In her feature “A Tapestry of Plants,” Michelle Simikis of A Garden Life Magazine explores living walls as art with an in-depth interview by Dave MacKenzie, LiveWall president and designer of Back to Eden.
New Option for Improving Health, Wellness, Air Quality, and Enjoyment
in Offices, Schools, Healthcare and Retail Spaces
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. and PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — November 20, 2013 — LiveWall, LLC announced the introduction of LiveWall® Indoor, the interior version of LiveWall®, the living wall system that transforms ordinary walls into vertical green landscapes. LiveWall Indoor is a drip-free planted wall system engineered to sustain tropical plants indoors.
“As soon as we introduced LiveWall, our customers asked us for a system that had the same natural function with water containment,” said Dave MacKenzie, horticulturalist and president of LiveWall, LLC. Recognizing the demand for a green wall system specifically suited to the needs of tropical plants and sensitive to protecting interior surfaces, MacKenzie and his team began developing and testing various concepts.
To solve the need to protect interior surfaces, the LiveWall Indoor system is watered by drip stakes in the soil instead of the mist nozzles used outdoors. Additionally, the wall planters have a rear drain which completely contains water used in the system.
To grow healthy tropical plants, which typically have larger root systems, the green wall planters hold twice the soil as the outdoor version.
Before LiveWall even had the product on the shelves, the company was accepting orders for the LiveWall Indoor system. The system has already been used by Pink Dolphin, an urban clothing retailer at their flagship store in San Francisco, California.
“Dozens of other projects have already been designed with LiveWall Indoor, before we even introduced it to the market,” said MacKenzie. “These building owners are telling us that they want indoor living walls to set themselves apart by providing a relaxing environment with improved indoor air quality, and healthier, happier residents, customers and employees.”
An indoor LiveScreen®, the mobile version of LiveWall, is also available as either an automatically irrigated or hand-watered model. LiveScreen Indoor units are double-sided green walls on wheels, which arrive fully assembled and ready to plant.
LiveWall offers infrastructure design services to clients seeking to incorporate indoor or outdoor living walls into their project design or as an addition to existing buildings.
LiveWall, LLC will showcase both the LiveWall Outdoor and LiveWall Indoor vertical greening systems at GreenBuild, the US Green Building Council conference and expo, November 20-21, 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. LiveWall will be at booth #1049.
Download the LiveWall Indoor Product Guide.
Media Contact: Amber Ponce ▲ 616-935-1964 ▲ firstname.lastname@example.org
The “Back to Eden” ArtPrize entry by LiveWall, LLC owner David MacKenzie will stay with the B.O.B., for at least for another year.
Ranking in the top 25 during the 2013 ArtPrize competition, “Back to Eden” is a 1,400 square foot abstract painting – with plants as the “paint” (mostly annual plants). “Back to Eden” resonated with ArtPrize attendees because of its design, nighttime effect, and environmental statement. It served as a popular backdrop for photography and a stimulus to conversations about environmental stewardship, urban greening, and the importance of plants and nature in our lives.
Originally the plan, for after ArtPrize, was to “take it down,” but neither B.O.B owner, Greogory Gilmore, nor LiveWall, LLC owner David MacKenzie were ready to do that; MacKenzie and Gilmore met shortly after ArtPrize and discussed the exhibit, and while Gilmore states “he would love to own it,” he has plans to develop the north side of the B.O.B.’s property in the near future. Gilmore stated that a firm date has not been set for the new development, but plans are moving ahead, and unfortunately the new development will occupy the space where ‘Back to Eden’ currently resides. Instead he offered the use of the space to MacKenzie for joint promotions, to use as an outdoor showroom, and for another ArtPrize entry in 2014.
MacKenzie says, “This is a good arrangement for all concerned; I don’t have to worry about relocating the wall right now. The B.O.B. is a central and highly visible location to showcase our LiveWall system and a broad array of plants.” MacKenzie has already replanted the wall with some 2,000 + winter hardy-perennials, and next year plans to replace some of them with colorful annuals, as well as herbs and vegetables for use in the B.O.B.’s various kitchens.
The B.O.B’s LiveWall installation is located on the north side of the building and is visible and accessible for viewing by the public almost anytime. Neighbors in surrounding offices and condominiums will enjoy watching the seasonal changes including winter colors, springtime foliage, and summertime flowers. The LiveWall system surrounds the mechanical units and dumpsters of the B.O.B., and these are now surrounded on three sides with colorful plants – it’s a nice way to disguise these elements.
“We know that the public will benefit,” say both Gilmore and MacKenzie. “There will be beauty, oxygenation of the air, cooling of the surrounding environment, those sorts of things, and it will be interesting to see how the LiveWall impacts urban wildlife.” MacKenzie expects the LiveWall to act as an urban oasis attracting mourning doves, hummingbirds, butterflies, and honeybees.
