Living Wall Is More than Display of Art

Green over Grey Designers have completed planting the largest and most biologically diverse outdoor green wall in North America, according to a company press release.

The planting is located in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, covering a wall of the Semiahmoo Public Library and RCMP Facility.

The design is nearly 3,000 square feet and consists of more than 10,000 individual plants representing more than 120 unique species. It includes ground covers, large perennials, shrubs and small trees.

"This will be our first large-scale green wall in Surrey," said Mayor Dianne Watts. 'It will be a beautiful living work of art that will cover the existing concrete wall and provide many environmental benefits, including saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a new ecosystem in the heart of Semiahmoo."

A green wall, also known as a living wall, is a self-sufficient vertical garden that is attached to the exterior or interior of a building. The technology being used is soil-free, and the plants receive water and nutrients from within the vertical support instead of from the ground. It closely mimics how plants grow vertically in nature such as on cliffs, bluffs, tree branches or next to waterfalls.

"The large diversity of plant species chosen creates a balanced ecosystem that is an urban oasis for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds," says Patrick Poiraud, principal at Green over Grey - Living Walls and Design, the Vancouver-based company designing and constructing the wall. "The living wall helps to insulate the building, purify the air and transform the gray concrete into hundreds of shades of green."

"The initial inspiration for this garden came from the artwork of the Coast Salish (including Semiahmoo) First Nations People," said designer and artist Mike Weinmaster of Green over Grey.

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