LiveWall® Green Walls at Brome Burgers & Shakes in Dearborn, Michigan Express the Brome Brand, Bringing its Commitment to Sustainability to Life
Photos Courtesy of LiveWall® and Brome Burgers & Shakes
Attached to an existing wall or freestanding, erected indoors or outdoors, green walls transform unadorned walls into vertical gardens. Restaurants, hotels and resorts are finding that green walls can boost their brands and help build business.
“Indoor green walls make interior spaces more appealing and relaxing and improve indoor air quality,” said Dave MacKenzie, president of Hortech, Inc. (Spring Lake, Michigan) and LiveWall, its eco-friendly green wall subsidiary.
“As an element of design, they can serve as living representations of a commitment to sustainability.”
A special location
Brome Burgers & Shakes opened in 2015. Brome’s is winning a loyal following for their ethically sourced, creatively prepared, simply delicious, and reasonably priced food.
“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.
“We want everyone who visits our restaurant to experience the core values of our brand in every aspect of our operations.”
Brome’s commitment is evident in the restaurant’s location. Abbas chose to refurbish a corner building that was constructed as a retail store.
“Every decision we made about the project reflects our responsibility to the environment,” he said.
“We hope to inspire our customers, suppliers, contractors and competitors to appreciate the values that inspire us and express them in the ways they live, do business, cultivate food, and enjoy it.”
An adaptive re-use design developed by the Hallarsan Group (Detroit, Michigan) 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. The tables were custom fabricated out of reclaimed wood from dilapidated structures in Detroit, and much of the furniture was sourced locally.
The idea of using green walls as a focal point of the interior was developed during a design brainstorming session.
The green walls stand out
Completed in June 2015, the Brome Burgers & Shakes green wall installation is one of the most prominent design elements in the restaurant.
The green wall took a large, blank wall area that would have otherwise just been painted or wallpapered and brought it to life.
The installation totals 309 square feet, divided in two sections each 16 feet long by 9 feet 10 inches high. A mix of six different tropical plants, selected because they thrive indoors, grow on the wall.
The plant palette features Pothos, Epimedium, and Tradescantia Red.
In addition to the featured green walls, the interior includes a front window planter. Its greenery is reflected in the glass top of the adjoining counter, which has eight seats.
System selection, installation
Bell’s Landscape Services, Inc. (Wixom, Michigan), which has provided commercial and residential landscape construction and maintenance in Southeast Michigan for more than 38 years, recommended, sold, installed, and maintains the LiveWall green walls.
They won a Gold Award for Creative Landscape – Green Initiatives from the Michigan Green Industry Association for the project.
“We got into green wall installation and maintenance as a way to grow our business,” said Marcy Bell, president, Bell’s Landscape Services, Inc.
“I did our research on the market for living architecture and on various green wall systems. We decided to go with LiveWall. It is the most complete system, the best engineered and the most hospitable to plants.”
Bell’s introduced LiveWall to Abbas. He then did his own due diligence on alternative systems.
He agreed that LiveWall’s design and ease of maintenance made it a good choice.
Mike Bell, chief executive officer, Bell’s Landscape Services, commented that the system is well designed and assembles part by part in a logical fashion following the installation process explained in the installation guide and schematics.
The first step is installation of the vertical strips that mount to the building wall and to which the other components are attached. The vertical strips also establish the necessary air space between the wall and the system.
Next, horizontal aluminum rails with conduits for the tubes bringing water to the integrated irrigation system, are mounted to the vertical strips.
For indoor installations, LiveWall uses drip stake assemblies, which inject water into the growing medium. Molded plastic modular planter boxes fit into place on the rails.
Finally, separate liner inserts which have been pre-planted slide into the planter boxes.
“Maintenance is straight forward,” said Mike Bell.
“Every six weeks, we clean out any die-back, trim the plants (especially the ones in the lower rows of the modular planters), check soil moisture, and inspect and adjust irrigation.”
Results and reactions
“The green walls propel our brand forward,” said Abbas.
“They create an atmosphere in which it becomes more than serving and enjoying great burgers and shakes but also about making a positive impact on everyone’s lives.”
People in Michigan appreciate green spaces that bring nature to them. When people step into Brome Burgers & Shakes they receive a “green” welcome even on cold, grey days.
“We see the positive response every day,” said Abbas.
“Customers at tables beneath the green walls taking selfies, posting photos on Facebook, Snapchatting with friends as they enjoy their food.
The green walls are a focal point.”
Abbas has plans to expand, growing Brome Burgers & Shakes to ten locations in Michigan and then on to Chicago.
“We plan to integrate green wall systems into all our future locations.”
~ Amber Poncé and David Aquilina
Publisher’s Note: The Brome Burgers & Shakes Green Walls are featured as Greenroofs.com’s Project of the Week for July 10, 2017. See its Project Profile in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.
Amber Poncé is the Business Development Manager for LiveRoof Global, LLC. Since 2006, Amber Ponce has helped to expand the LiveRoof Global network of professional horticulturists and growers to an industry leading supplier of green roof systems. In her role as business development manager, she has trained dozens of professionals in technical aspects of green roofing. She has actively participated in the development of industry testing standards and building codes, and currently sits on the policy and growing media committees of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. She is an accredited Green Roof Professional with seven years hands on experience in green roofing – including experience with growing media formulation, plant selection and production, shipping logistics, installation and maintenance. Amber has helped participate in the development of standards related to green roofing and worked with a team of engineers to coordinate the first ever full-scale wind uplift test on green roofs.
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.
Contact Amber Poncé:
David Aquilina, Strategic Storyteller (www.linkedin.com/in/davidaquilina), is a corporate communications consultant and freelance writer. David makes his home up on the edge of the northern prairie in Minneapolis, Minnesota.