naturalized plants in the massive f+p green wall include Hebe Mini, asparagus fern, rosemary, vincas, and spathiphyllum, among others – in total about 115,000 plants. Designing irrigation, water recycling systems, and plant selection were some of the biggest challenges. The vertical garden was constructed over a large metallic structure designed specifically for the project. Forty-two irrigation stations are used for the living wall which uses water from the apartments’ showers for irrigation. The plant coverage helps reduce the urban heat island effect and Groncol says 115,000 plants equal a carbon footprint compensation for 700 people; 3,000 square meters of vegetation provide oxygen for 3,000 people; and the very large green wall offers the equivalent of air cleansing for the PMM emissions of 745 cars. The end result is the highly successful establishment of one of the most beautiful and largest Vertical Gardens in the world. The lush Santalaia green wall is a reminder that we should not live only in a concrete covered city, we should be constantly relating with nature instead.
Publisher’s Note: Read my blog post Come to Bogota for the 2016 WGIC which will be held in the beautiful and green capital city of Colombia on October 19 – 21, 2016. And don’t miss out on the last Early Bird Discount for registration which ends on September 22!
Year: 2015 Owner: Private Location: Bogotá, Colombia Building Type: Multi-Family Residential Type: Living Wall System: Single Source Provider Size: 33,551 sq.ft. Slope: 100% Access: Accessible, Private
Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Building Architect: Exacta Proyecto Total Building Construction Company: Exacta Proyecto Total Vertical Garden Design and Implementation: Groncol Vertical Garden Technology/System: f+p system (Sistema f+p), Paisajismo Urbano
The Calahorra Tower, or Torre de la Calahorra, is a rectangular Almohad style fortification, built between the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. Part of the ancient wall that surrounded the medieval village of Elche, it defended the entrance to the regional area of Alicante and previously served as the governmental seat. Located at the back of the tower is the square of Santa Isabel, and despite its excellent location, the small urban area previously held no defined use. To revive the zone, architect Antonio Maciá designed a project which combined a cafeteria, to serve as a destination and a reason to visit, and a vertical garden, to increase its attractiveness and bring many benefits to the city.
Situated on the party or flank wall adjacent to La Calahorra, both the design and the installation of the vertical garden were carried out by Paisajismo Urbano, using their own patented system. Adding to the challenge of combining a coffee shop within a vertical garden was the complexity inherent with a historic building. A metal structure had to be constructed for the vertical garden for plant support which includes automated drip irrigation. More than 3,000 plants belonging to 15 species of 5 different families were used, mostly endemic to the Mediterranean region. It is estimated that the green wall will produce about 90 tons of oxygen and retain about 10 kilos of metals from the atmosphere annually. After finishing the building process, the “vertical garden cafe” has become a new landmark for citizens, and its location has evolved from being a deserted area to having a continuous flow of pedestrians who can now enjoy a drink while watching a little piece of jungle in the city.
Today we have the pleasure to air “A Tale of Two Hydroponic Living Wall Systems from Canada and Spain” by Dr. Alan Darlington of NEDLAW Living Walls and Ignacio (Nacho) Solano of Paisajismo Urbano.
Alan Darlington will present “Indoor Air Biofilters.” The indoor air biofilter is an interior plantscape that can effectively remove common indoor contaminants and improves the living environment. It represents the hybridization of science, art and engineering to deal with real problems of indoor air quality in an aesthetic and sustainable manner. The NEDLAW Living Wall™ is the result of close to 20 years of university research. At first glance, the biofilter appears as a vertical hydroponic green wall containing a wide range of foliage plants specifically selected for each site.
However, the plant wall is actually an integrated part of the air handling system for the building. Air is actively forced through the wall of plants and highly specialized biological components actively degrade pollutants such formaldehyde and benzene in the air into their benign constituents of water and carbon dioxide. The clean air is then distributed throughout the building, greatly improving the building performance. This presentation will outline the science and engineering behind the biofilters and their impact on the indoor space as well as issues related to design and integration into the built environment.
Nacho Solano will share the history of Paisajismo Urbano in Spanish with English subtitles and how the love of plants has been transformed into one of the leading companies in our sector worldwide. Over 14 years of work have resulted in the seamless integration between urban spaces and nature, received due to a combination of biology, botany, engineering, design and a patented formula which combines fungi and bacteria, ensuring complete success on site. Come and discover his interviews with rare footage and follow this firm which is synonymous with experience and expertise in the world of advanced vertical gardening.
Nacho Solano hablará sobre Paisajismo Urbano. Conoceremos mejor la historia de Paisajismo Urbano y de como el amor por las plantas ha conseguido transformarse en una de las empresas referencia del sector a nivel mundial. Mas de 14 años de trabajo han dado como resultado la integración perfecta entre espacios urbanos y naturaleza conseguida gracias a una combinación de biología, botánica, ingeniería, diseño y una formula patentada que combina hongos y bacterias asegurando un éxito total en las instalaciones. Entra y descubre entrevistas, material inedito y como formar parte de esta empresa, sinónimo de experiencia y profesionalidad en el mundo de la jardinería vertical avanzada.
“S. Breslau, Canada. Dr. Alan Darlington is Principal of NEDLAW Living Walls. Alan was awarded his PhD investigating the interaction between plants and their physical environment from the University of Guelph. Alan has received a number of awards for academic and entrepreneurial accomplishments and is the ‘inventor’ of a number of patents integral to the application of plant based biofilters to the indoor space which has been his area of interest since 1994. Since 2004, his companies have installed close to 200 biofilters across North America. In 2005, he was named by Outdoor Magazine as one of the 25 top true believers in the environmental movement for his work with plant biofilters.
Alan is also part of the “Environmental Healing through Phytoremediation – Chapter 1” Panel Session, to be shown at a later date.
Alicante, Spain. Ignacio (Nacho) Solano is a biologist and the founder of Paisajismo Urbano. Based in Spain, Paisajismo Urbano creates vertical ecosystems. Nacho has traveled extensively for botanical research to various forest and jungle environments around the globe. His company has installed over 2,500 m2 of vertical gardens using his patented system throughout Europe and the Americas.
Ignacio Solano Cabello (España, 1976,) es biólogo y fundador de la empresa de creación de ecosistemas verticales Paisajismo Urbano. Ha realizado númerosos viajes de investigación botánica alrededor de diferentes bosques y selvas de todo el mundo y cuenta con más de 2.500 m2 de jardines verticales con patente propia repartidos por Europa y América.“ ~ VS2013
Located on approximately 4 hectares encompassing 160 commercial establishments and providing 2,000+ parking spaces, Scala Shopping is a new three-story upscale retail center in Quito, Ecuador. The city and developer sought a modern shopping destination where it was possible to have fun in a safe and secure setting, and generate employment and sound economic development.
A series of 9 hydroponic living walls totaling 1,000 m2 was installed from the Spanish firm Paisajismo Urbano. The developers felt that adding vertical gardens would promote the union of man and nature, inviting clients to take care of nature and help mitigate the shopping mall’s considerable carbon footprint. Approximately 30,000 plants of 90 different species were used – 60 of them native to the area. It is estimated that per year the vegetation on the facades of Scala Shopping will produce oxygen for 1,000 people and that all together the vertical ecosystems can capture about 300 tons of harmful greenhouse gases.
Year: 2012 Owner: Grupo Promotor Inmodiamante S.A. Location: Quito, Ecuador Building Type: Commercial Type: Living Wall System: Single Source Provider Size: 10,764 sq. ft. Slope: 100% Access: Accessible, Open to Public