Challenge plus creativity = one beautiful birthday present, a living wall

Sometimes square pegs fit in round holes: a living wall on a curved surface.

Nobody loves a challenge more than GreenScaped Buildings.

A potential client who had seen the stunning installation at Spring Hill Suites in Oceanside tracked us down at the end of May, and called us in to look at his proposed project. He wanted to surprise his wife for her birthday and give her a 112 square foot living wall at the front entry of their house. How’s that for a unique and spectacular present? We loved the idea. He was set on the style of the wall being succulents in a tight pattern.

Here is what the original wall looks like as a reminder:

SpringHill Suites Living Wall

This raised two huge challenges:

1) How to overcome his three week lead time: First, the manufacturer’s lead time to get us the wall materials is four weeks. The plants in this type of system usually require three months to get rooted.

2) How to attach a system meant for flat surfaces onto his CURVED front wall. Square peg, meet curved hole.

Operations Manager Kerry Bauer left that initial meeting frustrated because no manufacturer’s system seemed to fit the bill. But it made her determined to see if she could use her architectural background to find a solution.

By the next day, Kerry had made drawings and a mock up for a system created from the green ROOF components GreenScaped Buildings has used on certain projects. She chose parts she knew shipped within one week to eliminate the lead time issue. A landscape edging element, specifically designed to handle curves, could also overcome the challenge of the curved wall.

But what about the time needed for growing the plants? By using an advanced soil replacement media block, the wall installation could allow the plants to root while installed vertically.

GreenScaped Buildings collaborated with the client and supplier Green Meadow Growers to choose appropriate sedums and succulents for the east-facing coastal climate of Encinitas and lay out a pattern of organic wave shapes. Katelyn Hutchings tackled the procurement aspects of the project while construction foreman John Rodenbo prepared the site and installation logistics.

During the three day installation, the team used the expertise of our newest Good Earth Plants employee Kim Covey, as well as Point Loma Nazarene summer intern Ryan Krantz.

How do you think it turned out?

Sometimes square pegs fit in round holes: a living wall on a curved surface.

Sometimes square pegs fit in round holes: a living wall on a curved surface.

The final product exceeded the client’s expectations, and he has already invited GreenScaped Buildings to collaborate on his upcoming commercial hotel project with the goal of integrating a living wall there to enhance his hotel as much as it has enhanced his home.