Novak Construction served as general contractor for the new Whole Foods Market® Midwest flagship location. The 75,000 square-foot store is located in the Lakeview neighborhood at the historic Ashland-Belmont-Lincoln intersection. The building is wrapped on three sides by a green wall, a 10-foot high living wall with more than 5,000 plants, created with the LiveWall®system.
“The living wall softens the building’s exterior while providing beautiful greenery along the busy pedestrian corridors,” said Grey Novak, Novak Construction project manager. “It is a unique landscape feature that everyone in the neighborhood can enjoy.”
“The living wall complements both the new landscaping added outside the store as well as the existing landscape of the neighboring area,” said Nick Aholec, construction project manager, Midwest Support Office, Whole Food Market. “It represents what Whole Foods is all about: organic, natural, and intimately tied to the neighborhoods we serve.”
Installed by Classic Landscape, LTD (West Chicago, Ill.), the green wall totals 4,740 square feet, divided into three sections: north, south, and west. The LiveWall system is comprised of modular planter boxes that contain more than 5,000 plants. LiveWall customized plant selection from a palette of seven different perennials based on the anticipated patterns of light each side would receive throughout the day.
LiveWall® Enlivens the Showroom at LACarGuy’s Subaru Dealership in Hawthorne
When car buyers stop into Subaru Pacific, 14700 Hindry Avenue, Hawthorne, Calif., they receive a special “green” welcome at the LACarGUY dealership. The showroom features a living wall, a 14-foot high vertical garden with ten rows of planter boxes containing 120 plants, created with the LiveWall®Green Wall System.
“Living walls, also known as green walls, are structural systems that attach to existing exterior or interior walls to transform unadorned wall surfaces into vertical gardens,” said Dave MacKenzie, president, LiveWall, LLC (Spring Lake, Mich.) “When installed indoors, they make interior spaces more appealing and inviting and improve indoor air quality.”
“Think about the typical car showroom. They are sterile, stressful. Our living wall is an organic, green element that creates a more relaxed, welcoming environment,” said James Hartzberg, general manager, Subaru Pacific. “As a symbol of our commitment to sustainability, it connects with the values of Subaru car buyers.”
“The green wall brings to life what LAcarGUY and Subaru stand for,” said Alisha Auringer, manager of the environment, LAcarGUY. “It visually expresses our commitment to caring for the environment.”
Installed in January 2016 by Outside Matters Landscaping (El Segundo, Calif.), the Subaru Pacific green wall is 13 feet, 7 inches high and 8 feet wide. Totaling 110 square feet, it has ten rows, each with six LiveWall modular wall-planters lined with plant container inserts that have a mix of six different indoor plants. Florasource, Ltd. (San Clemente, Calif.), an independent horticulture supply company and Southern California LiveWall representative, advised LACarGUY on green wall design and plant selection and provided 120 pre-grown nursery plants in the containers.
Love of the outdoors and concern for the environment are hallmarks of the Subaru brand. For example, Subaru has built all its cars in zero-landfill manufacturing facilities since 2004. The LAcarGUY family of dealerships is passionate about the environment. Among its green initiatives, LAcarGUY was the first dealer in the country to promote adoption of electric vehicles by offering charging stations open to the public at its dealerships. Subaru Pacific earned distinction as an Eco-Friendly Certified Dealer — joining the ranks of Subaru dealers that meet stringent environmental standards. In addition to the green wall, Subaru Pacific has a 100-foot-long stormwater retention planter that captures all the runoff from its building, and daylighting solar tubes reduce electricity consumption in the service area.
“Whether they want to test drive a Subaru Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle that reduces smog-forming emissions to nearly zero, take a look at our green wall, or learn more about LACarGuy’s environmental stewardship and conservation efforts, we invite people to visit Subaru Pacific,” said Hartzberg.
