The new vertical garden on the exterior of the Palacio de Congresos has a total area of 1,492 m2, with 1,000 m2 made up of a hydroponic vertical garden system and the remainder made up of climbing plants covering the windows. The garden was installed to improve energy efficiency for the building; the additional insulation from the plants shields it from the sun and protects it from the weather. In fact, the system adds a thermal resistance of 2,644 m2.K/W, which provides a 270 percent increase in efficiency, thus saving money normally spent on climate control.
andUnusualgreen installed the garden on two corners of the building using aluminum and steel structural supports and their “f + p preplant” hydroponic system. Watering of each type of plant is carefully monitored and controlled remotely to ensure health along with water savings. The design of the vertical garden came about to show off the surrounding region and features the wetland vegetation of Salburua, the agricultural field plots of Alava, and the ecosystems from the loamy hills and beech forests of the mountains of Vitoria.
In total, the facade features over 33,000 native plants, which are called out on a corteen steel base that forms part of an education program and doubles as a bench. At night, LED lights integrated into the system show off the lush plants and provide artful lighting.