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Green Facade Ideas for South Facing Walls

by Chad Ludeman on March 28, 2008 · 6 comments

in Design,facade

For the past few weeks the team has been kicking around the idea of an affordable green wall or green facade in the back of the homes. Yesterday, ISA forwarded me a bit of research on various methods for accomplishing a green facade using ivy for what seems to be a very low cost.

Greenscreen green wall facade image

Wire rope cable green wall facade imageGreen facades differ a bit from panelized “living wall” systems that incorporate pre-vegetated panels containing plants into the building envelope. The term “green facade” refers to a training structure that supports vines or climbing plants growing up from the ground away from the building wall (not directly attached like a living wall). Most facade greening systems use either welded wire fencing or stainless steel cables that climbing plants will grow along. ISA found this article by George Irwin ( on green walls and roofs that goes into a bit more detail on the types of green walls.

Welded wire mesh fabric rollOf the cable and welded wire systems, I think we are leaning more towards the wire mesh. We should be able to find a roll of galvanized wire mesh similar to what is shown here for under $200 that will cover the entire rear facade of the 100k house. We will simply need to fasten the mesh in such a way that it stands a few inches away from the facade and then we can cut openings around the windows to keep the vines from growing over the windows.

This method is modeled after a more robust and expensive green wall system offered commercially by a company called greenscreen that offers an array of systems for creating attached and free standing green walls. The image below shows one of their installations that is similar to the effect we will be going for on our facade.

Greenscreen green wall just planted

We are very pleased to find that this type of green facade can be created in a low-tech and low-cost manner that can be afforded on our modest budget. This should add both a beautiful architectural/landscaping element to the home while also keeping the home a few degrees cooler during the summer months.

Other interesting links on green facades and living walls:

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{ 2 trackbacks }

Greenscreen « The new American Dream: 100K(+ 20) | Starter Home
September 28, 2008 at 1:32 am
Alternate Ideas for Stairway Wall? |
October 6, 2008 at 7:22 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rob March 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm


I have loved greenscreen since I was introduced to it about 3 years ago. I like, even more, your idea of a simplier “home made” version. I would love to see the details of how to stand it off of the facade. If you can do that well, and cheap, it could most certianly work.

What about the typically invasive nature of ivy? How do you plan to deal with that? Are there more building friendly varities? I hope the ivy does not hold back this great idea!

2 May March 28, 2008 at 4:54 pm

For holding the screen off the wall we are looking at the possibility of extending the roof past the face of the building and using similar hardware to the website to hang cable that will hold the welded wire fencing. We will need to anchor it to the ground or post off the wall near grade. We will most likely post off the wall around windows and doors to keep the screen in place. To create the depth that the GreenScreen system has we may want to have two layers of screening a couple of inches apart, this seems to encourage growth.

As far as foilage we have also been looking at Virginia Creeper. this is supposedly a less invasive climbing plant that grows to 20-30 feet. See the About Garden website at this allows you to select type of plant, soil conditions, quantity of sun/shade, mature height etc. then it lists the plants that fit into your parameters.

3 lavardera March 28, 2008 at 10:10 pm

You can order the welded wire mesh in flat sheets rather than rolls – unless you want to struggle with getting it to lay flat make sure you get the sheets.

4 believemesh February 24, 2010 at 5:33 am

The idea is very good.I agree with it.

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