Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)

Green Wall Stands Out

green wall

The green wall on the front of the Culinary and Allied Health building demonstrates KVCC’s commitment to sustainability in a seamless and aesthetically pleasing way.

Green walls transform ordinary wall surfaces into vertical gardens. That transformation from commonplace wall into vertical landscape adds a living element to a building. Green walls are visually appealing, inviting and inspiring, and beneficial to the environment. For example, green wall plants release water vapor that cools the air, helping naturally cool the buildings on which they are installed.

Many green wall installations are still retrofits on existing buildings. However, it has become increasingly common for new construction to be designed from the start with a green wall as an integral architectural feature of a building.

This was the case with the green wall on the front, east-facing façade of the Culinary and Allied Health Building on the Bronson Healthy Living Campus of Kalamazoo Community College (KVCC) in Michigan. “The green wall is not an appendage to the building but an essential element,” says Mike Collins, executive vice president, enrollment and campus operations, KVCC.

The building was designed with a green wall that stands out as a signature statement of commitment to sustainability while fitting seamlessly into the building and its surrounding landscape. Set within a two-foot-deep niche designed into the façade as a recessed frame, the green wall is surrounded by windows on three sides. The windows outline the green wall with light. Their green and blue glass colors symbolize earth and sky to express the building’s design theme.

The 324-square-foot green wall extends the three-story height of the building. Constructed with the LiveWall system from LiveWall, LLC (Spring Lake, MI), the KVCC installation features 30 8-inch and 255 16-inch LiveWall planter modules. The modular LiveWall system was selected because it is engineered with consideration to both the structural and horticultural elements of a green wall.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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