Vertical gardens: natural insulators, cooling systems for your city and water purifiers

Climate Actions 2 min read , February 22, 2019

Read this article in Dutch

Teun Depreeuw has been upgrading walls of companies and citizens with vertical gardens. With his company Muurtuin, he is succesfully making cities greener.

β€œA vertical garden isn't just beautiful, it's also very functional. Too little people are aware of its sustainable characteristics.”, thus the entrepreneur from Antwerp.

Muurtuin has originated out of Teun Depreeuw's frustration. β€œThere was an empty, shadowy wall on my small terrace. I was keen on making it greener, so i did some research on vertical green. The only available solutions were some very complex systems, which also required huge investments. So I started experimenting myself. I developed a metal frame, a cloth with bags for the plants and an automatical watering system. Afterwards, I went to the market with my new product.”

More walls than garden

Teun saw an opportunity. The 'situation' he had on his terrace certainly wasn't unique in the region.

β€œIt's very familiar for lots of people, especially in and around cities. The surface of the walls around their garden is oftentimes larger than the garden itself. The plants in their garden are put into too small pots. When they need a lot of water in the summer, the residents are out on vacation. And the plants that do survive get in the way when there is a party. Why not choose for some vertical green? It's a great opportunity to give back some green to the area.”

Improved quality of life

A vertical garden looks nice, however this isn't the main reason to get one for Teun. β€œA vertical garden improves the quality of life. Several scientific studies have proven that vertical gardens have a cooling effect on cities. They even reduce aggression.

But the real strength of vertical gardens to me, is the fact that they are perfect insulators. Somewhere in Barcelona there is a tall building with a green facade. Right next to it a glass building and a huge airconditioning installation on the roof. Need I say more?”

β€œOn top of that, a vertical garden is water purifying. I even won some subsidies for the module that I developed to accomplish this. It's the ideal solution for both houses and companies.”

Also for indoors

As an entrepreneur in the construction sector, Teun realizes that a vertical garden could have a much bigger impact if it were incorporated in the construction plans.

β€œAn integration in the building project itself is better. That's where we have to go. However this technology is only just getting started. Architects are not yet sufficiently aware of the evident needs of a vertical garden. For example, the plants will need light. It might seem straightforward, but it isn't to everyone.”

Vertical green in your city?

Vertical gardens make your city greener. They also improve the quality of life. Will you also encourage your companies and citizens to make their terrace a bit greener? It's very easy, just add the action vertical gardens to your action list!

(Source: MO Vlaanderen)

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