The LAcarGUY family of dealerships has been a Los Angeles fixture since Mike Sullivan’s dad “Sully” opened his first dealership, Volkswagen Santa Monica in 1974. Today, Mike Sullivan’s LAcarGUY has grown to 11 award-winning dealerships throughout Los Angeles. As a leader in green vehicle sales, LAcarGUY is proud of its efforts to lead the industry to a greener automotive future, both internally and externally. Internal sustainable efforts include an LAcarGUY green team, installation of EV charging stations, building Audi’s first Gold LEED-certified dealership, and monthly employee education led by the company’s Manager of the Environment. LAcarGUY partners with a variety of local green organizations as well, including Heal The Bay, Grades of Green, Environmental Media Assoc, California parks to name a few. Learn more about LAcarGUY on our website. Find us on Facebook.
LiveWall® Green Walls Bring Living Architecture into Dearborn Restaurant
People in Michigan appreciate green spaces that bring nature to them, especially in winter. When they stop into Brome Burgers & Shakes, 22062 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, they receive a “green” welcome even on cold, grey days. The restaurant is home to an array of growing plants as well as Brome’s ethically sourced, creatively prepared, simply delicious, and reasonably priced food. The restaurant’s living architecture features two LiveWall®green walls that enable diners to enjoy eating “outside” even on days when the weather makes Brome’s outdoor patio less than hospitable.
“Green walls, also called living walls, are structural systems that cover walls with growing plants. Attached to an existing wall or freestanding, erected indoors or outdoors, green walls transform unadorned walls into vertical gardens,” said Dave MacKenzie, president of Hortech, Inc. (Spring Lake, Mich.) and LiveWall, its eco-friendly green wall subsidiary. “They make interior spaces more appealing and relaxing and improve indoor air quality.”
“We are all about sustainability, green living, wholesome food, and self-awareness about the environmental impact of our choices,” said Sam Abbas, founder, Brome Burgers & Shakes. “The green walls took a surface that would have otherwise just been painted or wallpapered and brought it to life.”
Completed in June 2015, the Brome Burgers & Shakes green wall installation totals 309 square feet, divided in two sections each 16 feet long by 9 feet 10 inches high. In total, the green walls have 168 LiveWall modular planters, which contain inserts planted with a mix of six different tropical plants that thrive indoors.
Bell’s Landscape Services, Inc. (Wixom, Mich.), which has provided commercial and residential landscape construction and maintenance for more than 38 years, recommended, sold, installed, and maintains the LiveWall system. “We won a Gold Award for Creative Landscape – Green Initiatives from the Michigan Green Industry Association for this project,” said Mike Bell, chief executive officer.
Brome Burgers & Shakes is in a corner building that was constructed as a retail store in the mid-1900s. An adaptive re-use design developed by the Hallarsan Group (Detroit, Mich.) renovated the long vacant 3,700-square-foot space and created a modern, open, light-filled restaurant. The sustainable design preserved the cedar trusses of the original 15-foot-high ceilings. During construction, the original concrete floors were revealed and refurbished. In addition to the featured green walls, the indoor plantscaping includes a front-window planter. Its greenery is reflected in the glass top of the adjoining counter, which seats eight.
“Every decision we made about the space reflects our responsibility to the environment,” said Abbas. “We hope to inspire our customers, suppliers, competitors, and contractors to appreciate the values that inspire us and express them in the ways they live, do business, cultivate food, and enjoy it.
“Everyone’s response to our green walls has been so positive. We plan to integrate green wall systems into all our future locations.”
LiveWall® System Selected to Green up the Outside of the World’s Greenest Indoor Sports and Entertainment Arena
Golden 1 Center is the brand new home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. The Kings set out to build the world’s most sustainable indoor arena, establish new standards for energy efficiency and water conservation, and re-define how a downtown arena relates to its surroundings.