The B.O.B.’s green wall will be the third publicly visible LiveWall system in Grand Rapids. Currently there are 800 square feet of LiveWall on the south and west walls of Grand Rapids’ new Downtown Market, and just recently John Ball Zoo installed a LiveWall on the rooftop of the chimpanzee house.
The LiveWall is one of the features of the Downtown Market which contributes to its environmental statement, energy savings, and its ability to achieve Green Building Council’s LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Certified LEED buildings cost less to operate and are a physical demonstration of the values of the organization that own and occupy them.
Based in Spring Lake, Michigan, LiveWall®, LLC is the top horticultural science company in the planted wall industry. Exceptional in design and function, the LiveWall system is developed and manufactured in West Michigan and offers the most effective horticultural solution for vegetated walls.
Note to Editors on Project Photos: Flickr link for photos
PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS WELCOME. TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT AMBER PONCE, 616.935.1964
ArtPrize is the world’s largest art contest decided by public vote. Each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, artists from around the world showcase their work for a chance to win a $200,000 prize decided by hundreds of thousands of voters.
This year, LiveWall president Dave MacKenzie will enter his own piece of living art titled Back to Eden. Dave’s piece challenges the viewer to ask “What if we could reimagine our cities, and shift sustainability from the exception to the norm?” Back to Eden shows what is possible when living architecture is applied on a larger scale.
No longer do cities need to be wrapped in drab expanses of concrete. They can now be decorated in vivid color using plants as paint. Dave uses the LiveWall system as a canvas and 2,500 plants to create a stunning abstract piece.
Back to Eden is intended to show how using living architecture can benefit the city and those that live in it. The LiveWall system used in this exhibit can sequester carbon, purify air, reduce energy consumption, and provide food for people and wildlife. It does all of this while transforming a building into a canvas for artistic expression.
What: Back to Eden
11′ x 130′ (1430 sq ft) living mural
When: September 18 – October 6, 2013
Where: The B.O.B. (Big old Building)
20 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
Vote: Use voting code 54712 – How to Vote
Who’s talking about it:
• Grand Rapids Tonight (watch video)
• Living Architecture Monitor
Sign Up for a Free Guided Tour of LiveWall’s Best Living Walls
For those of you in the Chicago area, we are offering a guided tour of the best living walls in the area from Illinois to ArtPrize. This tour will include stops at the Harris Bank in Chicago, The Downtown Market and ArtPrize in Grand Rapids and artist, Dave MacKenzie’s own personal LiveWall along with a behind the scenes look at the LiveWall facility.
This tour provides an excellent opportunity to see first hand how versatile the LiveWall system is and to experience the electric atmosphere of ArtPrize. The tour will include transportation to and from the venues along with lunch and dinner. To reserve your spot, contact Steve Neumann at (847) 863-5012 or email@example.com.
The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan features a new living wall as a green signature for the downtown area. The forward-thinking building’s stunning green wall grabs attention from market-goers and passersby, who cannot help but stop and admire the greenery.
To ensure a successful project, the design team chose to use the LiveWall system, the vertical garden system that works. LiveWall creates a healthy growing environment in which plants can thrive. The system allows the plants to grow in their natural orientation–stems and leaves grow up toward the sun and roots growing down toward the ground. Additionally, the unique RainRails™ provide natural, rain-like water delivery for healthy, functioning plants.
The natural function supported by LiveWall allows for predictable and affordable maintenance costs and elated owners. The LiveWall design team worked closely with the project architects to ensure that their vision translated flawlessly into reality. The project was supported by the decades of real plant growing experience offered by the LiveWall team and the five years of research and development that has gone into the system design.
NBC affiliate WOOD TV invited Business Development Manger Amber Poncé to the studio to discuss the benefits of LiveWall and the Downtown Market as part of their Eight West morning show. ABC affiliate WZZM highlighted the LiveWall installation several times on local news. One of Michigan’s largest online news outlets, Mlive.com featured the living wall installation along with Greenroofs.com and Living Architecture Monitor. Using the LiveWall system to draw attention to the new building has contributed to demand for space and the interior leasing space is now nearly full.
Vertical gardens, or plants on walls, offer a unique and cost effective opportunity for restaurants to improve nutrition, meal taste and prestige. By providing a convenient method for growing and harvesting produce, owners and managers can provide their chefs with low cost fresh herbs and vegetables which enhance the quality and presentation of the food they prepare. Living walls are a highly visible symbol of management’s commitment to providing their guests with fresh, healthy and delicious diet fare.
One assisted living provider from West Michigan recognized the market readiness for a planted green wall system that was designed to easily grow healthy plants that provide an abundant harvest of edibles. A vertical garden by LiveWall® was successfully installed in April 2012 at the Grand Pines Assisted Living Center in Grand Haven, MI. Heritage Properties Management, which owns and operates the facility, is so impressed with the vertical herb garden that the company’s President, Scott Reenders, has implemented similar projects at several of other facilities this spring.
