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 ▲ email@example.com
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