What are Smart Pillars?
Client: Grosvenor Britain and Ireland
Location: Ebury Street, Belgravia
Volume: Six Smart Pillars
Inspired by the knowledge the industry has gained about the benefits of urban greening in increasingly busy cityscapes, we wanted to take the concept of vertical retrofitting of plants one step further by using the existing resource of street furniture (including lamp posts) as a framework on which to grow plants, thus the Smart Pillar™ was designed.
In conjunction with Greenwich University and Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, a pilot scheme of Smart Pillar™ is being trialled in Ebury Street, close to Victoria in the centre of London’s Belgravia. Pollution levels in Ebury Street will be monitored by Greenwich University to assess the benefits that the pilot scheme brings.
The environmental impact of the lamp posts installed on Ebury street will be monitored by the University of Greenwich over a one year air quality assessment period, using high accuracy monitoring equipment, collaborating with Grosvenor’s participation in the London Air Quality Network, separately run by Kings College London.
Vegetation in the urban landscape brings many benefits to the built environment, not only to mitigate air pollution, but by expanding urban biodiversity, evapo-transpiration cooling effect and noise reduction. There is also a strong argument to be made for a greater inclusion of nature and planting in the urban environment in terms of psychological well-being and placemaking.
The use of columnar living wall systems has been designed as a viable alternative to tree planting in congested city centres where service pipe volume beneath our pavements often prevents tree planting. The potential negative effects of particulate matter build up under extensive tree canopies can also be mitigated.
The Smart Pillar Pilot Scheme
The trial will feature the following SmartPillars™. The Pollution Relief; The Biodiversity Blend ; The Flower Tower
The Smart Pillar™ also affords the luxury of choice IE planting a combination of hardy deciduous plants that can ‘work’ all year round.
The capability of Smart Pillar™ to be retrofitted onto existing structures is an attractive proposition, with an estimated 494,000 lamp posts in Central London alone, the positive impact to wayfinding and placemaking that such structures bring to the urban environment is extensive.
Our goal with the SmartPillar™ is to introduce green biodiversity highways from the countryside into city centres in the interests of biodiversity, well-being and pollution relief.
Smart Pillar Benefits
What are the benefits of the Smart Pillar™?
Smart Solar technology powers irrigation
Urban greening mitigates air pollution
All year-round attractive foliage and colour to support placemaking
Commercial revenue opportunities on the reservoir using signage and sponsorship
Smart Irrigation recirculation system with no water wastage
High water retention fabric to maximise water use
Innovative construction using patented Fytotextile supports long term plant growth
Improves biodiversity and provides living green corridors into cities
Enhances wayfinding through city centres
Easily installed and maintained with no damage to existing lamp-posts