Team London Bridge has two Vertical Rain Gardens, the Orchard-Lisle Living Wall and the Tooley Street Vertical Rain Garden. Both are pioneering in their own way and offer a variety of environmental benefits to different areas of the BID.
The Orchard-Lisle Living Wall was installed on the side of Orchard-Lisle House, London Bridge in June 2019. The vertical garden covering 75m2 was opened by Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy.
The wall has been planted with a diverse selection of species to provide the maximum benefits to the local community and its wildlife. It is the first time this system supporting such a variety of plant size has been used in London.
The choice of 73 native and non-native species is carefully curated to provide year-round biodiversity impact. It contains 30 Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) approved flowering species and 18 RHS approved pollinating species, which are proven to support an increased insect population.
Variations in plant size allow for air movement to pass through the dense foliage, which acts as an urban air filter. Plants with hairy, waxy or sticky leaves trap particulates (PM10, PM2.5, and PM1) which are harmful to our health. These are held until they are washed clean by rain. 50 lamb’s ear plants were given to attendees, to highlight the kind of leaf structure which captures particulates.
The Scotscape Fytotextile Living Wall system is designed to be self-sustaining. Rainwater from the building’s roof flows through the downpipe, is stored in a tank and then recirculated into the wall to irrigate the plants, all controlled remotely. As the temperature goes above 20 degrees, the water watering is increased.
Project partners were Scotscape, Untitled Practice Landscape Architects, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, Better Bankside and the Mayor of London.
The Orchard-Lisle Living Wall has been transformed as part of the Borough High Street Low Emission Neighbourhood initiative led by Team London Bridge and Better Bankside, supported by the Mayor of London.
The Tooley Street Vertical Rain Garden was installed on the corner of Fair Street and Tooley Street in 2013. The initial Tree Box green wall / vertical rain garden was part of the Drain London sustainable urban drainage program. The green wall was an instant hit with local business and residents.
After a successful trial period Team London Bridge tripled the length of the green wall in the spring of 2015 and at the time was the longest in London. The wall came to fruition via the London Bridge Green Infrastructure Audit.
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