Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening with LiveWall by Amber Ponce and David Aquilina

November 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

Outdoor LiveWall Installation Creates a Vertical Garden Growing Fresh Vegetables and Herbs to Promote Living Walls for Urban Horticulture

Photos Courtesy of Phipps and LiveWall®

Founded in 1893, the LEED Silver (2006) Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a local landmark in Pittsburgh, Pa. and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Phipps has been Pittsburgh’s green oasis for more than 120 years. Nearly half a million people visit annually. Historically, Phipps has excelled at showcasing the beauty of plants.

Today, the conservatory is a green leader among public gardens — recognized for its leadership and commitment to sustainability including environmental conservation, renewable energy, green building design, and healthy living. Their latest innovation in green leadership is the installation of LiveWall Green Walls.

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

Phipps offers a variety of adult and youth programs, classes and events to educate guests about the benefits of sustainable gardening, raised-bed vegetable gardening, local food production, and healthy eating. In addition, Phipps sponsors Homegrown, an 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.

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

The Phipps Production Greenhouse before greening. Photo © Lofty Views.

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

However, space limitations for garden plots can be a challenge for urban gardening. That is why Richard V. Piacentini, executive director, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, encouraged the organization to explore green walls as a space-saving alternative.

“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 on vertical gardens if they do not have room for large garden plots,” said Dave MacKenzie, president of LiveWall.

Testing Green Wall Options

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

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. Standardized Inspire panels are 4-feet wide and 7-feet, four inches tall. Each has 24 molded plastic modular planter boxes.

“The other options we evaluated all had shortcomings,” said Michael Bechtel, display horticulturist, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

“With just small pockets of growing medium, some of the other green walls dried out too fast on the sunny, south-facing wall. Others have plastic parts that did not withstand the hot summer sun and started to crack and snap off. In addition, with all the other green walls we tested, we had to water the plants by hand.”

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

According to Bechtel, LiveWall Inspire proved to be the system of choice because of its soil volume and depth for growing and sustaining plants on the sun-drenched wall, the strength and durability of its materials and components, and its integrated spray irrigation.

“It is most professional and well-designed system. The others just did not seem like they could hold up and scale up to the size of the vertical garden we wanted across the length of the Production Greenhouse Facility,” said Bechtel. “With its car bumper grade recycled plastic, the LiveWall planter modules are strong and durable.”

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

Inspire Living Wall Panels are pre-assembled green wall frames. They include vertical furring tracks that attach to the building wall and establish air space between the wall and the panels for ventilation. Rows of aluminum rails, which serve as conduits bringing water to each planter box, run horizontally across the tracks.

LiveWall molded plastic modular planter boxes then fit into place and are fastened onto the rails. Separate liner inserts, plant containers with growing medium and pre-grown plants, drop into the planter boxes. For outdoor installations, the system uses precisely metered spray nozzles for irrigation to water plants much like natural rain.

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

After completing initial testing in 2015, Phipps installed nine more Inspire standard panels in 2016. In the spring, beets, carrots, collard greens, kale, and kohlrabi grow in the vertical garden. Summer plantings include basil, rosemary, thyme, celery root, and various peppers.

Lessons Learned

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

Bechtel advises giving careful consideration to the growing medium selected for vertical gardening on living walls. In 2016, he experimented with a potting soil for the growing medium that was too lumpy and porous. Water flowed through too quickly. Switching to a different growing medium with better water retention qualities was a substantial improvement.

He and his colleagues have also experimented with various organic fertilizers. They found a slow-release granular product, which applied every two to three weeks during the growing season yields impressive growth.

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

Bechtel also has a supply of extra inserts for the LiveWall modules. He uses them to start plants in the greenhouse. Being able to easily swap the inserts in and out of the planter boxes on the wall is especially useful for transitioning from spring to summer plants as well as for preparing the living wall for winter.

The Fruits of the Garden

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

“With our green walls, we have the opportunity to study, evaluate and learn about growing edibles on space-efficient vertical gardens, said Bechtel.

“It is a forward-thinking approach that enables us 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.”

A visit to Phipps to see the green walls can be tasty as well as inspiring. Guests can see vegetables and herbs growing organically on the green walls and then taste them in delicious dishes served at Café Phipps, named by Food & Wine magazine as a “Best Museum Restaurant.”

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

The living walls with a view towards the Center for Sustainable Living. Photo by Michael Tessler.

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

  ~ Amber Poncé and David Aquilina

Publisher’s Note: The Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls are featured as Greenroofs.com’s Project of the Week for November 20, 2017.  See its Project Profile in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Amber Poncé

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

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:
616.935.1964
AmberP@LiveRoof.com

David Aquilina

Phipps Conservatory Showcases Vertical Gardening on Display with LiveWall

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.

