Planted green walls offer a variety of benefits. They create appealing year-round beauty with seasonal colors, flowers and scents. In indoor applications, living walls purify the air and improve air quality by reducing airborne dust and particulates. They also absorb sound to reduce indoor noise. Through the natural process of evapotranspiration, green wall plants release water vapor that cools indoor air in summer and brings healthful moisture to dry, heated spaces in winter. They also provide social benefits — experiences of tranquility, respite and inspiration.
“Retailers also have bottom-line reasons for installing green walls. The unique effect of natural vegetation has been shown to draw shoppers into stores,” said Dave MacKenzie, the horticulturalist who invented LiveWall. “According to Terrapin Bright Green, LLC, an environmental consulting and planning firm, there is research evidence that consumers buy more in stores with carefully situated vegetation.”
The installation of a green wall in a Peet’s Coffee & Tea in San Diego illustrates how retailers are paying attention to the benefits of green architecture. The LiveWall® Green Wall System was used to construct a living wall, completed in February 2016, at a new Peet’s outlet at the Westfield Plaza Bonita Mall, located in San Diego’s South Bay area 15 minutes south of downtown.
“Most customers enter the store through the patio from the parking lot. As they come into the store, the green wall is an unexpected, pleasant surprise,” said Russell E. Myers, AIA, REM Architects, Inc., the architecture firm that designed the store. “Inside, it establishes a buffer between the busy service area and the seating areas.”
LiveWall greens up two sections of the interior walls in the 1,700-square-foot store. The large section is 12 feet wide by 5.5 feet high. The smaller section is 6.5 feet wide by 5.5 feet high. After getting their coffee or tea, customers can relax with a natural view of tropical plants selected for variety in variegation, shades of green, colors (including yellow and red tones), texture, and shape.
“A Peet’s in San Francisco added a green wall as an interior décor element. We thought a green wall would be a beautiful feature in our new store at Plaza Bonita,” said Steve Mora, president, MCS Consolidated Group, Inc., a Peet’s licensed partner with four stores. “It’s just like living art on the wall.”