Reading Time: 3 minutes

Living Walls | Modular Wall Solution

Breathe is the latest innovation in modular wall solutions from DIRTT Environmental Solutions. Breathe™ is a (patent pending) simple system for incorporating plants into DIRTT Walls. It mounts to the tile layer of the wall, can be retrofitted on existing DIRTT walls with tiles, or can be mounted to any flat, vertical building surface: gypsum, concrete, stone, etc. It is scalable and easily expanded from one panel to a monolithic wall of plants.

Designers can incorporate Breathe living walls, or interior plantscapes, to bring nature indoors and beautify and detoxify interior spaces.

How does the living wall work?

Breathe™ shares the same notion of modularity as the rest of the DIRTT system. It supports living plant modules and an independent water delivery system. Unlike hydroponic living wall systems in which the roots of plants become intertwined and literally embedded in the wall’s material composition, Breathe™ is a box-type system. Plant modules or pots are discrete, and the modules and water delivery are separate units to ensure plants can be maintained and removed individually for servicing or replacement.

Breathe details

The Breathe module is designed to take three sizes of plant pot – 6 x 6”, 3 x 6” and 3 x 3”. Larger wallscape compositions would use 6 x 6” pots. Given the wide diversity in plant habit, leaf shape, and color, plant designers can create works of art with plants. Breathe gives them the latitude to compose a living wall that also changes over time. The pots integrate into the modular slat wall surface. DIRTT’s intelligent 3D ICE software treats the plants as objects, which can be dropped into place for easy composition along the slat wall.

How do you water the Breathe wall?

Only requires watering once a week


Breathe is designed to eliminate plumbing problems and reduce complexity for occupants. For larger Breathe installations a portable irrigation system, such as a WaterBoy, is used to fill the horizontal troughs beneath the plant pots. Smaller systems can be filled with a hose attached to a tap, or with a watering can. There is only one fill point for a wall of plants, at the top. Water travels along the troughs where it is wicked up into individual plant pots by a device that promotes capillary action. Breathe effectively separates the plant pot and growing medium from the water system, thereby eliminating mess and fuss usually associated with watering plants. An overflow mechanism at the end of each trough prevents water spillage and directs the extra water to the next trough. At the bottom of the wall, any remaining excess water is captured. There is no water wastage with Breathe. Fertilizer can be added to the portable irrigation unit for dispensing during watering.