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  • Heidi Bekker

MOSS WALL VS LIVING WALL:

"It's beautiful!”

“Is it real?" " yes, it's real!"

"Do you have to water it?" "No, it's preserved!"

I often get a look of puzzlement after this answer regarding our moss walls. "But it looks so real". " Yes, that's the mystery and beauty of preserved moss. It looks as though it's still alive, but it needs no water, soil, or sunlight to stay looking alive. Pretty cool!

One of the assumptions when discussing moss walls is that there is a misconception, they are real and living. While yes, our moss walls are real, but they are no longer living. Think of it like pickled or preserved in time!


But really….let’s get into the nitty gritty on the differences between living and moss walls and how each can contribute to beautiful sustainable green design.




CONSIDERING A LIVING WALL?




Living walls (also known as green walls) are real and as such require regular maintenance such as watering, pruning, pest control and plant replacements. Maintenance should not be overlooked when deciding to install a living wall for the success of the system. Living walls are made using real, living plants that live in soil or no soil depending on the system being used. Some living wall systems can be watered by hand using a watering can and others require a complex, regulated irrigation system.

While there are different types of systems each project should be researched and built for the best application in each location. Living walls are attached to building walls or freestanding walls with supporting structures designed specifically for the weight capacity of the vertical space.

Living walls are incredibly beautiful art installations using living plants. Locations planned for living walls can be a small office space, residential home or can be installed as large statement pieces in airports and commercial lobbies. In warmer climates living walls are popular on sides of an exterior building or a busy traffic overpass.


Benefits of interior and exterior living walls


· removes air pollution

· reduce noise

· increases productivity and creativity

· reduces temperatures

· homes for insects and other wildlife

· changes over time with plant growth



WHY MOSS WALL DESIGNS ARE TRENDING?






Now we design and create Moss walls, also known as green walls, using preserved moss and plants. Moss walls are preserved. While moss walls are real, there is no maintenance such as watering/misting, soil or lights required. In fact, if water is directly sprayed on the preserved moss this will cause the moss to deteriorate from the naturally dyed colors bleeding out. Sunlight also bleaches and fades the delicate colors over time. Moss walls “thrive” best in interior locations where there is 30 - 75 % humidity, dimly lit or daylight areas and out of direct contact with heat or cold. Some replacement maintenance may be necessary based on each location’s environment.

Moss walls are very flexible as to where they can be installed. Office boardrooms, residential dining spaces or expansive commercial spaces are some of the creative possibilities for a moss wall. With roughly 1 pound per square foot, moss walls can be hung on any vertical surface without needing extra structural support. Because there is no water left in preserved moss walls, there is no water damage to the surface of the installation location.

Creating a moss wall using preserved mosses and plants is somewhat similar in looks to a living wall as the various products come in many gorgeous textures and colors.

Benefits of a moss wall


· Reduces noise

· Reduction in airborne dust

· Increases productivity and creativity

· low maintenance cost

· low energy cost



If we look back on a past blog on biophilic design

https://www.forageanddesign.com/post/biophilic-design

we explore the benefits of having biophilia in our lives whether it is outside on a walk or inside working at a desk.

Nature installed in our houses or workspaces is not only aesthetically pleasing but also gives us a place to feel a sense of calmness and peace. A reminder to reconnect and rejuvenate.

Whether you are thinking of a moss wall, or a living wall know both have their own characteristics in installation needs and ongoing care. Both biophilic options are an incredible addition to many spaces and can be the unexpected delight you come across in your daily journeys.



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