Advancements in Living Building Design

The green façades developed by Climagrün, the specialists in this sector, represent the ideal solution to insert as an environmental and ecological construction element, which is able to not only contribute to the improvement of our cities’ climates, but also to increase the value of both the property and the surrounding environment through living building design.

Green Facade

A green façade – also known as a “wall garden” – is a vegetated, ventilated wall equipped with an automatic irrigation system. It’s a solution suitable for various situations. It serves ideally as a front or as a partition wall in both private and urban contexts. The green wall can be installed inside as well as outside. The choice of the vegetation is designed in detail to ensure a green facade of great aesthetic and functional value. Also considered to be vertical plant gardens, green façades require periodic maintenance to ensure their quality.


Green Wall in Certified Eco-Hotel, Copenhagen. Image via Xeniosworld.

Durst S.p.A. Center for Research and Development

The new building for the Center for Research and Development of Durst S.p.A. – a company based in Bressanone, Italy, that specializes in the field of high quality systems for digital printing on photo paper – was recently constructed in Linz, Austria, and designed by Architekturplus, a leading European architecture and IT consulting firm.

The 5-story building takes the form of a large crystal composed of 24 faces with different inclinations, creating a glass envelope more than 2,000 square meters in area. It’s equipped with innovative energy systems such as geothermal heat pumps, and consists of several scientific laboratories, spread over an area of 800 square meters, plus 1,200 square meters of office space.

Equipped with the latest technologies, the new Research Center houses the Development Department of Durst Phototechnik Lienz, alongside the physics and chemistry laboratories, where new business areas are explored. The roof is covered with local crushed rocks and vegetation consisting of native plants, giving more authenticity to the “Bergkristall” (Rock Crystal) concept.

The jewel of the building is a 200-square-meter green façade made with the Climagrün Vertical Garden solution, a system integrated into the building envelope that uses more than 4,000 plants of different varieties. Moreover, an automatic and sophisticated irrigation and fertilization system ensures ideal water management of the vegetation.


Durst S.p.A. Center for Research and Development. Image via Climagruen.

Living Building Design

Vertical greening systems integrated into the building envelope may be used to obtain natural lawns, artistic gardens or green islands in the façade, depending on the components of the façade and the choice of the vegetation.

The basic technical characteristics of a greening system integrated into the building envelope includes the use of substrate and avoiding direct contact with the ground. The key element is in the utilization of high quality aluminum storage tanks for the substrate, which can be used in a flexible way. Thanks to its almost endless possibilities as far as the use of different plant varieties, the “Vertical Garden” can be compared to a traditional garden anchored to the ground. The solution allows for placing the plant containers onto the substrate tanks and therefore provides an almost unlimited creativity in the choice of vegetation and the position of the plants.

The Climagrün aluminum support structure for a green façade is made of omega profiles and fixing brackets, a special substrate of a specific size to improve the ability of water storage and drainage, U-shaped aluminum storage tanks to support the special substrate for green facades, compliant to UNI 11235 standard, closing aluminum profiles according to the design, polypropylene plant containers, vegetation according to design indications, and a complete irrigation and fertilization system. Characteristics of the material would be: aluminum composition, a façade thickness of approximately 6 cm, the support structure excluded, and a saturated weight of approximately 110 kg/m².


Climagrün is member of the Façades Working Group of TIS Innovation Park – Bolzano, Italy. For more information on this living wall or other projects created by Climagrün, please contact: Tel. 0471913832. | Climagrün S.r.l. Via della Vigna – 43 39100 Bolzano, Italy | Climagrün: Facebook

Featured Image: Green Facade of Durst Phototechnik Lienz Development Department. Image via Climagruen.

Article written by Dr. Anita Tschigg, Climagrün. Translated and submitted by Carlo Battisti

About The Author

Dr. Anita Tschigg
Climagrün is a trading and services company in the branch of green roofs and walls. We are skilled in realizing innovative products and services, being expert for any type of green spaces associated with buildings.