CA2771773C - Modular support for plants - Google Patents

Modular support for plants

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Publication number
CA2771773C
CA2771773C CA2771773A CA2771773A CA2771773C CA 2771773 C CA2771773 C CA 2771773C CA 2771773 A CA2771773 A CA 2771773A CA 2771773 A CA2771773 A CA 2771773A CA 2771773 C CA2771773 C CA 2771773C
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Canada
Prior art keywords
panel
panels
backing
hydroponic substrate
plant
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Active
Application number
CA2771773A
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French (fr)
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CA2771773A1 (en
Inventor
Genevieve Noel
Original Assignee
Genevieve Noel
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Priority to CA2,642,183 priority Critical
Priority to CA2642183A priority patent/CA2642183A1/en
Application filed by Genevieve Noel filed Critical Genevieve Noel
Priority to CA2771773A priority patent/CA2771773C/en
Priority to PCT/CA2009/001344 priority patent/WO2010045708A1/en
Publication of CA2771773A1 publication Critical patent/CA2771773A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of CA2771773C publication Critical patent/CA2771773C/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01GHORTICULTURE; CULTIVATION OF VEGETABLES, FLOWERS, RICE, FRUIT, VINES, HOPS OR SEAWEED; FORESTRY; WATERING
    • A01G9/00Cultivation in receptacles, forcing-frames or greenhouses; Edging for beds, lawn or the like
    • A01G9/02Receptacles, e.g. flower-pots or boxes; Glasses for cultivating flowers
    • A01G9/022Pots for vertical horticulture
    • A01G9/025Containers and elements for greening walls
    • Y02P60/244

Abstract

A shingle for a modular support for plants, comprising a waterproof backing comprising a plurality of perforations for receiving an anchor; a porous cover comprising an array of openings and attached to the waterproof backing, and enclosing a hydroponic substrate comprising an array of holes, the openings of the porous cover aligning with the holes of the enclosed hydroponic substrate, for support of a plant in the shingle; the porous cover and hydroponic substrate positioned off-center of the waterproof backing, providing two or more consecutive extended edges; and the two or more consecutive extended edges providing for a regular overlapping arrangement of shingles when assembled into a modular support.

Description

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 MODULAR SUPPORT FOR PLANTS

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a modular support for plants, especially for vertical applications such as cladding a wall or building.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0002] The field of modular plant support entails systems for creating Green Roofs, also known as "planted roofs," "garden roofs" and "living roofs," and systems for creating Living Walls, also known as "planted walls", "green walls" and "vertical gardens".
[0003] Green Roof systems have been around since the 1950's, and Living Wall systems since the 1980's, but modular technologies for producing both are much younger. Modular Green ,Roof systems are widely dispersed around the. world, with a particular prevalence in Europe. Modular Living Wall systems are less widespread, though their popularity is=on the rise.
[0004] All of these systems, whether for roofs or walls, have certain common features - a module comprising a plurality of layers, plants, and a means to organize modules together into a larger.whole..
[0005] Notwithstanding these common *features, modular Green Roof systems and modular Living Wall systems are not interchangeable. In particular, modular Green Roof technologies have not been successfully adapted to vertical applications for three main reasons: the significant differences between the way walls and roofs are constructed and must perform, the difficulty of managing water so that the.
plants stay wet enough but water is still allowed to drain, and the challenge of retaining soil (or "growing medium") against the forces applied by wind and gravity.
[0006] Roofs resist predominantly vertical loads, including "dead loads" (such as from mechanical equi.pment), "live loads" (from inhabitation), and snow loads. Roof AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 assemblies are hence robust, generally comprising a .solid series of layers capable of .
bearing these loads. Typically the layers include the primary and secondary structure, insulation and waterproofing, and some form of cladding or ballast.
[0007] Walls resist predominantly lateral loads from wind, which can create both positive pressure and negative pressure (suction). Wall construction.is generally considerably lighter than roof construction, since it need not carry heavy equipment or snow, but the constant pressure changes wind loading creates can nonetheless compromise the waterproof membrane: In order to equalize the pressure differential created by wind loading, walls generally incorporate an unobstructed air gap of at io least 25 mm behind the cladding. This is a widespread standard type of wall construction known as a "pressure=equalizing rainscreen," or simply a "rainscreen."
[0008] On a roof the entire bottom surface of a module can bear downwards on the underlying roof surface, creating an even, distributed load. On a wall, with or without an air gap, a module must span between supports, resulting in concentrated loads at each end. This means that any module for a vertical application must be structurally strong enough to span between supports, to resist the concentrated loads this creates at the anchor points, and to resist the wind loads that create positive and negative pressure on either side of it. Green Roof.systems generally have not been designed to meet these criteria.
[0009] On a roof water can be easily supplied and maintained around the roots of the plants. Every time it rains the plants will receive moisture and the challenge is often ensuring sufficient drainage so the roots do not rot. Rain, however, almost never provides sufficient moisture to plants in a vertical arrangement, necessitating an irrigation system. Even. with an irrigation system, water will drip down through the force of gravity, meaning there must. be either some kind .of measure to maintain water around the roots. of the plants, or the irrigation system must constantly run.-Water must nonetheless be provided some means of egress, or the plants will quickly develop root rot and the community will fail.

AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010
[0010] Finally, on a roof, gravity helps to keep the growing medium in place against other forces like wind. On a wall, gravity is the enemy, causing growing medium to fall out of the modules, particularly in conjunction with wind. Some sort of measure must therefore be taken to hold the growing medium in place, without interfering. with the growth of the plants or the management of water. Green Roofing systems have generally not entailed'such a system, certainly not in a way integral to each module.
[0011] These three challenges- structure, water management and growing medium retention - explain why' modular Green' Roof technologies have not translated into vertical applications with any degree of commercial success.

io [0012] There are several modular Living Wall systems on the market today that use boxes made of plastic or metal to house the plants, rather like a series of flower pots arranged on their sides in a vertical pattern., These systems, although enjoying some commercial success, have experienced great difficulty in creating durable plant communities because, like flower pots, they trap the roots of the plants they support is preventing expansion. This means that within a few short years of installation, the plants die and must be replaced..These container-based modular living wall systems are quite different from the present invention and not very relevant to it.
But there are two prior patents that have some relevance.

[0013] "Green roofing system including dimpled anchor layer" (US 2007/ 0 283 20 by Garner, G. et al., 13 December 2007) is a modular Green. Roof system consisting of a dimpled carrier layer, to which an anchor layer, comprising entangled synthetic or natural fibres, is affixed. The anchor layer can be preplanted, and the modules installed on a variety of roof:types in a variety-of different configurations.
In some embodiments the carrier layer is waterproof and the modules can be organized to 25 permit shingling action down'a roof slope, with the dimples serving as water retention compartments for the roots of the plants. -[0014] Although this invention overcomes some of the'.shortcomings of other modular green roof systems, it is nonetheless not adaptable to vertical applications.
Many AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 means of attaching the. modules to roofs are disclosed, but they all require the module to-bear on an underlying surface.. There is no.part of the module that is L
structurally strong enough to span between anchors, or to handle 'the concentrated loads.this creates at the support points. The dimples, which retain water in horizontal and sloped applications, are. not able to retain water in vertical applications. There is no front cover to the modules, and hence nothing to retain growing medium or to secure the plants against gravity and wind. Finally, there is no part of the module that acts as a root barrier, meaning the inner wall layers are vulnerable to root penetration, unless measures supplemental to the modules are taken.

[0015] "Cellular module for housing living plants particularly for cultivation of vertical walls" (CA 2 590 685 Al by Arnold, J. 6 July 2006) is a modular Living Wall system consisting of two identical layers of polymer-impregnated natural fibres pressed together'around a core of compacted growing medium or hydroponic substrate.
The modules can be preplanted or planted on site after installation, and several different.
means of anchoring the module to horizontal, sloping and vertical surfaces are disclosed. This invention is designed with vertical applications in mind, and is capable of structurally spanning between 'support. points.and dealing with the concentrated loads created there. But it does not entail many.of the aspects of the present invention, including -a water proof base layer, an integral- root barrier, and a blind fastening system. Furthermore, the materials disclosed are biodegradable and hence introduce the challenge that they will deteriorate over time.

[0016] In summary, while there have been many innovations in the field of modular plant support, there is as yet no completely satisfactory system to create healthy vertical plant communities as an integral part of a wall or building. It is this void to which the current invention is addressed. .

