In addition to being works of art, green walls can also transform a space through higher air quality and by providing shade. Green walls consist of four main types; extensive, semi-intensive, intensive, and free standing.
An extensive green wall consists of a vine that can climb a structure on its own. One of the benefits of this type of green wall is its low installation cost and maintenance. It also provides excellent shade during the warmer months. Through proper plant selection, vines may be chosen to accommodate seasonal needs such as allowing for more sun to reach the building in the winter or the option for evergreen winter decor.
Semi-intensive green wall uses a support system for climbing plants. These support systems can be cables or a wire mesh that the vines wrap themselves around creating a dense green wall. These too can be used to create a cool shady environment and can be a good solution for buildings that have a facade that might otherwise be damaged by climbing plants. Both extensive and semi-intensive green walls can provide food and habitat for wildlife.
Intensive green walls
consist of a planter cell style. This type of wall comes in many forms and is typically composed of plastic grid like components or a large sheets of felt like material with pockets for soil. These systems offer a lot of options in terms of decorative and plant selection, but are general high maintenance in terms of irrigation, weeding, and fertilizing. Green walls where their maintenance outweighs their ecological benefits also fall into the green art
Free standing green walls are green walls that are independent of an architectural structure. Some common examples of this type of structure might be a neatly pruned hedge or shrub. While largely used as screens for privacy, this types of green wall can provide seasonal interest through a wide selection of ever-green to semi evergreen foliage, flowers, and berries in addition to providing food and shelter for wildlife.