28. April 2022

RopeLab: Plants on the rope

LivingRope is a wire rope construction on which plant pots are strung and watered in a fully automated way. This project from our RopeLab solves the question of how a facade greening could work with the fastest possible result.

RopeLab – Insights into our development

The RopeLab is the innovation laboratory of Jakob Rope Systems. Here we give free rein to our creativity. This is where new ideas are born in order to improve what already exists with our customers and to develop innovations in the fields of rope technology, architecture and rope and lifting technology.

We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the aesthetics, safety and economy of our products. Our development is always breaking unusual ground and testing out new things. Ideas for product ideas and prototypes are provided by our customers, partners and our know-how in unusual projects and applications.

The initial situation:

How can a facade be greened as quickly as possible? Horizontal greening with climbing structures usually takes six to eight years, depending on the growth height of the plants. In densely built-up cities, there is also the fact that the ground for planting is often limited by pipes or by sealing. When retrofitting greenery on existing facades, the building physics specifications and applicable fire protection regulations must be observed. Overall, the greening should be technically implemented in such a way that the effort for irrigation, nutrient supply and maintenance is as low as possible.

The solution:

The LivingRope project solves all these requirements with a wire rope construction on which plant pots are threaded and watered fully automatically. LivingRope is installed at only two attachment points. One on the ground. The other at the uppermost point of the facade. The facade remains untouched, as the LivingRope is attached via the attachment points with sufficient distance to the building structure. The wire rope thus suspended carries plant pots from which the greenery grows. The plant pots are positioned at any height on the rope. This gives a lot of freedom for the design.

For optimal care of the plants, the pots are filled with a rock wool substrate. The rock wool is sterile and provides the plants' root system with an ideal balance of moisture, aeration and temperature regulation. The substrate is also storm and weather resistant. The plant pots are watered via integrated shower heads located on the support cable above each pot.

Watering and nutrient supply are triggered automatically. Sensors monitor the moisture in the plant pots. If the humidity drops, the sprinklers are activated. The water comes from a connected tank that could collect rainwater, for example. Liquid fertilizer is added to the water at controlled intervals. Users can monitor and control all this via an app. It provides information on the humidity and temperature in the plant pots, as well as the date and amount of the last waterings. If watering is urgently needed, the plant shower can be triggered via app.


The advantages:

  • Greening is already present from the first day on the entire height. Vertical greening with construction heights of at least 30 meters is possible.
  • The number of plant pots per rope and their distribution in height is freely selectable.
  • With different plants, flowers and herbs per rope, green structures can be reinvented and designed and staged by the architects.
  • Additional (freely adjustable) trellis bars generate a large volume of greenery and shade. They are an important element for the design.
  • The green area of the cylindrical plant pots is three times higher compared to their projection area and thus to conventional facade greening.
  • No complex attachment to the building structure is necessary. Only two anchor points are used to attach the suspension rope.
  • The fire hazard is minimized by variable distances to the building. Fire compartments can be created by freely selecting the distances between the pots.
  • Closed irrigation system, excess water drains from plant pots and flows back into the storage tank.
  • The rock wool substrate provides a powerful combination of water - fertilizer - evaporation. This leads to optimal conditions for roots and growth of plants.


The developers:

Rudolf Lehmann
Business Development


Green Solutions G2 References

The program is presented in two parts. In the GreenSolutions reference brochure, you will find many real-world applications that show you the potential of greening.

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GreenSolutions G2 Technical

The program is presented in two parts. The catalog GreenSolutions Technical contains all wire rope products with their technical information for your greening project.

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