A Model of Sustainability
Designed by AECOM, Golden 1 Center is the world’s first LEED Platinum certified indoor sports venue. As fans approach the arena, they see living symbols of the Kings’ commitment to sustainability: seven green walls totaling 4,800 square feet. Featuring 5,400 plants, the green walls were constructed with the LiveWall® system from LiveWall, LLC, the green wall subsidiary of Hortech, Inc., Spring Lake, Mich.
“Unlike any other arena, the beautiful Golden 1 Center is the catalyst for the region, built on the foundation of the city’s ideals and values, a purposeful effort to think about our environment and resources, and profoundly impact the economy in Sacramento and beyond,” said Chris Granger, president of the Kings.
“The entire project is a model of sustainability. Our green walls are a prominent feature of the arena and represent the fulfillment of our vision.”
Extending Landscapes up Building Walls
“The inspired idea was to make the building look as if it rests on the green wall, grounding the arena on the landscape and extending the landscape from the plaza up to the walls of the arena itself,” said James Haig Streeter, landscape design lead, AECOM.
“As people come up to the arena, it appears to emerge from the landscape. They see vibrant bands of green that change, as different sections utilize different plants based on the varying patterns of sun and shade around the building.”
Living Wall System Specifications
Completed in September 2016, the seven sections of green wall total 4,800 square feet and include 2,700 LiveWall modular planters. They feature 18 different types of plants and 5,400 plants in total. All flowering plants bloom in shades of purple, the Kings’ signature color.
In evaluating green wall system options for the project, AECOM considered several critical success factors. “We wanted a proven, tried and true system with well-engineered components that could scale up,” said Haig Streeter.
“It was important for the green wall design to provide adequate soil depth and volume to protect the plants and keep the walls from drying out in the heat of summer.”
Installation of the Green Walls
The Sacramento office of BrightView, one of the nation’s leading landscape services companies, installed the green walls. The installation includes 2,700 LiveWall planter modules. They attach to a unique aluminum rail and mounting track system, which is affixed to the structural wall and secures the planters and integrated irrigation components.
Green Wall Plant Selection
Florasource Ltd. (San Clemente, Calif.), an independent horticulture supply company and LiveWall distributor, provided 5,400 plants in LiveWall’s planter inserts so that the plants would be hearty and ready for installation into the modular planters in September 2016. AECOM and Florasource selected 18 different types of plants. Many of the selected species will grow large enough to cover much of the green wall components.
To create an authentic vertical landscape, they chose plant species that are native to the area, or which have similar aesthetic qualities. To minimize supplemental irrigation requirements, all the plants are appropriate for the climate. Varied plant mixes for individual green wall sections account for differences in sun and shade around the arena.
LiveWall, LLC is pleased to announce the introduction of the Norb® (Nutri-Orb) light bulb specifically developed to grow plants indoors while saving energy and giving off a white appearance.
Lighting for indoor living walls must be white in appearance to the human eye, while providing the proper spectrum to support plant growth. It also must be adjustable to illuminate the wall surface evenly and should be energy efficient to support overall sustainability of the green wall installation. Norb® by LiveWall meets all of these indoor vertical garden lighting needs.
Our team trialed different light sources of varying intensities and spectrums over a 3 year period before identifying the ideal light source to support plant growth while conserving energy use.
We found that, in respect to the light source (bulb), the key considerations are proper light spectrum and light intensity. Plants tend to respond to blue and red wavelengths and in proportion that is not available from incandescent or typical office-type LED lights. We found that the LED grow lights available on the market primarily were composed of red and blue diodes and supported healthy plants. However, they cast a purple light which looks odd, unnatural and unattractive. Most LED grow light options were also difficult to find in fixtures that would allow for lighting of a vertical surface.
Light fixtures should be adjustable, for direction, and are typically located in front of the living wall and attached to or suspended from the ceiling. On tall green walls, lights may be placed at the bottom or sides of green wall structures. This creates light proximity to the plants and thereby provides sufficient light intensity across the entire wall surface. Often times, track lighting is used as it is contemporary, adjustable, comes with many fixture options, and is relatively inexpensive.