Contact David Aquilina:
612.716.5628;
davida@strategicstoryteller.com
StrategicStoryteller.com

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week for November 20, 2017: Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

November 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
290 sf greenwalls

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: November 20, 2017

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Mini Description & Details

Founded in 1893, the LEED Silver (2006) Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been Pittsburgh’s green oasis for more than 120 years. The Conservatory is a green leader among public gardens – recognized for its commitment to sustainability including environmental conservation, renewable energy, green building design, and healthy living. Built in 2006, Phipps Conservatory’s 36,000-square-foot Production Greenhouse earned LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance in 2012, becoming the first greenhouse in the world to achieve this certification.

In 2016 Phipps’ latest step forward in its outreach mission was the installation of green walls to demonstrate how families and community groups can grow their own fresh, healthy produce even where garden space is limited. Designed and installed by Michael Bechtel, the Display Horticulturist at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, they have the opportunity to study, evaluate, and learn about growing edibles on space-efficient vertical gardens.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

The Phipps Production Greenhouse before greening. Photo © Lofty Views.

After completing testing with several living wall systems on the south facing wall of its Production Greenhouse Facility, Phipps now boasts 10 LiveWall Inspire standard panels with a total of 240 LiveWall planter modules. In the spring, beets, carrots, collard greens, kale, and kohlrabi grow in the vertical garden. Summer plantings include basil, rosemary, thyme, celery root, and various peppers.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

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Phipps Conservatory puts vertical food gardening on display with its living walls, and growing fresh produce on the outdoor vertical garden both educates and inspires visitors. And, a visit to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to see the green walls can be tasty as well as inspiring. Guests can see vegetables and herbs growing organically on the green walls and then taste them in delicious dishes served at Café Phipps, named by Food & Wine magazine as a “Best Museum Restaurant.”

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

The living walls with a view towards the Center for Sustainable Living. Photo by Michael Tessler.

Year: 2016
Owner: 
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Location:
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Building Type:
Park
Type:
Living Wall
System:
Single Source Provider
Size:
290 sq.ft.
Slope:
100%
Access:
Accessible, Open to Public

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Greenwall System: LiveWall
Greenwall Design & Installation: Michael Bechtel, Display Horticulturist, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Plants: Horticulture Department, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

All the Info:

View the Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in
The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week 11/20/17 video photo credits: Courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, including © Lofty Views and © Michael Tessler; LiveWall; and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens 132 By Daderot, Own work, 2009, public domain and Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Phipps Conservatory, 2015-10-10, 02 By Cbaile19, Own work, 2015 Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, both via Wikimedia Commons.

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Round #2 is open!  Register now for the 50% off discounted rate of only $25 and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Phipps Conservatory Production Greenhouse Living Walls

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week for November 6, 2017: LABAU (Bioclimatic Architecture and Urban Agriculture Laboratory)

November 6, 2017 at 8:17 am

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

LABAU (Bioclimatic Architecture and Urban Agriculture Laboratory)
Madrid, Spain
1,916 sf greenwalls, plus multiple green infrastructure elements

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: November 6, 2017

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Mini Description & Details

In collaboration with various research departments at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (known as UPM or Technical University of Madrid), the Laboratory of Bioclimatic and Urban Architecture, or LABAU, was recently inaugurated after refurbishing the Maintenance Building of the School of Agronomy Engineering.

With architecture by Joaquín Sicilia of Sicilia & Asociados Arquitectura (also the Team Director) and Dr. Isabel de Felipe of PRONATUR as Research Team Coordinator, the aim of the project has been to create a meeting point within the university campus, and a hands-on space dedicated to bioclimatic and urban agriculture research. Housed within, researchers and students from the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre (itdUPM) can easily manipulate their innovative greenwall structure as necessary, adding different modules and bioclimatic systems for data collection and analysis of the green facade.

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Primary research focuses on the analysis of air contamination programs, heat sources for experimental crops, wastewater recycling, rainwater use, photovoltaic panels, recycling organic products, and the incorporation of biodiversity research. Developed based on a modular steel sub-structure attached to the building, these elements set up the base framework for the cover-facade, made of stylishly perforated galvanized steel plates of different shapes, dimensions, and colors.

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

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Currently, three types of modular greenwall systems are used, planted with a wide variety of perennials, herbs, and vegetables. As such, the building envelope is, in itself, a laboratory, conceived as an active system open to multiple configurations and adaptations for the advances that technology related to green infrastructure may offer. The LABAU has become an icon for technological innovation through nature, and the new revitalized vegetated facade has also become a popular public gathering space inside the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid campus.

