Dartmouth, NS – A living, breathing example of innovation is growing at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Centre for the Built Environment at the Waterfront Campus in Dartmouth.
Earlier today, NSCC president Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair helped students complete the first, permanent, exterior “living wall” east of Vancouver. “This living wall demonstrates the capacity of the Centre for the Built Environment to help Nova Scotians study the renewable energy and green technologies that are essential to our sustainable future,” said Dr. McArthur-Blair.
Living walls combine the natural and built environments. They filter the air, create habitats and add vitality to a building’s design. In 2007, Centre for the Built Environment architects, Barrie & Langille, hired Sue Sirrs, owner of Outside! Planning and Design Studio, to study the feasibility of an exterior living wall that would thrive in a cold climate. Horticulture students and faculty from NSCC’s Kingstec Campus in Kentville helped to plan then design and build the living wall.
The 7,000 plants that make up NSCC’s living wall offer a variety of colours, textures, flowers and berries, providing a living piece of art that will change with the seasons.
Ken Belson of the New York Times has written an interesting piece about green walls which looks at the green wall as a source of food production. Belson talks to a varied number of designers, universities and manufacturers about the green walls as food production. He also states that at $500 a panel they aren’t for everyone.
Green walls are becoming more and more common place in cities across the world. However, they are usually implemented as apart of a new architectural design rather than an existing building. Until recently when a 2,380 square-foot, six storey high green wall was installed by PNC on their existing corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh. The wall is a modular design and is two foot by two foot panels(approx. 600 x 600mm). The wall was installed by Green Living Technologies and according to the video below is the largest green wall in North America and is planted with different plant species that will create an evergreen wall all year around.