“I’m always receiving positive feedback from family members regarding the fresh herbs,” Reenders said. “In a recent resident survey, there were several positive comments on the green wall. The promotional value alone would have made the green wall worthwhile, but we also benefit from the large volume of herbs that we harvest from our wall throughout the growing season.” Reenders estimates that his wall yields about one ounce of herbs and greens per square foot per week during the growing season.
With a wholesale herb price of $0.50 per ounce a green wall can produce $15 to $25 worth of fresh produce per square foot annually. Factor in the waste reduction that comes with only cutting what is needed and the expense saved in transportation, and the wall produces enough to pay for itself in herbs alone in just a couple of years.
The word of mouth value of a living wall cannot be overestimated. “Our living wall is near our front entrance,” said Reenders, “showing all prospective residents and their families that our facilities are different, that we care enough to provide fresh food.”
Aaron Shapiro, the facility’s chef, said he only had one complaint, joking, “There are so many herbs,” he said, “I’ve had to come up with new recipes.” He added that the Grand Pines healthy menu is salt-free, and the herbs greatly enhance the meals. When not in season, he harvests the herbs and dries them for use throughout the year.”
LiveScreen is a fully assembled version of LiveWall which is wheel-mounted for easy access and moving. “We are also using LiveScreen at several of our other facilities this spring,” said Reenders. “In addition, we ordered wall planter inserts fully grown with popular, more expensive herbs such as rosemary and oregano, so we can start cooking with them as soon as they arrive.”
LiveWall, LLC will showcase its living walls solutions at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on May 18-12. In addition to enhancing chef prepared meals in restaurants and hospitality, LiveWall will promote living walls for use as dividers that add organic ambiance and privacy to diners.
To learn more about LiveWall, visit our website at www.livewall.com.
Download high res images from Flickr.
Vertical gardens, or plants on walls, offer a unique and cost effective opportunity for assisted and senior living communities to improve nutrition, meal taste and prestige. By providing a convenient method for growing and harvesting produce developers and mangers can provide their chefs with low cost fresh herbs and produce that enhances the quality and presentation of the food they prepare. Living walls are a highly visible symbol of management’s commitment to providing their residents with fresh, healthy and delicious diet fare.
One company from West Michigan recognized the market readiness for a planted green wall system that was designed to easily grow healthy plants that would provide and abundant harvest of edibles. Dave MacKenzie, president and founder of LveWall and LiveRoof, explained that the available living wall solutions may have looked pretty for marketing photos, but failed to provide for basic plant needs, which resulted in the plant’s steady decline. “It was a long road to simplicity,” states MacKenzie. “It took years of research and testing to develop a system that is designed to last and to provide a positive payback.”
The resulting LiveWall system offers a simply installed, easily maintained, and high producing green wall. The first commercial LiveWall was successfully installed in April 2012 at the Grand Pines Assisted Living Center in Grand Haven, MI. President Scott Reenders is so impressed with the vertical garden that he plans to implement similar projects at several of his other facilities this spring.
“It made the front page of our local paper,” Reenders said. “You cannot buy publicity like that. The promotional value alone would have made the green wall worthwhile but we also benefit from the large volume of herbs that we harvest from our wall, year after year.” Reenders estimates that his wall yields about one ounce of herbs and greens per square foot per week during the growing season.
With wholesale herb prices of $1 to $3 pe3r ounce, a green wall can produce anywhere from $25 to $150 per square foot of fresh produce annually. Factor in the waste reduction that comes with only cutting what is needed and the expense saved in transportation, and the wall produces enough to pay for itself in herbs alone in two years or less.
The word of mouth value of a living wall cannot be underestimated. “Our living wall is near our office entrance” said Reenders, “showing every prospective resident and their family that our facilities are different, that we care enough to provide fresh food. Our LiveWall serves as a direct reflection of how we care about their other lifestyle issues, too.” In fact, the LiveWall routinely receives high marks in surveys completed by residents and family members.
Aaron Shapiro, the facility’s chef, said he only had one complaint, joking, “There are so many herbs,” he said, “I’ve had to come up with new recipes.” He added that the Grand Pines healthy menu is salt-free, and the herbs greatly enhance the meals. When not in season, he harvests the herbs and dries them for use throughout the year. “Our favorite part of each day,” Shapiro said, “is heading out to our LiveWall to harvest fresh herbs.”
LiveScreen is a fully assembled version of LiveWall which is wheel-mounted for easy access and moving. “We are also using LiveScreen at several of our other facilities this spring,” Reenders said. “In addition, we ordered wall planter inserts fully grown with popular, more expensive herbs such as rosemary and oregano, so we can start cooking with them as soon as they arrive.”
