Now that your green façade has been installed, you will need a clear plan for ongoing maintenance, which will ensure the structure will continue to look good well into the future.
A maintenance plan for a green structure needs to be factored in at the design stage, especially in multi-storey buildings where the maintenance system should be designed to simplify upkeep of the structure without inconveniencing the building occupants or management.
Green façade maintenance typically involves pruning, weeding, debris removal, inspection and repair of the structure, and occasional replacement of planter beds and plants.
Key considerations for maintenance:
Some plants require greater levels of care and maintenance than others; plants may also vary in their ability to attach to support structures. Another factor to consider is a plant’s suitability for the local environment - location is an important consideration as some plants may not survive in some climates.
Safe access is a critical component of the maintenance plan for a green structure, especially in multi-storeyed buildings. Options include:
BMU or building maintenance unit: A BMU is a moving mechanical device suspended from the roof, quite similar to the device used for window-cleaning in high-rise buildings.
Boom or scissor lift: These lifting devices provide access from the ground up and have a working platform at the top. These systems have weight restrictions; therefore, the combined weight of planters, people and tools needs to be factored in during the design stage.
Rope access: Rope systems offer a simple solution for maintenance, but they tend to be slow and costly to use.
Design your own system: Tensile project Westfield Bondi features a gangway for easy maintenance access. This was discreetly incorporated into the structure behind the green façade, eliminating the need for BMUs, lifts or ropes. The Westfield Bondi project is an excellent example of planning for long-term maintenance during the design phase.
Tensile makes maintenance part of the plan
Tensile recognises the need for practical solutions in green façade maintenance. A maintenance plan should ideally be incorporated into the design plan, without making it an expensive or complex exercise.
Tensile also undertakes maintenance of their green facades for 12 months following the installation, so that the plants establish well and begin to thrive.