In WP2 and WP3 Helix Pflanzen GmbH and the University of Stuttgart have been working on realising a demonstration of the an urban comfort zone constructed using Baumwand technology (living plant construction) on a site in the Verband Region Stuttgart, Germany. An urban comfort zone provides a cool space within the city to rest and interact, in response to the urban heat island effect prevalent in central and southern Europe.
A site was identified in the City of Ludwigsburg, north of Stuttgart. During the last months several meetings between WP2 and WP3 partners (University of Stuttgart, Helix Pflanzen GmbH) and the local authorities of Ludwigsburg have taken place and the perseverance and engagement of all WP2 partners has paid off! The contract was signed by the Mayor of Ludwigsburg on the 16 th of July.
The first architectural visualization of the Baumwand idea, from Ludwig & Schönle, helped significantly in communicating with the local authorities. The Green Wall will be installed at the Rathausplatz in Ludwigsburg. This is an ideal site located in the centre of the city, close to the main shopping street, Seestraße, and is well used by pedestrians. Ludwig & Schönle have proposed a 50cm raised area which is accessible by steps and a ramp. The provided free space is structured through the composition of the green wall-elements (planned overall height of 2,40m) and a low green wall (approximately 0,80m) marking the southern border. The roof-shaped cut plane trees create shaded zones in the middle of the area.
Beside the aesthetic value, which is important for public acceptance, the plantation should also provide ecological benefits. Therefore we will try to achieve a balance between aesthetic and ecological value. Here Helix can benefit from the experience of our prototype green wall which has been installed last year in September at our company site. The free standing green wall consists of pre cultivated Baumwand elements which are available in different sizes. Due to the small area required and the huge variety of design options this new type of Green Wall system is ideal for the application in urban areas. Depending on local conditions water reservoirs can be installed underneath the wall in the ground and can be used for the irrigation.
After Helix had designed the the prototype plantation (overall green wall surface from 35,84m2) the pre cultivation started in July 2012. The plantation of the south side is characterized by Lavendula, Thymus, Origanum, Salvia, and mentha species. On the north side we experimented with Geranium, Hedera, Euonymus, Hosta and Vinca species. During the last months we have surveyed the development of the plantation and have learned more about suitable plants, irrigation, fertilization need and maintenance frequency. Furthermore we have started with the collection of preliminary water consumption and temperature data.
The next steps will be: to sign the planning contract, to clarify design details (Baumwand and foundation) and apply for all needed permissions. After we will have obtained all relevant permissions we will order the Baumwand elements and finalise the plantation design.
Katrin, Helix Pflanzen GmbH