Case Study – Veolia RERF, Leeds by Biotecture Ltd

on Monday, 09 July 2018. Posted in News

Category - Office exterior

Our next case study celebrates another gold award-winning project which also won a Best in Category, office exterior. This vast living green wall at Veolia was created by Biotecture Ltd.

Veolia RERF 3


Bill Mynhardt Potgieter BIO lr

Judge Bill Peebles presents Mynhardt Potgieter of Biotecture with the Best in Category Certificate

General information
The Leeds RERF (Recycling and Energy Recovery facility) is the flagship development at the heart of Leeds Integrated Waste Strategy. Amidst the timber frame, on the buildings southern elevation is a Biotecture living wall creating a visually stunning feature in stark contrast to the building’s industrial use. The feature softens the building’s visual impact and provides vital biodiversity to the site and surrounding industrial area.

Veolia 7 lr

This ambitious project has 1,800m2 of living wall made up if 6,500 Biotecture living wall panels and is 120m wide and ranges between 14m high and 26m high. The planting design intention was to provide a significant contribution to local urban biodiversity by focusing on the surrounding landscape character. There are three planting layer areas with a mix of native, wildlife friendly and ornamental species of shrubs, perennials, grasses and bulbs suitable for the site conditions. A mix of evergreen species offer year round coverage while deciduous shrubs add seasonal interest. In total there are 110,000 plants used to create this green wall.

Veolia green wall 1

Additionally, this living wall also includes habitat boxes to support insects such as solitary bees and 700 custom designed shrub boxes.

This project includes 24 different plant species and a total of 110,000 individual units within 19 separate bay structures. Each plant panel uses a remotely monitored hydroponic system which allows the maintenance team to manage and adjust irrigation levels, ensuring optimal watering for plant health all year round. The plants and panel system uses Grodan as the hydroponic growing medium (an inert spun stone wool).

This site is maintained every 3 months and, owing to its size, takes 2 people 5 weeks each visit to complete. Due to the complexity of the planting design and species choice, expertise in horticulture, plant health and pest control is vital – especially due to its biodiversity enhancing credentials.

Veolia RERF 4

Biotecture views Veolia RERF as one of its flagship projects – demonstrating the huge potential living walls can have in terms of enhancing and improving the natural, surrounding landscape and environment.

A vital aspect of this is a consistently high standard of maintenance and management, ensuring that all species of plant are given the care required to thrive.



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