What are the BioPanel™ and BioGrid™ Systems?
The BioPanel System™ is our revolutionary large format, low profile, modular Wall-Mount system.
This system provides the designer with the creative freedom to adapt a living wall to a location
of almost any size or configuration and requires minimal structural changes to the building.
A BioGrid™ is created by using an array of BioPanels™ in any configuration on various wall surfaces both wall
mounted or free standing, The BioGrid system™ can be used in either interior or exterior applications. Plantings
are chosen after reviewing the site environmental parameters such as light levels, air flow, traffic patterns and
visual imapact to name just a few. TropicsNorth consultants will define the planting palette in the early stages of
What makes up a BioPanel?
Each BioPanel™ is a complete system
including all plantings, waterproofing,
our multi-layer geotextile system and
biofiltration in both active and passive
Each panel includes a surgical grade,
stainless steel backing which provides
both structure and water proofing, while
the other zone specific layers ensure
optimum water distribution and aeration to 100% of the root zone area. This multi-layer low profile design ensures
the root zone remains free of stagnation, which translates into healthy plantings and an environment where plants will
flourish for many years.
|BioPanel™ layout prior to planting
||BioPanel™ layout after planting
||BioPanel™ as free standing model
Living wall preview planting
Once established light levels have been determined, a pallette of planting choices is provided to
the designer. At this point, planting plans, elaborate foliage patterns and contrasting varieties can
be viewed and selected either on-line or in our workshops prior to final installation.
How do Living walls clean the air?
All Living Walls and plants act as natural biofilters. The process is attributed to the very nature and physiology of the
foliage, root systems and the associated symbiotic relationship of the roots and surrounding microbes. Research was
conducted in the early 1990’s by Dr. BC Woverton at NASA in the USA. Through extensive studies, numerous species
of tropical plants were isolated and studied in different environents. All the plants studied were shown to significantly
reduce the presence of VOC’s such as Benzene, Trichloroethylene and Formaldehyde to name just a few. The rate of
reduction varied widely from species to species but the common conclusion was that all plants studied were effective
in reducing the VOC’s introduced. As one of the original sponsors to the program funded by Nasa and the industry,
TropicsNorth has been involved and at the forefront of this technology for almost 20 years.
Following on this ground breaking research, TropicsNorth through years of research and development, has pioneered
and created both “Active” and “Passive” Living Wall technologies.
What are “Passive Biofilter” Living Walls?
™ living walls are effective in removing toxins from the air but at a lesser rate than the active system.
These panels are the lowest profile version with the same visual impact. This style is used where minimal changes to
the building are desired and where budgetary constraints favour the lower cost style.
What are “Active Biofilter” Living Walls?
Active BioPanel™ living walls introduce a flow-through air system, high efficiency fans and venting. The active system
effectively allows a higher volume of airflow through the root zones of the plantings and back into the open air of the
building. Increased airflow ensures the ever-present colonies of microbes at the root zone breakdown VOC’s and other
airborne particles at an increased rate. Active biofilter systems introduce a structural, open weave panel with more
layers of biofilter media within this structure.
The Active BioPanel™ biofilter system offers numerous advantages for air purification over the passive system,
however structural requirements and associated costs increase with the addition of materials and equipment. We
design each system to suit each specific application.
What type of structural support is necessary for a TropicsNorth Living Wall?
TropicsNorth Living Walls can be wall-mounted or freestanding. Freestanding models are self-contained and require
no additional support structure. Wall mounted, multi-panel systems use the building structure as the means of
support. Generally a structural stud wall with 3/4 inch “d grade” plywood, a concrete block wall or a poured
concrete wall are all suitable substrates capable of supporting fifteen to thirty lbs/psf. TropicsNorth supplies all
mounting brackets and hardware necessary for installation.
How are the panels specified?
