How It All Took Root: The History of Our Living Wall Technology

“If you can create these beautiful environments anywhere, why wouldn’t you?” This was the thought from Sagegreenlife Founder and CEO, Richard Kincaid, when he was first introduced to the concept of living walls.

plants integrated with wood planks


A business partner had approached him about a European company called Biotecture that was making sustainable living walls with hydroponic technology. Richard immediately saw an opportunity to expand and redefine the biophilic design industry in North America.

In his previous role as president and CEO of Equity Office Properties Trust, Richard saw businesses struggle with designing workplaces that not only encouraged productivity, but also fostered mental wellbeing and physical health among employees. Richard started thinking about the intrinsic benefits of nature and greenery, and how these benefits could extend to a broad range of design possibilities. From there, it was only a matter of time before Sagegreenlife was launched with a singular goal.

Build a better quality of life through living design.

From the beginning, Sagegreenlife has aspired to be a leader in the vertical garden market. The patented and proven system sets us apart from other companies and ensures limitless possibilities for architects, designers and end-users.

Sagegreenlife living green walls combine innovation and enhanced aesthetics to improve air quality, increase energy efficiency and enrich health and wellness in every conceivable space. The low-maintenance technology makes the system a versatile and viable design solution creating a visual impact in offices, hospitals, multi-unit buildings, retail stores, museums, restaurants, hotels, virtually any built environment.

The patented hydroponic technology begins with our modular Biotile™ system of Rockwool, a layered basalt rock fiber. Water, oxygen and nutrients are evenly and continuously distributed, resulting in stronger, healthier and longer-lasting plants that thrive in any climate. Our living walls use 75 percent less water than any other living wall product available today, and the Biotile™ ensures a cleaner and more energy-efficient system with minimal maintenance.


Sagegreenlife patent biotile technology

Sagegreenlife is at the forefront of the green building industry reimagining the way people interact with nature. We are committed to designing healthy, sustainable and beautifully captivating spaces that save on heating and cooling costs as well as conserve water supporting the health of humans and the environment.

Our living green walls enable buildings to earn LEED credits in sound abatement, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, sustainable sites and innovation in operations. We are excited to be part of the green building movement that is shaping the future of architecture and design.

“We want people to think of Sagegreenlife living walls as not only versatile and beneficial, but as a necessary material to include in all types of projects.”
-Richard Kincaid, Founder and CEO of Sagegreenlife



The History of Hydroponic Systems

Growing plants without soil may seem like a futuristic idea, but the concept of hydroponics has been around longer than you might think. The famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon employed the principles of modern hydroponics and provided inspiration for later growing methods.

In the 1600s, English philosopher Francis Bacon talked about the notion of growing plants without soil in his book, Sylva Sylvarum. Two centuries later, German botanists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop worked with mineral solutions in an effort to do the same. These individuals and others paved the way for today’s modern hydroponic methods.

Why are hydroponic systems so appealing?
To get a better understanding of the appeal of using hydroponic systems, it is important to first understand how they work. Hydroponic systems eliminate the need for soil and commonly involve some type of growth medium to support the root system of the plants. This offers several unique benefits over traditional cultivation methods, one of the largest being water conservation.

Watering plants in soil is a tricky business. If you use too much water, you deprive the roots of oxygen. If you use too little, the plants can become dehydrated and can die. On top of that, any unused water seeps into the soil and is wasted. Soil less growth systems use oxygenated water reservoirs to ensure plants get the oxygen they need, and any water not used by the plants is then recirculated back into the system to conserve resources. Hydroponic cultivation also offers more control over the growing environment and typically yields more plants in less time, as each root system has easy access to essential nutrients. Finally, growers have fewer problems with pests, fungus and disease.

type of living green wall


What makes the Sagegreenlife hydroponic system unique?
The Sagegreenlife living wall system is a hybrid hydroponic system that is both cost-effective and ecologically beneficial. It delivers water and nutrients evenly and efficiently only when the plants need them. The Biotile™, a patented hydroponic technology, is the foundation of our living walls and includes layers of dense Rockwool, a basalt rock-based growth medium that is recyclable and will not decay or change in size over time. And, because Rockwool is antimicrobial, there is no mold or bacteria inside it. The density of the Rockwool also insulates plant roots and provides extra protection throughout the winter months. This allows Sagegreenlife outdoor living walls to survive, even in the coldest climates. These insulative properties also extend to sound, giving Sagegreenlife living walls the added benefit of noise reduction.


At Sagegreenlife, our mission is better living with living walls. Learn more about how we have brought nature to the built environment.