Courtesy of By Botanical Designs
The vibrant plants in this living wall can help contribute to a sense of wellbeing.

Impactful Interiors: Choosing the Right Green Wall for Your Building (BOMA 2024 Preview)

May 22, 2024
Looking to incorporate biophilic design into your facility? Consider a green wall. These stunning centerpieces bring the outside inside.

The benefits of biophilic design are well known. Inviting nature into interiors can decrease stress, improve cognitive function and enhance mood and creativity among workers, according to Bill Browning, an environmental strategist and founding partner of Terrapin Bright Green.

One way to impactfully incorporate biophilic design is installing a green wall. Made of moss, living plants or even faux blooms, green walls bring the outside inside in a way that’s both peaceful and instantly Instagrammable. By Botanical Designs, which is making its second appearance at the BOMA International Conference & Expo in 2024, is showcasing its services on the expo floor—not just green walls, but also holiday decor, specialty arrangements and more. Installed thoughtfully, plants can make a real visual impact immediately, said Summer Frenkel, green wall designer and national accounts manager for By Botanical Designs.

“You can have a wall to greet you every day as you walk in. Or, if it’s in a coffee shop in the ground floor of your building, people like to take photographs in front of it,” Frenkel explained. “A bold statement is a bold statement, and you can definitely make it with these. People remember them.”

How to Choose the Right Green Wall

As you talk to green wall designers, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind, Frenkel advised.

First, think about your budget. This will help dictate what type of installation you’ll want, Frenkel said. “Faux plants tend to be more budget-friendly because they’re not living,” Frenkel added. “Preserved moss is a great middle ground because it’s no longer living, so it doesn’t need maintenance, but it’s still a nice, natural, organic element in your space. Living walls are going to be more expensive because there’s maintenance associated with it, but you’ll also get added benefits, like increased oxygen in the space, because it’s live plants.”

Next, think about how you’d like it to look. There are many colors of plants and moss available, and you’re not just limited to green. You can include your logo, incorporate lighting or have the installation framed like artwork, Frenkel advised. “There are thousands of different combinations and ideas,” she said. “At the end of the day, it comes down to what the client wants.”

You’ll also want to consider where you can create the most impact visually. Horticultural installations can go in nearly any space type, with a few obvious exceptions—you wouldn’t put a living wall that has to be watered in an IT room, for example. Think about whether your wall would look best in your lobby or reception area, a conference room, an open-office space or another place.

Determine whether your green wall vendor provides maintenance—and if so, how much. Not all plantscaping or landscaping companies have experience with living walls. A lack of familiarity with irrigation systems or living walls’ unique environmental considerations can lead to costly disasters or embarrassment around what should be a stunning centerpiece. And, since living walls tend to be centrally located in commercial spaces, any mishaps—especially those involving irrigation lines—can be expensive to rectify and extremely disruptive, Frenkel noted. Make sure your provider has experience with living walls in a variety of environments so they can deal with the different lighting requirements and temperature swings of elevated plant material.

Finally, investigate your provider’s warranty for replacements to make sure you understand who’s paying the bill when plants need to be replaced, and under which scenarios, Frenkel said.

“We like to say we aren’t a plant maintenance company or a plant watering service. We’re a ‘beautiful horticulture at all times’ company,” Frenkel added. “We make sure your plants look as amazing on day 500 as they did on the first day they were installed.”

Are you registered for the 2024 BOMA International Conference & Expo yet? Click here to save your spot!

About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has been with BUILDINGS since 2010. She is a two-time FOLIO: Eddie award winner who aims to deliver practical, actionable content for building owners and facilities professionals.

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