For this reason, LiveWall LLC developed the Norb® (Nutri-Orb) bulb, a specialized White-Light LED grow bulb that provides the right spectrum for growing plants. With Norb® bulbs, the plants can be healthy and “look right under white.” Norb® is warranted by LiveWall, LLC for 3 years. When running at the recommended 14 hours per day, we expect this light to last up to 7 years.
Thirty-Foot-High LiveWall® Installation Symbolizes and Inspires Commitment to Sustainability and Health
Students in the Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) culinary arts and allied health programs take their classes at the Bronson Healthy Living Campus. As they enter the Culinary/Allied Health Building, KVCC’s new green wall stands front and center as a living, thriving symbol of sustainability and healthy living. Measuring 30 feet high by 10 feet 8 inches wide, the 324-square-foot green wall was constructed with the LiveWall® system from LiveWall, LLC, the green wall subsidiary of Hortech, Inc., Spring Lake, Mich.
“The scope of the green wall, extending the full three-story height of the building, and its prominent position at the main entrance to the building serve to remind our students that they are preparing for careers focused on protecting and improving the health and well-being of our citizens and the sustainability of our communities,” said Mike Collins, executive vice president, enrollment and campus operations, Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC).
“The overall design goal for the Bronson Healthy Living Campus is to express and promote health, sustainable food, the environment and community,” said Rick Wordell, senior principal and design director, Eckert Wordell, part of the Arcadia Collaborative architecture team. “The green wall symbolizes this goal and represents the meaning and purpose of the Culinary/ Allied Health Building and the overall campus project.”
D & D Building, Inc., Wyoming, Mich., erected the structure of the green wall in September 2015. It features 30 eight-inch and 255 16-inch LiveWall planter modules attached to the unique aluminum rail and mounting track system, which is affixed to the outside wall to secure the planters and integrated irrigation components. Hortech grew 500 plants over the winter in the LiveWall planter inserts so that the plants would be hearty and ready for installation into the modular planters on the wall in May 2016.
Based on the east-northeast orientation and exposure of the wall, as well as the requirement of plants that can over-winter well, the horticultural experts at LiveWall suggested a mix of six different plants, including Blue Wonder Catmint, Purple Bergenia, two different varieties of Geraniums, and two different types of Coral Bells. The wall design creates distinct blocks of color with flowers that bloom at varied times during the growing season.
“The green wall plant selection and placement produce a vertical landscape that is more naturalistic than formal,” said Collins. “That is in keeping with the design goals for the campus and complements other sustainable landscape features on the campus.”
The KVCC green wall is visually appealing, inviting and inspiring. It is healthful and beneficial to the environment, too. For example, through the natural process of water evaporation from plant leaves, the green wall plants release water vapor that cools the air, helping naturally cool the Culinary/ Allied Health Building during the warmer spring and summer months.
About Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) was established in 1966 by nine local school districts. It is a comprehensive, fully accredited, public, two-year college with enrollment of about 13,000 students. KVCC offers certificate programs in more than 20 areas of study and associate degrees in 25 others. In addition to associate degree and certificate programs in business, health care, human and public service, technical and industrial occupations, the culinary arts and sustainable food systems, the college also provides a quality experience for students preparing to transfer to four-year institutions following graduation. KVCC has four campuses: Texas Township, Arcadia Commons, The Groves and the Bronson Healthy Living Campus.
LiveWall® Green Wall Enlivens the Atmosphere of the Sky Patio and Freshens up the Menu at Bobarino’s Restaurant
The pages of the calendar have turned to summer. It is time to get out and enjoy the outdoors, right here in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Where exactly? Out on the Sky Patio at The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Avenue NW. Easily accessible through Bobarino’s on the second floor, the Sky Patio features a double-sided green wall that surrounds guests with greenery and provides fresh ingredients for the food they enjoy.
