Plants can play a useful insulating effect - conserving heat in the winter. Not only will you save money on your heatings bills but you will also be able to sleep more soundly, safe in the knowledge that you are doing your bit for the environment!
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Climbing plants can act as an extra layer of insulation to a building as they trap a thin film of air between the plant and the house.
An even better solution is the implementation of a Living Wall. These are held away from a building by a support system of wires. Not only does this increase the pocket of air (and hence the insulating effect) but it also prevents potential damage to the fabric of the building that can be caused by some clinging plants such as Ivy
Close to the base of the house, Foundation Planting traps warm pockets of dead air between the house and the planting. Where the shrubs are mature, there should ideally be a 30cm gap between the plants and the building.
Green Roofs also play a useful role in the insulating a building. We all know that you can loose up to 75% of your body heat through your head but have you ever thought how much heat is lost through the roof? Although it is now common practice to insulate the loft few people think about the insulating benefits of a Green Roof.
Shelter Belts are another key insulating tool. In small gardens you may have to make do with large shrubs and small trees but where more space is available you can really go to town.