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0017] The present invention relates to a modular support for plants, especially for vertical applications such as cladding a wall or building. .

A LADED SHEET

it 15 July 2010 15-07-2010 [0018] In abroad aspect of the invention, there is provided a panel for a modular support for plants, comprising a waterproof structural backing comprising a plurality of perforations for receiving an anchor; a three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover comprising an array of diagonal slits and attached to the waterproof structural backing and enclosing a hydroponic substrate comprising an array of holes, the diagonal slits of the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover aligning with the holes of the enclosed hydroponic substrate, for support of a plant plus its root plug in the panel; the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover and hydroponic substrate positioned off-center of the waterproof structural backing, providing two or more consecutive extended edges; and the two or more consecutive extended edges providing fora regular overlapping arrangement of panels, like shingles, when assembled into a modular support.

[0019] In another broad aspect of the invention, there is provided a modular support for plants comprising a plurality of panels, each panel comprising: a waterproof is structural backing comprising a plurality of perforations for receiving an anchor; a three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover comprising an array of diagonal slits and attached to the waterproof structural backing, and enclosing a hydroponic substrate comprising an array of holes, the diagonal slits of the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover aligning with the holes of the enclosed hydroponic substrate, for support of a plant and its root plug in the panel; the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover and hydroponic substrate positioned off-center of the waterproof structural backing, providing two or more consecutive extended edges;
and the two or more consecutive. extended edges providing for a regular overlapping arrangement of panels, like shingles, allowing for development of a root system of the plant to extend into the hydroponic substrate of one or more adjacent panels and anchor the one or more adjacent panels one to another.

[0020] In another broad aspect of the invention, there is provided a water management system integral to each panel that consists of three main components -water. proof structural backing, hydroponic substrate and three dimensional contoured AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 semi-porous cover. Each component works jointly with.the others to ensure that water and wind-driven rain are kept out of the wall cavity, that water and nutrients from the irrigation system are held around the roots, and that excess water is allowed to drain away, so that the water and air ratio around the roots is.appropriate to prevent the development of root rot and ensure a healhty plant community.

[0021] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the waterproof structural backing is the primary structural support of the panel and is capable of carrying the load of the other components - the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover, saturated hydroponic substrate, plants and root plugs, as well as any irrigation io system - over spans between anchors of up to 2 meters. The waterproof structural backing is also capable of resisting the concentrated loads created at the anchor points, as well as lateral loads applied by wind.

[0022] In accordance with another aspect of the invention; the waterproof structural backing is impervious to water and air. It is also immune to rot and biodegradation, and is not broken down by UV light. It is the first component of the water management strategy of the system, preventing water and wind-driven rain from entering the inner layers of the wall cavity.

[0023] In accordance with another aspect of the- invention, the water proof structural backing is impervious to the roots and shoots of the plants it supports, acting as the primary, root barrier protecting the inner wall layers from root penetration.
As such it is a root barrier that is entirely integral to each panel.

[0024] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the water proof structural backing is flexible, able to conform to the shape of curves without sacrificing any of its other properties. It can even be bent around 90 degree corners. . .

[0025] In some embodiments, the water proof structural backing comprises, but is not limited to, reinforced thermoplastic olefin. It will be apparent to technicians skilled in .the art that other materials are also possible, provided they entail all of the properties outlined above. S

AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 [0026] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover wraps and contains the inner contents.of the panel. It is the secondary, structure for the panel and is capable of supporting the load of the saturated hydroponic substrate, plants and root plugs that it encloses, as well as the weight of any irrigation system, over a span of up to.2 meters. The three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover retains the growing medium around the root plug against the forces of wind and gravity.

[0027] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover allows water to.pass through it at a reduced flow.
It allows water to drain out of the panels in a controlled way over time, :instead of all at once. It is the second component of the water management system and facilitates water to enter and exit the..panels.

[0028] In another aspect of the invention, the semi-porous cover is permeable to the roots and shoots of the plants that it holds in place, This allows the roots and shoots of plants to cross from panel to panel, permitting the development of a much larger root system than the individually root bound plants of containerized systems..
This large root mass is a key component of healthy plant communities in the natural world..
[0029] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover is immune to rot and biodegradation as well as breakdown-from UV light.