According to Greg Gilmore, chief executive officer of the Gilmore Collection, addition of the green wall transformed the ambiance of the Sky Patio. The green wall adds natural beauty and dampens traffic sounds, making the patio more pleasant and relaxing.
“Our living wall on the Sky Patio is a vivid symbol of our commitment to sustainability and support of the local environments where our restaurants are located,” said Alice Jasper, director of sustainability, The Gilmore Collection. “It greens up the exterior and interior of the rooftop patio, contributing to the beautification of downtown and making the patio more inviting from the street below.”
Green Wall Construction
The green wall was constructed in August 2015 with the LiveWall® system from LiveWall, LLC, the green wall subsidiary of Hortech, Inc., Spring Lake, Mich. the double-sided green wall totals 608 square feet. The three exterior sections (48 inches in height) are attached to the outside of the fencing that surrounds the patio. Facing out to the street, these sections frame the Sky Patio on three sides with flowering annuals and perennials. There are five interior sections (45.5 inches in height), three on the inside of the perimeter fence, two on the back wall of the building. In addition to flowers, the interior sections include vegetables and herbs used in the kitchen.
Local Food Sourcing
“Local sourcing of ingredients is one of our main sustainable hospitality practices,” said Barbie Smith, The Gilmore Collection’s gardener. “With the green wall at the B.O.B. and the gardens at our other restaurants, we grow ingredients right near the kitchens where your food is prepared. You cannot get much more local than that.”
“The green wall is a vertical garden with a variety of edibles. What chef wouldn’t want a garden with fresh herbs and produce right in their restaurant?” said Mick Rickerd, chef at Bobarino’s. “We utilize the herbs in all our everyday dishes and the vegetables in daily features. Our mixology team incorporates fresh basil, mint, lemongrass and thyme into special summer cocktails.”
This year, in addition to the herbs, the green wall is growing varieties of kale, Swiss chard and rainbow carrots. Call 616-356-2000 to find out what is in season. Better yet, head over to The B.O.B. to enjoy the greenery, colorful flowers, and menu items created using organically grown, sustainable produce that is so fresh it is grown right near your table.
On “Meatless Mondays,” try a vegetarian special prepared with fresh ingredients from the living wall. This summer until September 9, 2016, enjoy 2 for 1 entrées during dinner hours Monday through Thursday. The B.O.B. also offers live music on the Sky Deck every Wednesday starting at 6:00 p.m.
The Gilmore Collection Restaurants
Locally owned and operated, The Gilmore Collection provides West Michigan with a variety of high quality restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment venues. Gilmore Collection Restaurants retain a unique bond with the communities where they are located through historic architecture, great hospitality, creative culinary expertise and locally sourced products. The Gilmore Collection has developed a reputation for delivering tremendous food, beverage, entertainment, atmosphere, and hospitality at each of its locations. The company also owns Gilmore Catering — a full-service on- and off-site catering company, and is in the process of building a 2,400-seat music venue annex of The B.O.B., which is scheduled to open early 2017. You can follow Gilmore on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. For more information, visit www.thegilmorecollection.com.
Muskegon, Mich.— Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts, Muskegon’s oldest business and Michigan Floral Association’s 2016 Florist of the Year, unveiled a new living wall system, which was installed and planted earlier this month.
The 8’ tall living wall was constructed with the LiveWall® system from LiveWall, LLC, the green wall subsidiary of Hortech, Inc., Spring Lake, Mich. The planted wall faces Vanderline Street where visitors entering the shop pass it on the route from the parking lot to the main entrance. Currently, the wall features a blend of pink and purple wave petunias.
In 2013, siblings Troy Wasserman and Angie Nelund purchased the business from their father, Dennis Wasserman, and took over as the fifth generation to run the flower shop. As the new owners of a business which has operated since 1880, they looked for ways to refresh the shop and add appeal for all ages.
“We look for things to supply that are unique or unusual. We want the experience for our customers and our neighbors to be fun,” said Troy Wasserman.