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Year: 2016
Owner:
ITD, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ESTIA-UPM)
Location:
Madrid, Spain
Building Type:
Educational
Type:
Living Wall, Test/Research
System:
Custom and Multiple Vendors
Size:
1916 sq.ft.
Slope:
100%
Access:
Accessible, Open to Public

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architecture and Team Director: Joaquín Sicilia, Sicilia & Asociados Arquitectura
Research Team Coordinator: Dr. Isabel de Felipe, PRONATUR
Collaborating Architect: Jose Maria Gonzalez, ARQUISENA
Technical Architect and Site Management: Miguel Gomez, ARQUISENA, and Sicilia & Asociados Arquitectura
Building Construction: NEGIO CONSTRUCTORA, S.A.
Perimeter Facades Construction: Arasaf, Incoten
Modular Greenwall Systems: Vertiarte, Paisaje Urbano, and Metro Huerto
Greenwall Installation: Vertiarte, Paisaje Urbano, and Metro Huerto with ITD Researchers
Irrigation: Biofiver

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

All the Info:

View the LABAU (Bioclimatic Architecture and Urban Agriculture Laboratory) to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in
The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the LABAU (Bioclimatic Architecture and Urban Agriculture Laboratory) Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week 11/06/17 video photo credits: Courtesy of Joaquín Sicilia, Sicilia & Asociados Arquitectura and itdUPM.

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Would you like one of your projects to be featured on Greenroofs.com? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Round #2 is open!  Register now for the 50% off discounted rate of only $25 and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017.

Greenroofs.com Project Week LABAU Bioclimatic Architecture Urban Agriculture Laboratory

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week for October 23, 2017: 38 Dolores

October 23, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

38 Dolores
San Francisco, CA, USA
15,700 sf greenroofs, 72 sf greenwall, plus multiple green infrastructure elements

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: October 23, 2017

Mini Description & Details

38 Dolores is a socially vibrant urban habitat at the apex of San Francisco’s most diverse neighborhoods, the Castro/Mission district. Designed by William McDonough + Partners, BAR Architects, and April Phillips Design Works Landscape Architecture, the former vacant auto showroom was transformed into a LEED Gold certified mixed-use building with SITES Pilot 2 Star Certification.

38 Dolores has approximately 84 luxury residential rental condos, a 30,000 square foot Whole Foods Market, and parking levels for residential and retail. Sustainable strategies include daylighting, alternative energy technologies, two greenroofs with habitat for the local endangered Mission Blue butterfly and the San Bruno elfin butterfly as well as for human well-being, edible and stormwater gardens, and much more.

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Designed by April Phillips Design Works, the 3rd level courtyard greenroof offers paved amenity spaces planted with drought tolerant ornamental species and an edible community garden with intensive planters. A Tournesol Siteworks VGM Greenwall offers an artistic focal point and provides a windbreak and comfortable microclimate at the main group seating area.  Learn more about the greenwall.

Edible fruit-producing trees set in custom metal tree collars allow extra depth for roots to extend into the intensive planting areas. Circular cutouts planted with a variety of sempervivum provide pops of color. The 4th level showcases a large semi-intensive American Hydrotech Garden Assembly greenroof planted with natives to attract endangered butterflies and pollinators with a lightweight soil depth of 4 to 12 inches. Both greenroofs utilize a sophisticated fertigation system and are served by a 16,000 gallon greywater and rainwater harvesting cistern.

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

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The landscape mitigates stormwater management both at the street level with rain gardens and at the roof levels with the greenroofs, and the edible garden encourages residents to connect with nature in the city and with one another. 38 Dolores is a thriving and sustainable example of embracing sophisticated design with dense and efficient housing for multicultural city living.

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Year: 2013
Owner: 
Prado Group
Location: 
San Francisco, CA, USA
Building Type: 
Multi-Use
Type: 
Extensive & Intensive
System: 
Other
Size: 
15700 sq.ft.
Slope: 
2%
Access: 
Accessible, Private

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Landscape Architect: APDW Landscape Architecture
Architect:
William McDonough + Partners
Architect:
BAR Architects
Structural Engineer:
Tipping Mar and Associates
Greenroof System:
Garden Roof Assembly, American Hydrotech
Landscape Contractor:
Valleycrest (Brightview)
Contractor:
Webcor
LEED Consultant:
Webcor Builders
Civil Engineer:
BKF Engineers
Irrigation:
Brookwater
Owner/Developer:
Prado Group
Greenwall System: VGM Greenwall, Tournesol Siteworks

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

All the Info:

View 38 Dolores to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in
The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the 38 Dolores Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week 10/23/17 video photo credits: Courtesy of Doug Dun/ BAR Architects; April Philips, FASLA, APDW Landscape Architecture; and 38 Dolores.

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Round #2 is open!  Register now for the 50% off discounted rate of only $25 and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017.

Greenroofs.com Project Week October 23 2017 38 Dolores San Francisco