Green and more sustainable party walls

posted 31/12/2013 at 16:42 h. - Josep Bassas -

Barcelona is undergoing constant changes in its buildings, with many walls designed as party walls between two buildings ending up as outer walls and altering the urban landscape. So, with the aim of improving the appearance of some of these walls, the city has been putting up vertical gardens, and solar panels to make the buildings self-sufficient.

'Jardinets del Pedró party wall' video

Barcelona has launched a plan to put up vertical gardens on its party walls, to improve the urban landscape and make efficient use of natural energy. One of the interventions was at the Jardinets del Pedró, in the heart of Raval, where as many as 8 different species were planted. These were chosen from those to be seen hanging from the neighbourhood's balconies.

The plants were put in ceramic cavities containing not soil but a layer of rock wool and moss, to absorb water and enable the roots to take hold. Solar panels on the terrace roof harness energy for running the self-sufficient irrigation system, which uses rain water.

"The water is stored in a tank on the lower part of the party wall, under the greenery, and transported up the building by means of a few pumps. It falls between the plants and the wall, in a drip irrigation that keeps the rock wool humid," explains Manel Claviller, the technical manager at the Municipal Institute for Urban Landscape.

An extensive plan throughout the city

Like the Pedró wall, the Trinitat Vella Library party wall has recently seen the introduction of solar panels to provide electricity and a flower bed on the lower part.

A further two party walls have also been worked on in the 22@ sector, and more interventions are planned in the city's various districts. These are examples of how a smart city adapts its urban interventions to each building's needs.

If you'd like to keep up to date on the party walls that are being remodelled, you can download a free app called BCN Paisatge to your smartphone, where you will be able to see the "before and after" of each intervention, share it on social networks and locate it on the map, if you want to visit it in person.

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VIDEO:Green and more sustainable party walls

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