The modular green wall system is a façade that utilizes the energy-generating ability of plants. Each cell in the system contains moss that lives alongside a type of symbiotic bacteria. The bacteria feeds off the organic compounds released by the moss when it photosynthesis, thereby breaking them down into byproducts, one being free electrons. The “bricks” themselves are shaped in such a way to protect the moss from direct sunlight, but also allowing it to thrive with its unglazed interior clay to allow damp air to surround the moss for as long as possible.
When put to the test, it was discovered that a prototype of 16 modules could produce about 3 volts of electricity. That may not seem like much, but with a larger number of modules and the ever-increasing efficiency of electrical appliances, the green façade has the potential to become a viable candidate in the construction industry.
However, these modules are still in the experimental phase, meaning there are still some drawbacks to the design. For one, each brick is individually sculpted by hand. While the limitations of its architectural capabilities are one concern, the consequent time and labor costs are also an issue. Furthermore, practicality is a concern. Even though moss was chosen for its self-sustaining traits, it would still require conscientious maintenance compared to any inorganic material. Similarly, the effectiveness of the organic façade would vary depending on location. The air in a city is more polluted than the countryside, and locations further away from the equator would get different amounts/angles of the sun. These strict parameters could make or break the success of the façade.
To conclude, the green wall system is, for now, just an alternative to be mindful of. It perhaps does not possess the practical abilities as concrete or photovoltaic cells. But come time and resources, it could be the answer to the ecological material race.