Green wall inspires Mich. college's commitment to sustainability, 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, according to a press release.
Measuring 30 feet high by 10 feet 8 inches wide, the 324-square-foot green wall was constructed with the LiveWall system from LiveWall.
“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 of 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 of Wyoming, Mich., erected the structure of the green wall in September 2015. It features 30 8-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. The company grew 500 plants over the winter in planter inserts so 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.
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,” Collins said. “That is in keeping with the design goals for the campus and complements other sustainable landscape features on the campus.”
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