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Environment Times is raising money for the homeless this winter by creating a 'virtual ecohouse'. Biotecture is one of the donors. They write: Transforming urban architecture! Biotecture is a designer and supplier of hydroponic, modular living wall systems.Our vision is to transform urban architecture for the well-being of people and planet through innovative use of vertical greening.

v ecohouse biotecture 1We are an innovative, UK based company, managing projects across the country, and working with partners in Scandinavia, mainland Europe, North America and the Middle East.

We welcome commissions and construction contracts both large and small, from private, public and commercial clients. We work on principles of collaboration, integrity and excellence, believing that our shared expertise will bring the best results.

Biotecture enjoys continued demand from a wide range of clients, and, since its establishment in 2007, has seen steady growth. In 2013, the company expanded to take on new offices near Chichester on the English south coast, and two acres of glasshouses for horticultural operations.

Biotecture's sustainable living walls are a truly flexible, modular system that helps transform any built environment.

Our patented hydroponic system brings a new level of sustainability through intelligent water management and stable system dynamics.

Our trusted, panel-based system is extremely flexible to suit any size or shape installation. It is in use in a huge variety of contexts, including university campuses, high end retail outlets, restaurants and private gardens, as well as office buildings in Norway, private homes in Spain, and hotel landscaping in the UAE. Between these settings and countries, our living walls have been tested and proven in extremes of location and climate.

Project Details: Castleoak Group, Exeter

v ecohouse biotecture2This living wall frames the entrance to a care home in Exeter. The design includes waves of planting, giving subtle variation. The plants are evergreen, shade tolerant species to suit the surrounding environment and some native species are incorporated.

The colour palette combines lush greens, mauves, purples, pink and cream, through the use of Bergenia 'Baby Doll', Heuchera 'Palace Purple', Liriope muscari and Vinca minor 'Bowles Purple'. Whilst ferns, such as Phyllitis scolopendrium and Polysitchum setiferum, bring texture and movement to the living wall. Nestled in the top of the wall are two bird boxes to boost the local biodiversity.

Project Details: Marks & Spencer, Kent

This series of three living walls was installed by Biotecture for Marks and Spencer, on their newly built store in Sevenoaks. The project was installed as part of Marks and Spencer's long-term plan to make their stores greener and more sustainable. The living walls wrap around a section of the car park, adjacent to residential buildings on the same road. The three sections are linked together by waves of planting. The species, all indigenous to the UK, were chosen for their ecological value, to boost biodiversity in the area.

v ecohouse biotecture4Project Details: Blenheim House Construction, London

Ambika House, W1, London is a fairly ordinary-looking 20th century building. But a surprising addition is the beautiful penthouse apartment which is designed with grace and timeless elegance.

Biotecture designed and installed the living wall in the apartment's living room; the panel of green wall, designed with striking purple and green contrasting foliage, helps define space in this spacious, open plan living room.

Vertical Support
Living walls, or green walls, are self-sufficient vertical gardens that are attached to a free-standing frame or to the exterior or interior of a building. They differ from green façades (e.g. ivy walls) in that the plants root into a structural support, which is fastened to the wall itself. The plants receive water and nutrients from within the vertical support instead of from the ground.

Precision Growing
The modular Biotecture BioWall is a unique patented hydroponic system that allows for a level of precision growing that others simply cannot achieve. Plants are contained within discrete panels that contain an inert growing medium called Grodan. Grodan is established worldwide as the growing media of choice for commercial horticultural crops. The plants take root and anchor into the growing medium and each row of panels is irrigated and fertigated via precise pressure compensated dripline technology.

Resilience & Sustainability
Other, more rudimentary, systems support plant pots at angles. More sophisticated systems offer more support to plants either via capillary mats or the more prevalent modular panel systems. The panel-based systems that Biotecture uses are widely acknowledged to offer the greatest resilience and long-term sustainability.