The panel system is engineered to be easily installed on any supporting wall structure with our adaptable mounting
system. Standard BioPanels™ are available in sizes that range from two feet by six feet, up to five feet by ten feet and
can be orientated either vertically or horizontally. BioPanels™ vary in thickness and may be as slim as 1 1/2 inches
(38mm) plus foliage. Simply let us know the wall area coverage requirements and we will size the panels in the most
What other building services are required?
To ensure trouble free operation, Living Walls require a connection to drain, water supply and the electrical systems of
the building. This is the method recommended for most installations where multiple BioPanel™ are used creating a
Single BioPanel™, freestanding models are supplied without a drain or water supply hook-up unless requested.
These models require manual filling every week or two. These smaller models of living walls are easily moved and
are supplied with a large base reservoir and require only a duplex GFCI electrical outlet for power to the pump and
What type of water treatment is used in your Living Wall Systems?
TropicsNorth engineers the Everpure™ water treatment system and base pool to suit the requirements of each
BioGrid™. This system incorporates a combination of Reverse Osmosis, Ultraviolet, Ozone, Particle filtration and
optimum water circulation and turnover rates to the filtration system. Each system in engineered specific to the
application and unique characteristics of each location. TropicsNorth has developed and refined this proprietary “non-chemical” water treatment sytem over many years and employs this sytem in all applications.
What are the maintenance requirements of TropicsNorth Living Walls?
BioPanel™ Living Wall Systems are automated to add water as needed. Occasional feeding is necessary and
a general knowledge of plantings and their unique characteristics is required. Professional services are highly
recommended for this style of living wall system. TropicsNorth provides professional maintenance services
through our own highly trained staff and through our network of experienced contractors. Training programs
are also available for in-house maintenance and are generally accomplished through a transitional period. After
completion of the training program, local Contractors or in-house staff can be certified by TropicsNorth.
Our Freestanding, single BioPanel™ models are supplied complete with all plantings selected to the available
light levels and environmental conditions specific to the location. These models are designed to be plugged into a
wall outlet and will only require adding water every seven to ten days. Volume and frequency of watering will vary
based on light levels and chosen varieties.
Can TropicsNorth Living Walls and waterfeatures be used together?
Yes! Dynamic combination pieces can be designed using BioPanels™ with the many styles of water elements
available to you.
TropicsNorth, has pioneered the development of the modular water panel system over the last twenty years and
brings the same expertise to the seamless integration of waterfeatures elements with living walls. The result is an
impressive visual display for both clients and visitors alike.
Are your products guaranteed?
Our Living wall structural panels are made from surgical grade 304L and 316L stainless steel enabling us to offer an
Industry leading twenty year warranty against perforation of the waterproof membrane.
All Living wall plantings are warranted as long as the service is provided by TropicsNorth. If third party service is
contracted, TropicsNorth does not warranty the plantings beyond installation. The contracted servicing company is
required to provide a warranty suitable to industry standards. All other components, such as pumps, lighting and
filtration systems are warranted for two years as stated by the manufacturer.
What is LEED™ and are your products LEED compliant?
LEED™ is Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. The LEED Green Building Rating System™, as
promulgated by the U.S. Green Building Council, aims to improve occupant well-being, environmental
performance and economic returns of buildings using established and innovative practice, standards and
TropicsNorth Living Walls, Waterfeatures and other stainless steel products qualify for LEED credits in many ways.
LEED™ Fact Sheet on Stainless Steel Sheet & Plate for the Building & Construction Market
Stainless steel is virtually indestuctable and will outlast most building materials, with few exceptions.
The stainless steel producing members of the Specialty Steel Industry of North America indicated that the
average post-consumer recycle content of the 300 series stainless steel grades, generally used in the
building and construction market is approximately 75 to 85%.
Not only does the stainless steel used in the building and construction industry contain a high percentage of
both post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content, at the end of its long, useful life in your building
application it is 100% recyclable. Stainless building components can be repeatedly recycled back into similar
products with no loss of quality. (www.ssina.com)
TropcicsNorth products are also LEED compliant in the following categories.
- Innovation in Operations
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Materials and Resources
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Water efficiency
- Sustainable Sites
Please contact us for further information.