Planted walls with controlled cultivation are called green facades. Ground-based green facades are made of climbing plants. The climber plants get planted in the ground and grow directly on the wall, or climbs on a frame that is connected to the wall and keeps a distance to it. The plants extract water and nutrient from the soil.

Basic information

Retrofitting + Creation


Evapotranspiration 1 1
Shading none none
Reflection (Albedo) none
Water Conveyance none
Water Infiltration none
Water Retention none
Water Storage none
Water Reuse none
Water Filtering none
Water Bio-remediation none
Deposition 1
Bio-filtration 1
Habitat Provision 1
Connectivity 1
Beauty / Appearance 1
Usability / Functionality none
Social Interaction none
Role of Nature / Mode of Action: 
Climbing plants are part of forests, rocks and shrub areas. The plants grow from rather small areas of natural soil and often need supporting vertical elements or porous surface (roots). Comparable situation are inner areas of forests.
Technical & Design Parameters: 
- Differentiation of climber plants (self-climbing climbers or climber with supporting system) - Plant type depends on environmental factors - Facade without gaps is needed for self-climbers - Supporting frame is needed for climbers - Grows up to 25 m high - Low number of species can be combined (usually one dominant species)
Conditions for Implementation: 
- No very dry/hot/cold area - Good quality of the soil / substrate - Enough sunlight (depends on the plants which are used) - Risk of fire if plants are too dry - Direct growing plants: strong facade (without gaps), moisture - Ground based green facades need 5-20 years to cover a house facade.
Benefits & Limitations: 
Benefits: - Ground-based green facades that are irrigated by surface water runoff replace a part of the surface water regulation service of a naturally soil. - Air purification depending of species, particulate matter and harmful gases - A greened facade reduces the temperature about 2-10 K (compared to natural stone) - Green walls have good evaporation services (65-75 % of the annual rainwater) - Evapotranspiration: 5-20 % sunlight is used for photosynthesis, 20-40% is used for evapotranspiration 10-50 % transformed into heat 5-30% reflection Potential limitations/disservices: - Dependent on natural water cycle, drought stress - Climbing plants have origin in forests, often optimum of plants in shaded conditions. Relatively long time span before walls are fully covered

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 730052 Topic: SCC-2-2016-2017: Smart Cities and Communities Nature based solutions