“LiveWall adds to this experience. It’s different and exciting. We consider it a focal point of our exterior.”
In addition to seeking out new, unusual, and hard-to-find gift items, the Wassermans renovated to modernize the building and make it more inviting to tourists and local residents. Renovations included a landscaped patio complete with porch swing, shaded seating areas, and the living wall.
“We envisioned a living wall to complement the addition of exterior black and white prints that highlight our rich history of quality and service in this community,” said Troy Wasserman.
“The site shows the different sides of our business which tie into the different sides of West Michigan. The gray stucco shows our industrial side, while the stone and woodwork show the craftsman side, and the living wall organically connects them.” he explained.
Dave MacKenzie, president of Hortech and LiveWall, assisted Wasserman’s in planning the green wall installation for the flower shop. Troy Wasserman approached MacKenzie after disappointment in performance of an alternate living wall system, which did not sustain the plants as expected. Ultimately, Wasserman chose to dispose of the other system, and then invested in the locally manufactured and grown LiveWall system for its ease of planting and design.
“We discussed various plant options and chose the petunias to start,” said MacKenzie. “They perform well in hot summer heat and are very colorful. As the seasons change, we will swap plants for a fresh look.”
“We may change the plants up to 3 times this summer,” said Troy Wasserman. “We want people to be surprised and awed by the green wall – whether it is their first or hundredth time seeing it.”
The Wassermans are also considering other ways to use living walls in their business. In the future, they may offer planted walls on wheels as scenery for weddings. These products, called LiveScreens, provide a rentable floral display that can be transported to and from venues for instant, beautiful backdrops.
Wasserman’s Flower and Gift Shop is one of the first businesses encountered traveling southwest on Lakeshore Drive. The owners are very passionate about their community, and excited to bring more people to the neighborhood.
“We want this to be a place where tourists and people living in the community stop in to enjoy the beautiful view of Muskegon Lake. We hope for more people to just drop by and do a little work on their lap top under an umbrella or read a book on the swing of our patio,” he added.
Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts also has seven upcoming Tuesday patio nights, which have free music, great atmosphere and good food. Guests may bring their own beverages or purchase Tex-Mex and BBQ from Bone Ends or select Ice Box brand ice creams and specialty sodas from Wasserman’s.
Food Truck Tuesdays are held from 4PM to 8:30 PM on July 5, 19, 26 and August 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 1595 Lakeshore Drive, Muskegon, Mich.
About Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts
Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts has proudly been serving the Muskegon area since 1880. Wasserman’s is Muskegon’s oldest family owned business, and the oldest business in Muskegon. Five generations have taken care of Muskegon’s floral needs for 136 years through dedication to customer satisfaction and outstanding service. The shop offers an enormous selection of the freshest and highest quality cut flowers, a very large assortment of beautiful roses, excellent blooming plants, foliage plants and planters. Tropical flowers are shipped direct from Hawaii and are always available. Fifth generation owners and managers Angie and Troy Wasserman were named young florists of the year by the Michigan Floral Association and were recognized by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce recognized as Agents of Change and as finalists for this year’s Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneurs of Excellence. Wasserman’s also received The Celebrated Service award from Jack Loeks Theaters and is featured before every single movie played at The Cinema Carousel and the Plaza Theaters in Muskegon.
About LiveWall® Designed with a healthy regard for plants, LiveWall® is the patented living wall system that achieves simplicity and sustainability in harmony with nature. LiveWall is the result of four years of R&D by the professionals who created LiveRoof®, the superior green roof system. LiveWall green wall solutions are engineered with horticultural and structural features specific for indoor and outdoor environments. LiveWall supports plants as nature intended — roots growing down, stems and leaves growing up. With unsurpassed versatility to grow a diversity of plant types, LiveWall transforms ordinary walls into inspiring, thriving vertical landscapes that are simple to install and easy to maintain. For more information, call 877-554-4065.
