The largest green wall in North America, provided by GSky Plant Systems, a leading provider of green wall systems, will be unveiled October 9 at the world-renowned Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.
The flagship of Longwood's redesigned East Conservatory Plaza wing is the 4,072 sq ft green wall, displacing the title of North America's largest green wall from the PNC Bank building in Pittsburgh by over 70 percent.
The green wall at Longwood Gardens is unprecedented in size, but its long-lasting plant support system makes it one of the most advanced green walls in the world. The wall's 47,000 plants provide as much oxygen as 90 fourteen foot-tall trees and clean over 15,500 lbs of dust and harmful toxins per year.
The backbone of Longwood Gardens' wall is GSky's Green Wall Panel System, which features advanced technologies that allow plants to thrive in atypical environments. "GSky was the clear choice," says Stu Appel of Wells Appel, the lead landscape architect for the project in conjunction with Kim Willkie Associates. "We were impressed with the longevity of GSky's high-quality system, technical competence, and portfolio of work," adds Appel. The green wall was installed as collaboration with Ambius, the world's largest interior landscaper.
Rather than soil, GSky's 3,595 panel-based system uses a long-lasting structural growth medium, the only one of its kind in the industry. The 3,800 ft vertical drip irrigation system uses minimal water levels, conserving 90 percent more water than traditional irrigation systems. Similar to how an alarm system company works, a computerized monitoring system tracks irrigation activity and water usage 24/7. Given how these features work together, if maintained properly, the "green wall will last a very long time, as long as the building itself," says GSky President Chad Sichello.
By solving many of the challenges to keep a green wall healthy, GSky's system will easily allow for more sustainable green walls in future. "The Longwood Gardens project has solidified the momentum of interest in green walls," says GSky CEO Hal Thorne.
"The green wall is an extraordinary addition to Longwood," said Longwood Gardens Director Paul Redman. "The size and beauty of the green wall will amaze our guests as well as advance our continuing commitment to sound environmental practices."