The most important concept that underpins this research is the phenomenon of ‘poikilohydry’, which defines the aptitude of certain plant species for long-term survival. ‘Poikilohydric design’ is a way to promote the growth of poikilohydric species such as algae, moss and lichen on building surfaces without the need for additional irrigation and maintenance.
Poikilohydric Living Walls responds to the urgency of the climate crisis by exploring ways to increase vegetative growth on architecture and improve the environmental quality of cities. It promotes the use of self-regulated biological systems on building façades and urban infrastructures by integrating poikilohydric species that can self-regulate their photosynthetic activity. Bioreceptive cementitious materials and novel fabrication processes were rigorously tested, to increase water absorption and retention in order to form bio-material substrata that feed this new type of living wall.
This research project has advanced through design, material exploration and application. It is the first significant long-term investigation to establish the viability of poikilohydric living walls as a cost-efficient and appealing option for greening cities.