|Founded in 1908 by the respected Bay Area educator John Sheehan Drew, the Drew School has grown from a one student "coaching school" to a fully accredited co-educational college preparatory school enrolling 250 students in grades 9 through 12. The new $15 million Drew School Sam Cuddleback III Assembly Wing, performing arts space, and classroom building is among the first high school buildings in the Bay Area to attain LEED Gold Certification? for New Construction and for School Pilot. Green features of the new assembly wing include an external 1,720 sf living wall/vertical garden by Patrick Blanc, a 2,630 sf living roof by Rana Creek, recycled and sustainable USGBC-certified materials, and environmental sensors.|
The plan started in 2007 when school leaders proposed a plan to accommodate student growth: demolish a three-unit 1891 Victorian residential complex on Broderick Street, and build the 14,500-square-foot addition with a three-story assembly and classroom wing to complement its campus at the corner of California and Broderick streets, where Drew has been located for almost a century. The school hoped the new wing would open in fall 2008, yet due to legal challenges, it finally had its soft opening in April, 2011.
|Architects Bonnie Fisher and Boris Dramov of San Francisco's Roma Design Group, designers of the new wing, brought Patrick Blanc in as part of the design team after seeing many of his projects in Paris. The duo considered Blanc "as a natural for a building intended to embody sustainability and green design.|
"This being a highly urban site, there's not a lot of space in which to show those values at work," Fisher said. "Patrick creates mind-blowing, complex landscapes - we thought, 'how perfect would that be?' It can contribute to the neighborhood and also help students develop a deeper understanding of environmental systems," SFGate, 2009.
Covering the streetside wall of the new Sam Cuddleback III Assembly Wing, the vertical garden is made up of about 4,579 native Californian plants and approximately 64 of the 105 species are from the San Francisco Bay area. The vertical garden and greenroof combined cover about 30% of the building surfaces, or approximately 4,350 sf of plants, which is double the size of the original parcel of land from the 1800's. The plants were arranged from sun loving down to shade loving understory species; just a few include flannelbush, Red buckwheat, Douglas iris, blue-eyed grass, and maidenhair fern. The hydroponic system delivers water supplemented with a low concentration of nutrients to the roots automatically from the top, four to five times a day. Students study the plants on the wall as a living lab for many subjects such as botany, chemistry, and physics; one example was studying native plant uses by American Indians.
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|Drew School is located at 2901 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94115; 415.409.3739; vist their website here. See Patrick Blanc's presentation to the Drew School of February, 2011 from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World? Virtual Summit 2011, which includes a half hour exclusive interview with Linda Velazquez of Greenroofs.com - ?The Vertical Garden ? from Nature to Cities: An Interview with Patrick Blanc.?|
Read the very interesting articles of April, 2011 Off the Wall by Joanne Furio in San Francisco Magazine; Taking green higher by Joe Easton and Ron Sullivan in the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate.com March 6, 2011; and Botanist's green walls take plants to new level by John King of October 27, 2009 in SFGate. Watch the Drew School's Vertical Garden webpage for a time-lapse construction video and more newslinks. See the profile from Patrick Blanc's website . For more information about the Drew School Sam Cuddleback Assembly Wing Vertical Garden, contact Bonnie Fisher at: email@example.com and Patrick Blanc at: www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com.
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