How to bring biodiversity into the built environment, and in particular, city centres. There is little room to plant trees or shrubs in city centres and living wall installations are often restricted due to building ownership and listed building consent.
Lamp posts are an existing resource that have the ability to provide biodiversity green corridors into city centres. LivingPillar offers different planting schemes to tackle different challenges from encouraging biodiversity to Particulate Matter (PM) capture to carbon sequestration to trapping NOx.
The LivingPillar can be supplied as a retrofit system to an existing lamp post powered by a Solar panel or installed on a new purpose-built lamp post. Self-watering and self-monitoring with the ability to provide air quality data to our clients via an app, the livingpillars are a powerful tool in encouraging nature back into the built environment. The installation of bird and insect boxes provide additional habitat and help reinforce the message.
The product has an international patent pending and comprises a cylindrical reservoir that is attached to a lamp post at a point approx. 2.5m above ground level, above which a fytotextile living wall fabric is affixed and planted with a range of different planting options. The planting design can be steered to plants which encourage biodiversity or are more efficient at trapping carbon or better at trapping NOx and/or PM. The lamp post is undamaged by the process and undergoes stress testing before installation.
For retrofitting to existing lamp post and in positions where sunlight is available for more than 4 hours per day, a solar panel is installed that supplies power to a battery which in turn allows the pump in the reservoir to function. Shady positions will require a trickle feed from the lamp post to the battery to support the solar panel. The technology aspect of the system uses sensors to control the delivery times and amounts of water to the planting. The technology is linked to an App which informs the planned maintenance teams when the reservoir requires topping up and that all systems and sensors are functioning. This technology ensures efficiencies on maintenance visits
For New Build situations, a new lamp post has also been designed that is fabricated to a higher spec using thicker gauge steel and is delivered to site pre-assembled. Due to the higher spec, this product can support planting up to 4m in height.
This solution solves the problems above by:
1. Bringing food and nesting cover for birds in the form of green highways from the countryside into the city centre
2. It offers safety and protection from vermin
3. They offer Air Quality data
4. They provide a feeling of wellbeing
5. They attract footfall
6. They help improve air quality
A retrofit LivingPillar with 2.0m of planting including solar technology costs £2000.00+VAT. Maintenance starts at £15.00 per lamp post per month subject to volume. Advertising opportunities area available on the reservoir.
The ROI is difficult to quantify in financial terms, but includes increased footfall by wayfinding and placemaking, air monitoring, air cleaning and increased biodiversity. Advertising will also provide an income.
5 LivingPillars were installed in Ebury Street Victoria SW1 in May 2019 and are still operational. The company entered a KTA with Greenwich University who provided air quality, humidity and temperature sensors to measure the effect of the planting. The results showed that NO2 levels were consistently lower on the LivingPillar as was temperature and Humifity . The POC has been a success in that the solar panels have provided adequate power for the operation of the irrigation system, the lamp posts are undamaged and the planting and the project has been well received by residents and Grosvenor Estates.