Living walls or green walls are self-sufficient vertical gardens that are attached to the exterior or interior of a building. They differ from green façades (e.g. walls covered in ivy) in that the plants root in a structural support that is fastened to the wall itself. The plants receive water and nutrients from within the vertical support instead of from the ground. A green wall acts as a kind of protective barrier, shielding a building from solar radiation and heat penetration. This reduces the demand on cooling systems and serves as extra insulation in the winter. Green walls can also encourage biodiversity, reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect, improve air quality, and serve as an educational and beautiful talking point that will increase foot traffic in and around your building.