Grand Rapids, Mich.— May 23, 2016 — When patients arrive at the Spectrum Health Medical Group Heart and Vascular Center on Bradford Street N.E. in Grand Rapids, Mich., they are welcomed by a living, thriving symbol of heart health. The Center’s green wall features a distinctive design of three heart shapes expressed in dark red foliage within a background of green plants.
For the Center’s clinical and support staff, as well as the patients, the green wall offers an unexpected extra. It was designed and installed as a freestanding, two-sided structure. The side facing the building is a vertical garden with a variety of vegetables and herbs.
“As a growing, changing emblem of healthy hearts, the heart planted wall invites patients, their families and our staff into the Center,” said Sarah Chartier, sustainability program manager, Spectrum Health. “The vertical herb and vegetable wall invites them to think about healthy eating and the sources of our food.”
Measuring 5’4” high by 20’ long, the green wall was constructed in June 2015 with the LiveWall® system from LiveWall, LLC, the green wall subsidiary of Hortech, Inc., Spring Lake, Mich. The planted heart side faces out towards the parking area and features perennials, with Heucheras (Coral Bell) forming the three red hearts. The vertical edibles side grows a variety of vegetables (including tomatoes, green peppers, Swiss chard, kale, and leeks) and herbs (such as oregano, basil, rosemary, and mint.)
The decision to install the green wall came out of broader conversations about sustainability, local sourcing of food, and promoting healthy eating habits. Spectrum Health has two community gardens, one at its South Pavilion facility and the other at the Spectrum Health Continuing Care Center. “In the area at the entrance to the Center, there was limited space for additional landscaping,” said Bruce De Vrou, project manager, ground services, Spectrum Health Hospitals. “As a vertical landscape feature, a green wall was more practical than a garden.”
Dave MacKenzie, president of Hortech and LiveWall, assisted Spectrum Health in planning the green wall installation for the Center. MacKenzie suggested a two-sided, freestanding wall. The idea for the heart design was the inspiration of Kathleen Nickerson, R.N., charge nurse, clinical team, cardiovascular medicine, Spectrum Health Medical Group.
“In 2013, I learned from the LiveWall ArtPrize installation, ‘Back to Eden,’ that a planted wall can be an art piece,” she said. “I wanted our green wall to have a heart — a design that would convey a living, healthy heart.”
“The three-heart design takes advantage of the length of the wall,” explained MacKenzie. “The hearts are visible all year from the parking lot and sidewalk leading up to the Center, even in winter when the plants are dormant.”
Clinical and administrative staff enjoy the green wall in summer. They sit outside during work breaks and at lunchtime at picnic tables and benches placed on the lawn near the wall. They also pick vegetables and herbs to take home.
“The response from everyone has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Chartier. “We have also experienced an unanticipated benefit. The area around the green wall provides a gathering place where staff from different departments meet, interact, and connect.”
“The LiveWall is bigger and better than what I thought we could achieve with an ordinary garden,” said Nickerson. “I love to go out to our garden wall. I get outside, feel the breeze, see the plants. It is a brief respite in my busy day,” said Nickerson. “And I can pick a tomato to put in my salad for lunch. There is nothing more beautiful than a sun-ripened tomato on the vine.”
Greenroofs.com selected Spectrum Health Heart and Vascular Center’s living wall for their project of the week on May 23, 2016.
About Spectrum Health Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, ambulatory and service sites; more than 3,100 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,200 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan with about 654,000 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 23,400 employees. The organization provided $283 million in community benefit during its 2015 fiscal year. Spectrum Health is the only health system in Michigan to be named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems® by Truven Health Analytics for 2015.
The plants also help to make diner experience more enjoyable by naturally cooling the Skydeck on hot days and providing a peaceful and relaxing escape from the busy streets below.
Does your restaurant have an outdoor space needing an upgrade? Consider transforming patios, decks or beer gardens with living plants for better diner experience, increased revenues, and even reduced food costs. Learn more about growing edibles in green walls: Vertical Gardens.