[0030] In another aspect, the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover is flexible and able to conform to the shape of curves without sacrificing any of its other properties. It can even be bent around 90 degree corners.

[0031] In some embodiments, the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover comprises, but is not limited to, felted synthetic fibres. It will be apparent to the technician skilled in the art; that other materials are also possible, provided they entail the above properties.

AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 [00.32] In accordance with another-aspect of the invention, the hydroponic substrate is a non-structural medium into which the plants root. It.is the third component of the.
water management system and ensures that air,water and nutrients are held around the'roots of the plants in a ratio suitable to foster healthy plant growth.

[0033] In another aspect, the hydroponic substrate is lightweight.and flexible, able to conform to the shape of curves without sacrificing any of its other properties. It can even be bent around 90 degree .corners.' [0034] In some embodiments the hydroponic substrate comprises, but is not limited to, mineral wool, polyester, wool, or a combination thereof. The technician skilled in the art will recognize that other materials are-also possible, provided. they meet the above criteria.

[0035] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the diagonal slits permit the insertion of the plant plugs into the corresponding opening in the hydroponic substrate and retains the plants and their root plugs there while the root systems develop. The diagonality of the slits is a crucial innovation because it maintains the structural integrity of the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover..

[0036] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the panel is of a.square, rectangular, oval, round or hexagonal configuration.

[0037] Another aspect of the invention is careful ergonomic design. The panelsare sized to permit one person to comfortably, carry two pre-planted panels back-to-back in each hand, greatly facilitating pre-growing, transportation, staging and installation.
[0038] In some embodiments, the panels provide a handle integral to the water proof structural backing, that facilitates easy handling during all stages of th.e pre-growing, transport and installation.. .

[0039] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the panel as a whole is flexible and may.be bent up to ninety degrees around corners. It is therefore an.

AMENDED SHEET

= i 15 July 2010 15-07-2010 advantage of the present invention that it can be used for curved and even double curvature surfaces.

[0040] In another embodiment, the present invention provides a modular support for plants which may be substantially vertical, such as for. a wall, or may be angled such as for a roof or awning. The modular support may even be installed-at greater than 90 degree slopes, with other structural measures taken as necessary.

[0041] In another embodiment, the present invention provides a protective building cladding sufficient to protect the inner wall layers from wind-driven rain.
The overlapping of the panels sheds water downwards like shingles, away from the io building envelope.. It is an advantage of the current invention that it can be an integral component of a wall assembly, rather than applied to the exterior of a completed wall.
[0042].In another embodiment, there is an air gap between the modular support and underlying wall layers of sufficient size to permit air circulation and pressure equalization between and behind the panels. It is an advantage of the current 1s invention that it can be used as the outer cladding in a "pressure-equalizing rain screen" wall assembly.

[0043] In another embodiment, a blind fastening system is provided, such that each anchor is concealed behind adjacent panels, except for the bottom. left corner, where a specially designed pocket in the semi-porous cover extends over the anchor.
The 20 pocket can be lifted out of the way for installation and then set back to.completely conceal the remaining anchor.

[0044] In another embodiment, the present invention provides methods of manufacturing, pre-growing and installing a lightweight modular plant support system.
[0045] Another objective is to promote the reintegration of indigenous plant 25 communities onto our built environment, and to provide a means to conduct urban agriculture. .

AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 [0046] It is therefore an advantage of some aspects of the present invention to provide a water and:energy efficient integrated irrigation system as part of the plant support system. The irrigation system is configured such that individual panels may be replaced without the need to disassemble the entire system. The irrigation system can be designed to use collected rain water, and to loop water so as to be ultra water efficient.

[0047] This summary of the invention does not necessarily describe all features of the invention. Other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become-apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon review of the following 1o description.of specific embodiments of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0048] These and other features of the invention will become more apparent from the following description in which. reference is made to the appended drawings wherein:
[0049] FIG 1 shows a perspective view of a typical panel.

[0050] FIG 2 shows components of the panel [0051] FIG 3 shows a plan view of the panel [0052] FIG 4 shows a perspective view of the hydroponic substrate [0053] FIG 5 shows a plan view of planted panel [0054] FIG 6 shows the components for assembling the panels into a modular support [0055] FIG 7 shows a panel being mounted onto a wall'surface, beginning the assembly of the modular support [0056] FIG 8 shows a plurality of overlapping panels mounted creating the modular support .

AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 [0057] FIG 9 shows, a plurality of overlapping panels assembled into a modular support with an irrigation system being installed DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0058] In the description that follows, a number of terms are used-extensively, the following definitions are provided to facilitate understanding of various aspects of the invention. Use of examples in the specification, including examples of terms, is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to limit the scope and meaning of the embodiments of the invention herein.

[0059] Referring to Fig. 1, a modular support for,plants according to some io. embodiments of the invention is shown. The modular support comprises a plurality of.
panels, each panel comprising a three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover which is attached along all or a portion of the perimeter of the cover to a waterproof structural backing 2, and- contains an absorbent hydroponic substrate 3. The cover 4 may be attached to the waterproof structural backing 2 by -any.suitable method - for example, by sewing or stitching, adhesive, welding (heat, high frequency).
Choice of a suitable method will be dependent on the selected materials, and apparent to those familiar with use of such materials. If the panel is stitched, the thread is must be UV
and mould resistant. The panel may be provided as a complete unit comprising the hydroponic substrate contained between the three dimensional contoured semi-20, porous cover and waterproof structural backing, with substantially-the-entire perimeter of the cover attached to the backing. Alternately, the cover may be attached to the backing along a portion of the perimeter, allowing for the hydroponic substrate to be inserted after manufacture. The cover may be made of any suitable material that provides structure-and protection of the hydroponic substrate while allowing air and water movement into and out of the panel, thus functioning as an integral component of the three part water management system.

[0060] Referring now to Fig.'s 3, 4 and 5 the hydroponic substrate 3 may be made of ' any suitable material that provides a lightweight and absorbent growing medium, 11 ' AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 support for plants, aeration and water supply, and nutrient retention at the location of the plant. Examples of such substrates include, but are not limited.to, mineral wool, polyester or wool, or a combination of these. The three dimensional contoured semi--porous cover 4b has an array diagonal slits 4c which align with an array of holes 3b in the hydroponic substrate. These slits hold the plants and their growing medium 5 in place while their root system develops and anchors into the substrate. The slits are diagonal to maintain the structural integrity of the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover material, and are of a dimension sufficient to hold the plant and growing medium in position. The openings in the substrate 3b can b.e packed full of growing io medium around the plant plug to ensure the roots do not dry out. The system.is therefore a hybrid of hydroponic medium and growing medium, entailing the best features of both. The hydroponic portion ensures the system is lightweight and flexible; the growing medium portion ensures that soil microbes and trace minerals important for plant health are always present.

[0061] Referring again to Fig. 1 the waterproof structural backing 2 prevents rain and water from falling behind the panel, restricts the roots to the front of the panel, and provides structural support for the unit as a whole. Perforations 2b in the backing allow the panel to be hung onto the anchoring system. These perforations can be sealed with waterproof material, such as a neoprene gasket, such that the integrity of the waterproofing assembly remains intact. The example illustrated in Fig. 1 shows the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover 4 attached off-center of the waterproof structural backing 2, at or close to the edge of the backing of two consecutive sides 8 and 9, with two consecutive sides of the backing extending beyond the dimension of the cover, providing extended edges 6 and 7. The width.of the extended edges may vary with the overall size of the panel, but are to be of sufficient width to provide for secure perforations 2b that support the mass of the panel when in use and prevent a tear-out of the perforation when the panel is attached to a support structure, such as a wall. The extended edges facilitate overlapping attachment of a plurality of panels to a wall, roof or awning, to permit shingling action, draining water to the exterior.
12 AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 The waterproof structural backing 2 is flexible, and may be made of any [Q062] 9 ~ Y suitable material that meets all of the criteria outlined above, for example a plastic or thermoplastic polyolefin.

