October 1, 2010
Introducing a low-maintenance method for creating verdant vertical landscapes
Living walls have been cropping up everywhere, from retail shops to airports. Such lush greenery, overtaking buildings like moss on trees, may look like nature unchecked, but it’s actually the result of intense horticultural know-how, elaborate irrigation systems, and diligent maintenance. For those who want a vertical garden without having to invest much in its constant upkeep, there’s Jakob Rope Systems, a grid of stainless-steel cables that trains plants to climb the length of a facade.
Unlike a true living wall, which lies on top of a building’s exterior, Jakob’s cable system is kept a few feet away, anchored to the facade with steel beams. “The plants will not merge onto the wall,” says Daniel Sekzer, the company’s architect manager. “That’s basically one of the most important things, because the system is trying to keep the wall in perfect shape.” Sekzer recommends consulting with a landscape architect on the best plants to use; Jakob will then tailor the size and pattern of the grid to suit your selection. “If you want wisteria,” he says, “you don’t need to have a grid. You only use vertical cables. So there are a few things we need to know before we put together the system.” But he assures us that once the basics are nailed down, the rest, including assembly, is relatively painless. And maintenance? “Stainless steel needs to be washed with fresh water once a month, and that’s it.”
A training system for climbing plants to create a green wall that will not damage a building’s exterior
Stainless-steel ropes are arranged in a grid and held together with tension devices. The structure is then anchored to the facade, at arm’s length, with stainless-steel rods.
The ropes are flexible, strong, and corrosion-resistant. The overall dimensions, as well as the fineness of the mesh grid, can be customized.
955 NW 17th Ave., Ste. B
Delray Beach, FL 33445