A building bursting with life!

When you think about architecture and façade design, your mind might not immediately wander to the wilderness and its bustling inhabitants. But research by two master’s students from Utrecht University is about to change that for good. Incorporating green, living elements into renovation projects is not just a visual upgrade for our urban jungles; it’s truly a giant leap for local fauna, especially for these tiny, six-legged critters; the arthropods. Dive into the busy, green world of these extraordinary inhabitants with us.

green walls

Green Walls: a haven for earth’s tiniests

University of Utrecht took a close look at 9 of our green walls, and the results were nothing short of amazing. Over 2000 arthropods were found on our green walls in just 10 days. For comparison, five ivy-covered walls were examined in the same study, finding nearly 500 arthropods in the same timeframe. Thanks to the vast diversity of plant species in our living walls, Sempergreen’s green walls boasted a much higher yield. A total of 125 different species of arthropods demonstrates how our green walls literally breathe life into buildings, worldwide.  

Mother Nature’s got this

You might wonder, what role do all these critters play? Well, these little buddies are crucial to our ecosystem. They contribute to the nutrient cycle. The smallest are eaten by larger ones, which in turn serve as food for birds. And if too many little ones remain, mother nature deploys an army of parasitic wasps to tidy up. That’s how she keeps life in the green walls balanced. 

En route to better places

The mites found on the mosquitoes and beetles in the walls weren’t there by chance. They hitch a ride to greener pastures, supporting the theory that green walls act as natural stepping stones in urban areas for mobile arthropods. This expands the habitat of these creatures (and all the birds they attract), preventing the creation of ‘nature islands’ amidst urbanization. 

Green + Blue + Green = Loads of Critters

The study also showed that the color of the surroundings has a big impact on these tiny residents. Grey concrete? Not so popular. Green and blue? A paradise for arthropods! This highlights the importance of green and water-rich areas in the city. The more greenery around, the stronger the impact of green walls on the diversity and numbers of arthropods. Moreover, Sempergreen’s living walls contribute to CO2 absorption; you can read about how that works and its effects here

green walls

Flowers = Biodiversity

Not only do beautiful flowers around us make us very happy, but flowering plants were found to have an incredibly positive impact on the diversity and quantity of arthropods. And it has significant effects. The more critters in the wall, the more birds are drawn back to urban areas. And since our green walls are lush and densely grown, many birds find a cozy spot to nest. Together, by renovating and developing new buildings, we give nature a new place to thrive. 

A Building Full of Life!

This research has given us a glimpse into the power of green walls and roofs. Renovating or building with green is no longer just a beautiful choice, but a necessary one. It’s time to take responsibility and collaborate with nature. We can use our inevitable urbanization to create valuable ecosystems that benefit everyone, from humans to tiny critters. Every renovation project can contribute to a richer, healthier planet. Meter by meter. Replanting the planet

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