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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

LeafSkin

Vertical gardens are nature-based solutions that provide many benefits in urban areas: increase biodiversity, reduce heat island effect, improve VOC capture, provide optimal insulation properties, and bring nature to cities in those places where other solutions could not be implemented. However vertical garden systems are usually very expensive to be implemented (250-500 €/m2) and are highly heavy (35-200 kg/m2) which limit the market outreach of these type of solutions in urban areas.

Developed by Singulargreen S.L.
Leaf.skin is an ultralight vertical garden system that can be placed where no other vertical garden systems can be. Leaf.skin is composed by an anti-root waterproof membrane, a technical fabric as a planting support, adhered substrate and seeds with an only 5mm thickness. The installation process is similar to an advertising canvas installation. It is low cost, ultralight and ultrathin solution, of easier and faster installation than other commercial solutions.

TRL7. Integrated pilot system demonstrated
ProSystem prototype demonstration in operational environment. Prototype near or at planned operational system. Represents a major step up from TRL 6 by requiring demonstration of an actual system prototype in an operational environment. We mounted a 12m2 leaf.skin first vertical garden in March 2018 in a private house in Alicante to test the system in outlab conditions.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

Market assessment

The business plan for this innovation has been evaluated by The Funding Company and it is considered to be ready for investment.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

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Collaborators

How does it work?

Leaf.skin is composed by an anti-root waterproof membrane, a technical fabric as a planting support, adhered substrate designed to maintain humidity with an only 5mm thickness, seeding with plants selected for these vertical and climate conditions. The leaf.skin vertical garden is assembled, sown and rolled up in workshop to be shipped and mounted in blocks of up to 12 m2 at a time, this speeds up the installation process which is similar to an advertising canvas installation. It can be installed at any wall without concernings about load limitations. The remote controlled irrigation system is a guarantee of perfect maintenance, seeds will grow and cover the vertical garden with plants in about two months from the installation.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective 

Leaf. skin requires a source of water and a draining system. If these features are not available, then leaf.skin can not be installed or is harder to do. This fact may be a concerning point in some public or semi-public buildings in which water supply connection is lack. – With the current development its use is limited to only three species. We would like to test more species to enlarge the list of feasible species and expand its possibilities in other climates. Fern and moss spores are good candidates for the system. – It needs fireproof tests. – It needs integrate system resistance test. – The system has a very low water retention, we would like to test more fabrics to improve water retention and its reliability in case of irrigation failures. – With the current development the system uses a PVC waterproof sheet we would like to test some other options with less carbon footprint. – Its active cooling has been quantified through water evaporation, we still need to test it on a building prototype.

Easier and faster installation. This is the main differentiating added value of leaf.skin. Because it is based on sown system where no planting is needed, it is possible to install about 100 m2 per day, which means a installation rate 3 or 4 times faster than other vertical garden solutions available in the market. – Low cost installation. Leaf.skin 100-200 €/m2 vs. other commercial solutions 250-500€/m2 – Light system. Leaf.skin weight (5kg/m2) vs. other commercial solutions (35-200kg/m2). Weight is a limiting loading factor to be accounted with other comercial solutions. However, any wall is able to support the leaf.skin system.

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