[0063] The panel exemplified herein is illustrated as of a square configuration: It will be apparent to a skilled reader that the configuration may be rectangular, hexagonal or even circular. For a hexagonal.panel (not illustrated), the cover would also comprise a hexagonal configuration, and be attached at or close to the edge of the hexagonal shaped backing along three consecutive edges, with.three consecutive sides of the backing extending beyond the dimension of the cover, providing an io extended edge to facilitate overlapping attachment of a plurality of panels.
PLANTING AND GROWING-PROCESS

[0064] Referring now to Fig.'s 4 and 5, Plant plugs 5 are inserted through the openings in the cover 4c and into the holes 3b of the hydroponic substrate 3.
The panel is coupled to a hydroponic growth system and the plant plugs allowed to grow until a root system is established and desired plant coverage of the panel is .
achieved. Suitable or desired plant coverage of a panel may be dependent on several factors including the intended application of the shingle, the environment where it is to be.placed', the plant type, growing medium, or on aesthetic .
considerations.

[0065] Plant plugs 5 including growing medium are commonly available as nursery items. The panel can be pre-grown before installation and or planted with plugs after installation.

[0066] When used in multiples, the panels are assembled in an overlapping.
fashion in order to allow air flow while protecting the building envelope from direct contact with water, including wind-driven rain, thereby forming a pressure-equalizing rainscreen, a standard-type of wall construction: .
13 AMENDED SHEET

15 July 2010 15-07-2010 [0067] Referring now to Fig. 7, to assemble a plurality of panels into a wall, roof, awning or other surface, holes 6b are drilled into the surface. Anchors 6 are screwed' and sealed into the holes, and perforations in vertical spacers-7 are aligned and the spacer placed on the anchors. Many non-biodegradable materials can be used for the spacers, including but hot limited to, recycled' plastic and even cut lengths of irrigation tubing. The spacers can take many different shapes and forms; what is important is. that they can:hold the panels out from the wall surface. by at least 25mm to furnish the air gap necessary in a pressure-equalizing rainscreen. A first.
panel 1.is then mounted onto the spacers 7 by aligning the Perforations 2b over the anchors 6.
io The gaskets 8 are then placed over the panels, onto the anchor, to maintain the integrity of the waterproofing system. .

[0068] Referring now to Fig. 8, second and subsequent panels are placed in an overlapping relationship, side to side, and bottom to top, so that the extended edge of a first, lower panel 9 is. positioned under the adjacent upper panel 10. This method of is layering allows the water to be shed away from the building envelope through shingling action, 'and provides a root barrier to protect the inner wall layers. The Fasteners 8b are then put on the anchors and secured with a bolt. Once assembled, the panels housing the plant plugs may be maintained by an irrigation system.
Conventional irrigation systems are available to provide sufficient volume of water 20 appropriate to the climate or geographic location,' as well as-the plant type or types.
Such an irrigation system may include, for example: a back-flow valve to prevent water in the irrigation system from entering the water supply; a filter or filters to trap.
particulates and a flush valve to expel particulates from the system; a regulator to control the pressure in the system to prevent `blow-outs', or to ensure that the water 25 is provided to the appropriate vertical level in the assembled, modular support; a fertilizer injector; a timer to provide automated control of irrigation; and mainlines and sublines to deliver water to the array of panels in the modular support.

[0069] Referring now to Fig. 9, after the panels are assembled, a mainline 11 is attached to one-side of the panel assembly. Drip irrigation sub-lines 12 are in fluid
14 AMENDED SHEET
15 July 2010 15-07-2010 communication with the mainline and with each panel. In the example illustrated, each sub-line has drip emitters and is inserted inside the three dimensional contoured semi-porous cover 4 along the top of each row of panels. These sub-lines then connect with the mainline. The mainline is then connected to a water source and the irrigation schedule is controlled by a computerized timer. A fertilizer injector may be included in the irrigation system to allow for introduction of nutrients, insect or plant growth regulators, or other desired water-soluble agents into the system. As it is an advantage of the system to permit.the growth of plants in a water efficient way.
The irrigation system can be configured to use collected rain water and be looped for.
io maximum efficiency.

[0070] In the assembled modular support comprising the plurality of panels, each of the cover and hydroponic substrate arrangements are adjacent, or nearly adjacent, and allow for growth of plant root systems into one or more adjacent panels' cover and hydroponic substrates, thus providing a larger area for root development.
This is large entangled root mass is a typical feature of natural plant communities and is an advantage of the current invention.

[0071] One or more currently preferred embodiments have been described by way of example. It will be apparent to persons skilled in the art that a number of variations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as 20 defined in the claims.

