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Vertical gardens, especially if they are healthy, are not only striking, but also have great media potential. We live surrounded of pollution, and the bets for the ecological and sustainable projects are not unnoticed by the press. To this green trend is added the search for the curious or unusual thing, because currently these buildings are already rare in most of the cities. Due to this, if a vertical garden, that for itself is a differentiating element for any building, has a characteristic that makes it unique, the result will be a bigger media attention.

One of the clearer examples of these types of attributes can be the size. Vertical gardens have enough versatility to adapt to any available space if the right system is used, and can be placed indoor, in patios or terraces or even in columns, but also surrounding enormous façades.

However, of all possible options, it is easier to capture the interest of the media or the attention of the population with a large project.

The Santalaia project
Is the case of the vertical garden built in the Santalaia building in Bogota (Colombia), which with its 3,100 square meters of surface has established a world record and stands today as the largest vertical garden of the world. The construction of this huge project finished on 2015, after more than a year of planning and over six months of execution, where almost 85,000 plants were used.

The location chosen for this project is place in the center of Bogota city. The companies responsible for the implementation of the vertical garden are Paisajismo Urbano and its franchise in Colombia, Groncol, using the patented system of Paisajismo Urbano (F+P system).

The complexity of the project is not only in the size of the façade, but also on its structure. The design of the building can be described as a series of pillars which vertically cross the façade to join at the top of it. Each one of these pillars has a vegetal cover, and this way the effect of being touring a forest or rainforest is achieved.

the worlds largest vertical garden

The key of success is the biodiversity
A project of this magnitude has an extra difficulty over other vertical gardens, since it consists of many more specimens of plants. For this reason, the chemical parameters of the water and nutrients that the vegetation cover receives must be set correctly. To build its vertical gardens Paisajismo Urbano uses the F+P system, patented by Ignacio Solano, founder and manager of the company, in which these parameters are automatized and can be easily reviewed by domotic control.

This system is ideal to guarantee results in vertical gardening projects on a large scale. To get the most out it is important to make a correct selection of species, because biodiversity on a vertical garden allows the interaction between the species on it (both plants and small microorganisms), enforces the growth of the plants and protect them from potential threats such as pests.

Sustainability on large scale
In addition to enhance the correct development of the vertical garden built, biodiversity adds other values. For example, a vertical garden where various species are used has a higher environmental value. If the environmental implication of this kind of projects is usually high, the use of endemic plants and/or species in danger of extinction, allows the vertical garden that backs in the quoted biodiversity to become authentic nature reserves within cities.

This is one of the multiple environmental benefits of green walls. And if there are also large areas, such as Santalaia building, their qualities will be multiplied. A vertical garden of that size is capable to produce the oxygen needed by more than 3,100 people a year, process about 775 kilograms of heavy metals, filter more than 2,000 tons of harmful gases and catch more than 400 kilograms of dust.

To these data is necessary to add the saving of water, since this vertical garden takes full advantage of water resources reusing the greywater of the building and recycling the used for irrigation.

Finally, the inclusion of this vertical garden results in lower heating costs, because the vertical garden regulates and smooths the building temperature. These factors make the Santalaia building a bet for the sustainable development and a reference location in Bogota.