Green Walls as a Maintained Rainscreen Cladding


DATE: 26 January 2022 10:30

DURATION: 1 hour

It is environmental policy to encourage Green Walls along with Green Roofs, and planning can be conditional on their provision. Clients are experimenting with ways to add Green Walls into their projects, and at greater height, as Nurseries develop systems for consultants and contractors. They range from planting tubs located on roofs or balconies from which climbing plants are trained, through modular planters fixed to screen new or existing walls, to Rainscreen where the planting modules provide the outer cladding and are supported on bracket and frames over insulation from backing walls. The horticultural choice of succulent plants and irrigation of the growing medium can manage the combustibility of organic materials growing in mass.

In this Webinar the approved convention of testing planting is considered, and another approach suggested which shall involve R&D among the Green Wall providers.

Delegates participating in the accredited Fire Protection Association webinars programme can claim 1 CPD hour towards the CII/Personal Finance Society member CPD scheme.


Adrian Butler

Adrian joined the FPA in 2021, having previously worked in risk engineering and risk management for international insurance carriers and a global insurance broker across a broad range of industries worldwide. He has developed technical guidance, fire and explosion models, and risk engineering related software tools.

Adrian is Convenor of the RISCAuthority Risk Control Working Group, the Business Continuity Working Group, and the Security Working Group. He holds a BSc (Hons), ACGI in Aeronautical Engineering, and a MSc (Eng) in Process Safety and Loss Prevention. Adrian is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Energy Institute, and a Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. He is also a Chartered Insurance Risk Manager and an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII).

Ian Abley

Ian joined the FPA in 2021, having worked for many years supporting architects, façade, structural and service engineers, testing prototypes and checking work on site. He worked on projects ranging from modular towers to bungalows and basements, industrial sheds, and the Tate Modern extension.  

Ian is Convenor of the RISCAuthority Passive Working Group, developing the Essential Principles and Insurer Approved Document B for Property Protection, particularly for Modern Methods of Construction. He is a qualified architect but is now deregistered.

Learning Objectives

1. To understand that Green Walls depend on seasonal maintenance of plants and irrigation of the growing medium to make sure the installation does not become more combustible, which involves working at height.

2. To appreciate Planters along with the irrigation pipework and drainage gutters are combustible when plastic, but might instead be made to be non-combustible Class A2-s1,d0 to BS EN 13501-1.

3. To learn the misconceptions in Green Wall statutory guidance in both volumes of Approved Document Part B (2019 as amended 2020) and prospects of a BS 8414 system test, which would include the backing wall.

4. To recognise that using succulent plants and irrigated growing medium to protect the combustible components is an abuse of both the small-scale tests in BS EN 13501-1 and the large-scale test of BS 8414.

  • Insurers as members of FPA being presented with Green Wall projects
  • Centre for Window and Cladding Technology and Society of Façade Engineering members wanting to engage with Insurers and Green Wall manufacturers
  • Architects and Engineers engaged with Green Wall projects, approached through their professions
  • Green Wall manufacturers who have undertaken testing and classification to BS EN 13501-1
  • Housing associations making investments in Green Walls, with the largest represented by the G15 Group in London
  • Planning officers promoting Green Walls, and planning policymakers such as the GLA in the London Plan