'Investing into Green Infrastructure (GI) makes sound economic sense – a single area of land can offer multiple benefits, provided its ecosystems are in a healthy condition. Such healthy ecosystems, which are powered by the diversity of life within them, provide society with a stream of valuable, economically important goods and services such as clean water and air, carbon storage, pollination etc. They also play a central role in fighting climate change impacts by protecting us against floods and other environmental disasters.
Source: European Commission, Building a Green Infrastructure for Europe
VIS-trajectory "Green Constructions / Groen Bouwen"
Green walls for sustainable buildings and cities
In the same way as green roofs and green screens, green walls can contribute to the “greening” of our cities.
Green walls are a booming trend in Europe. Also in Flanders, such walls are being introduced, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
Although they look simple (a collection of flowers and plants growing alongside a façade), green walls have a rather complex structure and composition. Indeed, they are the result of a collaboration between different actors (architects, construction technicians, producers of structural elements, gardeners and nurserymen) who have to adjust their disciplines to one another to guarantee the benefices of green walls:
- catching and retaining airborne fine dust
- acoustic effects
- thermal insulation of buildings and reduction of urban heating
- aesthetic aspects
- creating new biotopes in an agreeable urban setting
Textiles can play an important role in green walls:
- as a (light yet strong) structural element
- stocking and distributing humidity (capillary action)
- anchoring the vegetation
- dust retention …
The overall objective of the VIS trajectory is to acquire knowledge about the existing systems (evaluation of pros and cons, optimisation by selecting more appropriate materials…) and to develop new technologies and products in which the interaction between the different elements (structure and vegetation) is optimised.
The textile related objectives are:
- taking stock of and assessing the currently used textiles in green walls in Belgium and elsewhere
- optimised functionalization and effective action of textile materials
- applying and developing new textile materials to improve green walls
The acquired knowledge and information will be bundled and disseminated for the development of green walls and facades in Flanders.
This will enable the target group (architects, building contractors, gardeners, nurserymen and producers of systems and elements, including a lot of specific textile materials) to expand their knowledge in order to obtain a better international competitive position.
The VIS trajectory is a unique collaboration between the construction sector (BBRI, Bouwunie, Vlaamse Confederatie Bouw, De Vlaamse Architectenorganisatie), the textile industry (Centexbel), the gardening sector (PCS, Belgische Federatie Groenondernemers, AVB) and the university of Antwerp.