Living walls – harnessing nature for cleaner classrooms

Paragon Interiors Group Plc

How well can you picture your old school? Can you recall the playground? What about the cloakroom? Your locker? You might even remember a desk?

Now, what about the walls? Pretty standard probably – art projects, times tables, A-Zs and maps of the world?

Then of course there was the ‘living wall’ covered in plant life to help maintain a healthy atmosphere and reduce pollution…

Wasn’t there?

Well, whilst it may sound a little unusual for many of us, more and more schools and educational establishments are incorporating Living Walls into their classrooms. It is something that has been a big part of projects in the modern workplace with the advent of the ‘WELL’ buildings concept and a greater focus on employee wellbeing and is something we advocate in many of our designs.

Now the idea is making headlines, with reports of state school parents crowdfunding for air purifiers to alleviate the dangerous levels of air pollution found throughout London and the mayor, Sadiq Khan, pledging to tackle pollution in the capital.

However, speaking to Sky News, Laurie Laybourn-Langton, from the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, said more needs to be done;

“It’s important that individuals, as well as the communities, businesses and schools in which they live and work, take measures to understand how air pollution impacts them and act to reduce their exposure, lowering the chance of harm.

“For schools, measures like living walls can help to improve the quality of air children breathe and therefore improve their health and well-being, enhance the look and feel of their environment and also educate them about air pollution and climate change.”

It is clearly a concern for many schools in the capital and is likely to become a national topic before long, with some schools even limiting outdoor playtime to limit exposure to pollution outside of the classroom.

If you want to learn more about Living Walls or how you can incorporate nature into your school, university or workplace project contact us on 0115 951 9512