Sagrado Corazon Hospital in Spain using a living wall installed around the ventilation system to purify air for patients and creating a welcoming atmosphere
Nine-year-old living wall performing exceedingly well. Sagrado Corazon Hospital wanted to create a warm, welcoming and beneficial environment for both the patients and staff.
This installation showcases a retrofitted living wall situated along with a 14m glass window which is showcasing the vertical garden from the hospital entrance and waiting area. The green wall has improved the atmosphere of the hospital making it a welcoming place with environmental and mental health benefits for both patients and staff at the hospital. According to a study, one square meter of plant cover generates the oxygen required by a person for a whole year and traps 130 grams of dust annually!
The Living Wall integrates more than 1400 plants from 40 species. The plant roots have integrated into the modules and crossed with other plants, creating a real living system, colonizing the whole space hiding the concrete wall as well as the structure and modules of the system. The living wall was designed to change seasons to incorporate different colours and appearances.
The irrigation for this project is a closed-circuit recirculating system. Any excess water from an irrigation event is captured below the wall and directed to the irrigation water tank where it is purified and filtered, while nutrients and PH levels are monitored and adjusted to ensure the plants are receiving the right amount to grow and survive their natural lives in the living wall panels. The whole system is remotely monitored to reduce the need for costly on-site inspections, making this an environmentally friendly installation.
These types of gardens also produce environmental benefits, reduces noise pollution by up to 10 decibels, acts as an air purifier both inside and outside the building with evaporative cooling. In this way, significant energy savings are achieved in air conditioning.
According to Paloma Carrasco, a psychologist at USP Sagrado Corazón: “The benefits associated with nature in sanitary environments are multiple. Thus, one square meter of plant cover generates the oxygen required by a person in a whole year and traps 130 grams of dust annually”. In addition, adds the specialist, “the positive effects on the psychological state of patients and workers will be the most important, since we know that environments with vegetation reduce the level of stress and anxiety, improving performance and increasing the feeling of well-being.”. In fact, she has ensured that “they even stimulate the immune system and reduce physical discomfort (dry skin and mucous membranes, breathing, fatigue …) by up to 5% in closed environments”.
With this innovative garden, “Sagrado Corazón Hospital takes the lead in Europe in environmental innovation within the medical sector. We wanted the building to demand the least amount of energy possible and the facilities to be highly efficient”, says Ignacio Quijano, landscape architect of the project.
Once a month a visual inspection of the Living Wall is carried out, removing any dry leaves, deadheading and checking the function of the system. A more thorough maintenance visit will be carried out quarterly or as required. The irrigation is monitored remotely and adjusted according to the seasons and local weather conditions.