LiveWall, LLC will showcase its living walls solutions at this year’s Assisted Living Federation of America annual conference and exhibition in Charlotte, N.C. on May 7 and 8. In addition to enhancing chef prepared meals at senior and assisted living communities, LiveWall will promote living walls for resident enjoyment and therapy.
LiveWall is a vertical, green landscape wall system that makes it easy for anyone to create and maintain a beautiful, organic, sustainable garden no matter where the space, transforming ordinary walls into inspiring vertical landscapes. Designed to last decades and with a healthy regard for plants, the LiveWall planted wall system achieves simplicity and and sustainability in harmony with nature. The LiveWall system supports plants as nature intended, with roots growing down, stems and leaves growing up and the plants are watered with rain-like misters. Simple, effective and attractive, LiveWall is the result of four years of research and development by the professionals who created LiveRoof.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —The stock market may be booming but the continuation of America’s urban renaissance could well depend, surprisingly, on flowers.
Not just blooming gardens in parks and along boulevards but also year-round planted walls. In other words, living walls or, as the New York Times headlined the phenomena, “Gardens That Grow On Walls” with products from companies like LiveWall, LLC, located not far from here.
This year the first of the 86-million strong Millennials generation turns thirty. And because they will begin seeking greener and more serene space and an escape from urban noise and air pollution, demographers are predicting a reverse flight to the suburbs of up to twenty-five percent these highly desirable residents. With them would go a big chunk of these cities’ tax base.
For more than a decade, America’s best cities have ridden a population boom of young people fueled by hip coffee shops, ubiquitous WiFi, abundant office space, good public transportation, performance centers and a new generation of lofts and other cool living spaces.
The aggregation of all of these factors lured young entrepreneurs into the cities followed by the highly educated and technically astute employees who support them. Owning a car proved unnecessary if you live in downtown Denver, Dallas, Austin, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Boston or Washington, D.C. This savings permits these knowledge workers instead to purchase smart phones, tablets, sophisticated applications and other must-have tools of the tech-savvy.
No surprise that instead of forsaking the intellectual hot houses found in today’s best cities and submitting to time-wasting suburban commutes, some Millennials are addressing their concerns for stress reduction, better breathing, and greener lifestyles by erecting a LiveWall vertical garden, both inside and outside of their urban residences and offices. In other words, they are making their beloved cities bloom.
“LiveWall makes a vertical garden that may be securely attached to both indoor and outdoor walls,” explains David S. MacKenzie, CEO of the 115-acre greenhouse empire that distributes everything one needs for a thriving, year-round living wall through a national dealer network. LiveWall is a sister company to LiveRoof, LLC, from which MacKenzie helped drive the green roof revolution across the US in the 21st Century.
MacKenzie studied an array of rush-to-market products and the rows of dead flower boxes that some competitors produced. Instead, LiveWall has made today’s best living wall designs easy-to-install, low maintenance, sustainable and durable. MacKenzie’s green wall designs even perform carefully metered self-watering, enabling their owners to travel without fear that their plants will die. A planted wall’s contributions to heating and cooling energy reduction, better breathing, and mental and physical health are heralded monthly across lifestyle, health and medical publications and by television programs like The Today Show. Follow the link for more on the benefits of LivWall.
“With our living wall, you can mix ornamentals for color and patterns and delightful aromas, but you can also grow herbs so that anyone who cooks can boast of a year-round gourmet kitchen,” MacKenzie says, “enabling downtown restaurants and loft dwellers alike to serve savory dishes at every meal.
“It’s the perfect answer for those people who love living and working downtown and don’t want to spend 15 hours a week commuting in a car. One look and people are intrigued,” MacKenzie reports. “What persuades them are LiveWall’s contributions to thermal insulation, noise and stress reduction, and the sheer natural beauty it is possible to create even in a few hundred feet of living space.”
“People in technology talk constantly about tech transfer,” MacKenzie observes. “LiveWall is making it possible for these same people to engage in ‘green transfer,’ in other words, bringing the health-giving qualities of natural plants right into their urban homes and offices.
“Of course the low cost of installation and maintenance are compelling, too,” MacKenzie adds.
“And who wouldn’t forego an expensive and exhausting commute with its plume of carbon emissions for that?” he asks.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Amber Poncé, +1 616-935-1964, AmberP@LiveWall.com, www.livewall.com
ABC affiliate WZZM 13 invited LiveWall’s Amber Poncé to showcase the innovative LiveScreen as part of their Take Five morning show. Host Catherine Behrendt was impressed by the ability of the LiveWall system to grow “a whole salad.” as well as the beauty of the perennial side of the wall. Watch the video above for a great demonstration of the versatility of the LiveWall system.