Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 8/15/11
NBC Experience Store
New York, NY, USA
135 sf. Greenwall
Location: New York, NY, USA
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 135 sq.ft.
Access: Accessible, Open to Public
Project Description & Details
The NBC Experience Store at Rockefeller Center project was developed as a piece for NBC’s “Green is Universal” week 2010, resulting in a beautiful and lush indoor wall in the heart of New York City. A secondary green initiative included a temporary window display to educate the public on green farming with vertical living walls as well as to show the portability of the Mobile Edible Wall Unit (MEWU), used as a teaching tool in classrooms and as part of the Green Living Technologies International Food Factory.
The project received a lot of attention upon the introduction of the installation team – they were not only from the Bronx, they were also GLTi’s youngest certified installers in the world. As part of the GLTi educational curriculum, this Discovery High School team of interns is part of the degree track program getting paid to implement the skills they learned in the classroom. The interior greenwall utilizes the patented 24″x24″x4″ Green Living Wall Panels consisting of low light indoor plants. The grow lights use only 7W of electricity and the bulbs last over 50,000 hours, making the lighting unit a great low cost option.
Designers/Manufacturers of Record
Greenwall System: Green Living Technologies International (GLTi)
Plant Grower: Parker Plantscapes
Installation: Discovery High School Students
Discovery High School Teacher/Administrator: Steve Ritz
NBC’s Green is Universal program and Green Living Technologies International partnered to bring the beautiful green walls to the NBC Experience Store in 30 Rockefeller Plaza for Green Week 2010. You couldn’t have asked for greater exposure for public awareness – the NBC Experience Store at 30 Rock is located on the corner of 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue and is across from the TODAY show studio.
After speaking with George Irwin of GLTi and Discovery High School, NBC hoped to “communicate green and the environment right here in the store.” And they certainly did just that – NBC’s Experience Store “Window Farm” below was a temporary display during “Green is Universal” week 2010 which ran from November 14-21. The full length display windows had four individual MEWUs and were full of vegetable and herb plants all week long and all the produce was donated to four NYC schools for healthy lunches!
The permanent greenwall below is located up on the second floor and is visible from the first floor product display area of the NBC Experience Store.
I had the opportunity to see this lovely flowering greenwall last January, when Caroline Menetre, above, and I attended a GLT Certified Training in New York of about 100 people, including 30 students of whom several were from Discovery High School in the Bronx – the same team who had installed this greenwall – they were there to help the new student class (read her January 21, 2011 blog post GLT in NYC: A Weekend of Training, Education, & Fun).
George Irwin, CEO of GLTi and a former teacher himself, has been tirelessly promoting vertical living technologies to students across New York and has been working with educator Steve Ritz of Discovery High School and others to educate youth on the multiple benefits of sustainable crop production on greenroofs and greenwalls.
Led by George and classroom teacher Steve Ritz of Discovery High School, the student team installed the 135 sf modular greenwall on November 13, 2010 in just a few hours.
This was done by the GLTi certified trainer graduating class from the Spring of 2010 (in collaboration with Janice Goodman and Cityscape), and these young people had already installed a greenroof over the summer in the Hamptons!
“We are providing opportunities and changing lives.”~ George Irwin
Here are some South Bronx figures, according to Ritz: 25% are unemployed; 40% are living in poverty; and the median income is $20,000. Part Bronx activist and part youth advocate, teacher/administrator Steve Ritz’s students maintain a community garden and grow food in their classroom.
Steve has been central to encouraging healthier eating habits as part of incorporating the GLTi Mobile Edible Wall Units or MEWU into his curriculum plus actually empowering these students with the promise of green collar jobs. The students actually run a profitable, community-based farmer’s market – in his class he and the kids have grown enough food to feed 450+ people!
“The Bronx is poised and ready to export our talent and diversity to lead the green revolution in ways that help us heal ourselves in a fully sustainable manner.” ~ Steve Ritz
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. is a great supporter of the efforts of Discovery High School, the proposed Hunts Point High School for Sustainable Community Initiatives – the career technical school focused on urban agriculture and “green” technology and jobs slated to open in 2012 – and the overall green technology potential in the Bronx.
“Ritz wrote the proposal for the new school, which would operate in partnership with the Pratt Institute, Green Living Technologies, Mothers on the Move, the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education and The Point Community Development Corp.” ~ The Hunts Point Express
Speaking of George Irwin, Steve Ritz, and Ruben Diaz, Jr., make sure you see them at the upcoming Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 on September 27 and 28 where they are all sharing their experiences with New York greenroofs and greenwalls!
On Tuesday, September 27, watch Steve Ritz and Ruben Diaz, Jr. in the panel session “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx.” Moderated by Bronx businessman, Robert Bieder of Westchester Square Plumbing Supply and joined by fellow panelists Jon Beuttler, Project Manager in the Division of New Construction of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Jess Dannhauser, Graham Windham‘s Senior Vice President for Program Performance and Planning; Javier Lopez, Director of the New York City Strategic Alliance for Health, and New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, they will discuss the policies and educational initiatives underway in and of the Bronx that are making dramatic strides in the quality of life and opportunities for all residents with concentric benefits and ripples felt citywide, statewide and nationally.
And on Wednesday, September 28 see George Irwin as he leads the “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table” panel session along with Tom Ferraro, Executive Director of Foodlink, and U.S. Congressman Tom Reed. This team will provide interactive conversation and commentary concerning the benefits of urban crops and the impact of education, economics and opportunity around local food production with green walls and roofs.
The NBC Experience Store Greenwall is a great example of a successful public/private partnership/relationship, and that “Green is Universal!”
Watch students and teachers from the Bronx’s Discovery School install the wall, and talk about the impact the program has had on their education below:
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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!
~ Linda V.