The first plant cube has been made in Getafe, Spain, comprising four vertical gardens each measuring 32 square metres. Nacho Solano, director of Paisajismo Urbano (“Urban Landscape”), tells of the difficulties encountered in implementing the work.
“The development of this work was a challenge for us. One of the most important factors when selecting the different specimens of species to use, was one hand the orientation of each side as the sun shines differently on each of them, and on the other hand the effect temperature or “heat island effect” that is being generated inside the cube (all of the refrigerating machines are situated in the shopping centre) would have on them.
Here we see a picture of the greenhouses where the cultivation and germination of the species used in the vertical gardens is carried out.
Irrigation system and new technologies
The team at Paisajismo Urbano has added a new irrigation system that performs automatic checks. This system performs several tasks, such as self-cleaning, the automatic spreading of fertilizer, and in the event of some kind of anomaly an SMS is sent immediately a description the failure.
In this picture you can see the appearance of a newly-planted garden.
“Another handicap that we faced for other reasons/due to no fault, was when to begin planting. We had to make the vertical garden in Getafe at a time that was not good meteorologically obviously early winter planting is something that any professional would advise against, yet we decided to accept another challenge and take on the responsibility as always. ”
Earlier this year the vertical garden suffered a frost but we solved the problem and it was a total success, although we cannot reveal how we did it.
“For this garden we are using approximately 2,500 plants, with comprehensive planning of how they would look eventually and they would adapt to the harsh conditions that each of the walls offered by large temperature variations and differences in the different orientations .
In certain parts of the garden we used herbs, perennials, and ferns, given that many of them have nothing to do with each other, with regard to their requirements.
One of the many benefits that this garden brings is that it reduces the level of noise around it.
1. The machines inside the cube generate noise, but one of the objectives of the garden is to reduce noise pollution.
2. 1 squared metre of vegetation absorbs 130 grams of dust per year. The garden has 128 squared metres of vegetation in order to generate the oxygen required by 128 people for the whole year.
3. The visual appearance of the neighbourhood.
Vertical gardens as a potential for creating jobs
The added value offered by the creation of vertical gardens is not limited only to the environmental benefits. The potential that contributes to creating work is to take into account as a dynamic element within the current time of crisis. For this particular job, it has taken three people for implementing the vertical garden, car lifts, carrying insurance for a year to ensure the maintenance and replacement of species if any damage occurred, travel, subsistence and all the work done earlier in the greenhouse.
Paisajismo Urbano work does not end once the vertical garden .Nacho tells us “we are currently conducting research studies of analyzing the temperature differences existing in the spaces where you are running all of vertical gardens.
We are continually experimenting with the introduction of new species within these ecosystems and their impact on the environment, so our research is increased day by day. ”
Countries like UK, China and Mexico has been interested in this type of work.