Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012 - (Page 20)

PROJECT PROFILE MAINTENANCE MADNESS LIVING GREEN WALLS FACE CRITICAL MAINTENANCE ISSUES IN ALL CLIMATES BY: MELISSA KOIS & STEVEN PECK,GRP G reen wall project designers must consider a multitude of factors in order to achieve a successful design. Depth, light exposure, growing media, wind exposure, plant selection, irrigation techniques, structural loading, height, and width must all be considered carefully. Green walls, particularly living wall systems that are outdoors, experience significant maintenance challenges due to extreme solar and wind exposure. The long term growth and survival of plants is largely dependent on initial design and effective, consistent maintenance. Even award winning projects, such as the Phoenix Convention Center ABOVE: Phoenix Convention Center Green wall Before & After Maintenance Break Down Images provided by: Judeen Terrey green wall in Phoenix, Arizona have experienced maintenance challenges. This award winning green wall project recently lost its maintenance supervisor when they retired and with no maintenance manual or training, the new maintenance team mistakenly damaged the project by over pruning of all the plants. Project designer Judeen Terrey, Landscape Architect of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects Inc. said, “Literally the plants were looking fine one day and severely pruned the next. We take a personal interest in all our projects long after they have been installed not only to observe how they mature, but to also follow up with our clients on maintenance recommendations. The plants are slowly beginning to regenerate, and we are working with the client to establish new maintenance protocol for the project.” Some of the primary issues around maintenance failure in the emerging living wall industry include the following: • Lack of a maintenance plan, developed during the design phase. • Lack of secured funding for maintenance. • Lack of trained maintenance professionals. • Lack of communication with other maintenance staff within the building who have access to the control room. • Maintenance procurement policies. • Climate change. • Adjusting watering systems seasonally. An effective maintenance plan should include the following elements; (you can find these guidelines in Green Walls 101 2nd Edition: Introduction to Systems and Design) ( • Method of access to plants on the wall. • Irrigation requirements. • Plant nutrient requirements. • Soil quality maintenance. • Pruning requirements. • Disease and pest control. • Methods of plant or module replacement. • Methods of assessing underlying mechanical systems (irrigation lines, solenoids, pumps). In Vancouver, British Columbia, a number of living walls have been constructed, in an environment that does not receive the extremes of Phoenix. Even in this gentler climate, experience in Vancouver has demonstrated a number of challenges. “Human LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / WINTER 2012 / 20

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012
From the Founder
New Kid on the Green Roof
New Incentives for Green Roofs
On the Roof with Ben Flanner
Award Winning Green Roof and Wall Projects Represent!
Awards of Excellence Profiles
CitiesAlive 2012 – Building a Legacy of Outstanding Performance in Chicago!
Recognizing the Pioneer that was Malcolm Wells
Green roof and wall performance standards volunteers required!
Plant Profile: Thymus
Project Profile: Green Wall Maintenance Madness
GRP in Focus: Mary Ann Uhlmann
Project Profile: Healthy Haven for Community Members
A Positive Outlook for Urban Greening of Vacant Lots
A Green Space is a Clean Space
The Ambassador Program
Professional Calendar
New Corporate Members
GRHC Buyers Guide
Back to Planning’s Roots

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012