Japan for Sustainability reports,
Shimizu Corp., a major Japanese construction company, and Minoru Industrial Co., an agricultural machinery manufacturer, co-developed and are marketing "Parabienta," a light-weight and low-cost wall greening system. The Parabienta wall greening system combines panel-type planting units to form a wall. Different combinations of panel unit patterns and the selection of various plants allow flexibility in wall design.
The culture soil that forms the base of the planting unit is a unique compound that forms a solid but lightweight mass when heated, and comes in the shape of 5-centimeter thick sponge-like sheet of polyester-blended soil that has been heated with steam and molded. It has excellent water retention and drainage properties, and various kinds of plants can grow on this lightweight, shallow planting base. This culture base is the key to making this the world’s most lightweight and inexpensive unit-type wall greening system.
The two companies started marketing this system to office buildings, schools and commercial facilities in August 2006. The average construction price is 80,000 yen (about U.S.$696) per square meter, including installation and irrigation system charges. They aim for sales of 100 million yen (about U.S.$870,000) during this fiscal year, and annual sales of 500 million yen (about U.S.$4.3million) in three year’s time.