AMENDED SHEET

Claims (6)

WE CLAIM:
1. A panel for a modular support for plants in a vertical orientation wherein the panel includes (a) a backing where said backing consists of a thermoplastic olefin and includes a plurality of perforations for receiving an anchor; (b) a hydroponic substrate where said hydroponic substrate comprises an array of holes for receiving a plant and growing medium and (c) a cover that is attached to the backing and encloses the hydroponic substrate, where said cover consists of polypropylene felt and includes an array of diagonal slit-shaped openings that align with the holes of the hydroponic substrate for the support of a plant in the panel; where the cover and hydroponic substrate are positioned off-center of the backing, providing two or more consecutive extended edges and the two or more consecutive extended edges providing for a regular overlapping of panels when assembled into a modular support.
2. The panel of claim 1, wherein the hydroponic substrate comprises mineral wool, polyester, wool or a combination thereof.
3. The panel of claim 1, wherein the panel is of a square, rectangular or hexagonal configuration.
4. A modular plant support comprising a plurality of panels in a vertical orientation wherein each panel includes (a) a backing where said backing consists of a thermoplastic olefin and includes a plurality of perforations for receiving an anchor; (b) a hydroponic substrate where said hydroponic substrate comprises an array of holes for receiving a plant and growing medium and (c) a cover that is attached to the backing and encloses the hydroponic substrate, where said cover consists of polypropylene felt and includes an array of diagonal slit-shaped openings that align with the holes of the hydroponic substrate for support of plants in the panel; where the cover and hydroponic substrate are positioned off-center of the backing, providing two or more consecutive extended edges and the two or more consecutive extended edges providing for a regular overlapping of panels allowing for development of a root system of the plant to extend into the hydroponic substrate of one or more adjacent panels and anchor the one or more adjacent panels one to another.
5. The modular plant support of claim 4, wherein a 25 mm air gap is provided between the panels and the underlying wall, such that air can circulate behind the panels.
6. The modular plant support of claim 4, further comprising a concealed irrigation system consisting of a main line and connected sublines that release water and fertilizer into the panels.
CA2771773A 2008-10-22 2009-09-24 Modular support for plants Active CA2771773C (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CA2,642,183 2008-10-22
CA2642183A CA2642183A1 (en) 2008-10-22 2008-10-22 Modular support for plants
CA2771773A CA2771773C (en) 2008-10-22 2009-09-24 Modular support for plants
PCT/CA2009/001344 WO2010045708A1 (en) 2008-10-22 2009-09-24 Modular support for plants

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

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ES2393571B1 (en) * 2011-06-10 2013-09-18 Universidad De Sevilla Modular system of reduced thickness and flexible material for culture of vegetation in vertical surfaces.
BE1020490A3 (en) * 2012-02-02 2013-11-05 Vertical Ecosystem Sprl SYSTEM FOR FORMING A VEGETABLE TEXTILE ELEMENT.
WO2014122292A1 (en) * 2013-02-08 2014-08-14 Rockwool International A/S Plant growth system
ES2501390B1 (en) 2013-03-01 2015-07-08 Universidad De Sevilla System for growing plants in vertical or inclined planes
ES2411809B1 (en) * 2013-05-23 2014-02-18 Jesús MARTINEZ LOPEZ Plant cultivation system
EP2929778A1 (en) * 2014-04-07 2015-10-14 Total Packaging Srl An assemblable green wall
BE1023546B1 (en) * 2015-04-07 2017-04-28 Sous Les Fraises Sas MEDIA FOR CULTIVATING AN ORGANISM, USES THEREOF, AND METHODS OF CULTIVATION AND PURIFICATION UTILIZING THE SAME
SE542218C2 (en) * 2016-02-25 2020-03-17 Vertikal Plant System Sweden Ab Modularized plant wall
CA2956654A1 (en) 2016-10-03 2018-04-03 Green Thumb Technology Inc. Vertical hydroponics systems

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DE3623562A1 (en) * 1986-07-12 1988-01-28 Eugen Feil ROOF TILE FOR A ROOF BLANK
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CA2149906A1 (en) * 1993-09-25 1995-03-30 Hans Kummermehr Sheet of mineral wool for sustaining vegetation on roofs
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