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The new Monroe County Parking Garage in Bloomington, Ind. features a unique LiveWall® installation. LiveWall, the green industry’s most sustainable, durable and low-maintenance living wall system, fills five of the parking structure’s window openings with a variety of plants that bloom in shades of yellow, red, pink, purple, and green.
“The idea was to break up the otherwise stark exterior of the six-story parking garage with an interesting and visually appealing element, achieved by incorporating some green design,” said Stephen Andoh, AIA, LEED AP, project manager, Axis Architecture + Interiors, the project architect.
“Many older buildings in the area have second and third story window boxes planted with flowers,” said Julie Thomas, Monroe County commissioner. “Installing LiveWall put window boxes into the windows of the parking garage. The green wall, with a total of 180 plants in a variety of seven annuals, is a beautiful, lively addition to the garage “LiveWall was a good choice for an outside green wall exposed to the elements. Its components are strong and durable,” said Joel Fleming, project manager, Hagerman Construction Corporation, the project’s general contractor.
“LiveWall’s structural design lent itself to a secure installation within the garage windows in a way that allows for easy access from behind the green wall on the inside the garage,” said Logan Messmer, project engineer, ProCLAD, Inc., a building envelop contractor selected to install the parking garage green wall.
The window openings in the parking garage measure 8 feet long by 6 feet tall. ProCLAD designed and installed a framework within the window openings with 4-inch by 4-inch by ¼-inch tube steel. They bolted the LiveWall system’s horizontal aluminum rails to the tube steel frames. Each of the five sections of green wall has six rows of LiveWall modular planter boxes, which slide into the rails.
LiveWall Installation Creates a Living Wall that Introduces Visitors to Applied Imaging’s Values and Culture.
Applied Imaging (Grand Rapids, Mich.) installed a 198-square-foot LiveWall® Living Wall as the main design element in the lobby of its new corporate headquarters at 5555 Glenwood Hills Parkway Southeast in Grand Rapids. Applied Imaging is the Midwest’s premier, independently owned provider of document imaging technology and managed IT and network services. LiveWall is the developer and supplier of the green industry’s most sustainable, durable and low-maintenance living wall system.
“The green wall makes our lobby more welcoming and more interesting,” said Laura Katsul, office manager, Applied Imaging. “It brings our values to life and invites conversation about who we are as a company, how we work with each other, and how we do business with our customers.”
When customers visit Applied Imaging, they are looking for solutions — solutions for digitally managing documents and printing, solutions for managing IT systems and networks. As they enter the company’s offices, what they see first is a lively introduction to the company’s values and corporate culture: a living wall that displays the company’s essential “chemical” elements of success. The plants are interspersed with colorful signs displaying the elements for success (for example, “Kn” for knowledge, “In” for integrity, “Hm” for humility). A printed mural near the living wall presents and defines all the elements.
The 198-square-foot living wall is 9 feet tall and 22 feet long. In total, it includes 98 LiveWall modular planters, which contain inserts that hold the growing medium and a mix of six different tropical plants, chosen for their ability to thrive indoors. The integrated irrigation components use drip stake assemblies, which inject water into the growing medium. The light fixtures above the green wall use LiveWall Norb® (Nutri-Orb) bulbs, a specialized white-light LED grow bulb that provides the light spectrum and light nutrition plants need while giving off a white light like regular indoor lighting.
“Views of light and living plants meet our innate need to connect with nature. They contribute to reduced stress and increased productivity,” said Dave MacKenzie, president of LiveWall. “In addition, living walls, also known as green walls, make interior spaces more appealing and relaxing and improve indoor air quality.”
“Originally, the wall behind the reception desk at Applied Imaging was going to be a display of monitors, a typical technology display for a tech company,” said Jan Beerthuis, site superintendent, Rockford Construction (Grand Rapids, Mich.), the construction and real estate development company that renovated the building on Glenwood Hills Parkway for Applied Imaging. “John Lowery, Applied Imaging’s president, is an innovative business leader. He wanted to go with a green feature, and the living wall turned out to be very distinctive.”
Founded in 1987, Applied Imaging is a premier independently owned and managed provider of Document Imaging Technology and Managed IT and Network Services. We help businesses be more efficient in how they communicate and manage information flow. In addition to providing the latest hardware and software, our mission is to offer custom Managed Print Services (MPS), Document Management Services, and Managed IT and Network Services to help businesses of all sizes improve profitability, increase productivity, lower costs, and sharpen their competitive edge. For more information, visit www.appliedimaging.com.
By Growing Fresh Vegetables and Herbs on LiveWall Green Walls, Phipps Educates Visitors and Inspires Vertical Gardening for Urban Horticulture
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has created a display of LiveWall®green walls to showcase vertical gardening as an option for growing local produce in urban areas. Founded in 1893, Phipps has been Pittsburgh’s green oasis for more than 120 years. The conservatory is a green leader among public gardens — widely recognized for its leadership and commitment to sustainability including environmental conservation, renewable energy, green building design, and healthy living. LiveWall, LLC is the leading designer of practical and sustainable living wall system solutions for vertical gardening.
“Limited space is a significant challenge for urban gardening,” said Michael Bechtel, display horticulturist, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. “With our green walls, we have the opportunity to study, evaluate and learn about growing edibles on space-efficient vertical gardens. This forward-thinking approach enables Phipps to offer education and assistance to homeowners, schools and community organizations on planning, installing and maintaining their own green walls so that they can benefit from fresh produce.”
“Green walls, also known as living walls, are structural and horticultural systems that attach to existing walls and transform them into vertical gardens,” said Dave MacKenzie, president of LiveWall. “Growing vegetables and herbs on its green wall display is an innovative way for Phipps to demonstrate how families and community groups can grow their own fresh, healthy produce even if they do not have areas for large garden plots.”
Phipps offers a variety of adult and youth programs, classes, and events to educate visitors about the benefits of greener gardening, raised-bed vegetable gardening techniques, local food production, and healthy eating. In addition, Phipps sponsors Homegrown, its outreach program dedicated to increasing community access to fresh produce, promoting better food choices, and improving the overall health of families. Since 2013, the program has established more than 200 vegetable gardens in urban and underserved neighborhoods. The latest step in Phipps’ important outreach mission is the installation of the LiveWall Green Wall display of vertical gardening. In the spring, beets, carrots, collard greens, kale, and kohlrabi grow on the green walls. Summer plantings include basil, rosemary, thyme, celery root, and various peppers.
Starting in 2015, Phipps tested LiveWall Inspire Living Wall Panels alongside several other living wall systems on the south facing wall of its Production Greenhouse Facility. The standardized panels are 4-feet wide and 7-feet, four inches tall. Each has 24 molded plastic modular planter boxes. After completing initial testing, Phipps installed nine more Inspire standard panels.
According to Bechtel, LiveWall proved to be the system of choice because of its soil volume and depth for growing and sustaining plants on the sunny wall, its integrated irrigation components, and the strength and durability of its materials.
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.