sustainable building

In Business, Green is Good

  When did you last spend time outdoors? You might think everyone is outside enjoying summer weather and school vacations.  In San Diego, there’s hardly a day all year when you can’t be outside in short sleeves (or less). Buried in a report by the Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 is this shocking statistic: people in industrialized countries include the U.S. and Europe  spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors. Specifically, people spend 93 percent of their time indoors, with anther five percent in transit in a car or public transportation, and just two percent outside. I’d like to think this number is lower in San Diego, but even if it’s 80 percent, it’s still a sobering reality.… Read More

Meet the Next Generation of Eco-Warriors

Sixth grade students from Innovation Academy took a field trip to Good Earth Plant Company’s living lab earlier this year. Students are working on green roof and living wall projects and wanted to see the “real deal.” During their visit to our living lab, we first did a power point presentation about how to build a green roof or living wall and some of the issues and concerns keeping them alive. We showed them photos of green roofs and living walls around the world. Then it was time to go outside and see them up close. Boy do they have a lot of questions, some really smart ones.… Read More

Good Earth Plants in the Spotlight on San Diego 6

Good Earth Plant Company had the opportunity this week to appear on San Diego 6 Morning News with anchor Heather Myers to talk about toxins lurking in the air in our indoor environments, and how adding plants can help clean the air and improve both your physical and mental health. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? If you missed it, you can check it out here: Those few minutes on TV are precious and we don’t want to waste a second of it. For every interview like mine you see, there is a ton of preparation. First of all, when you see us at 7:30 a.m.… Read More

San Diego Downtown News: ‘Living Walls bring life to the city’

The 2017 Pantone Color of the Year "Greenery" is in nearly all our projects, like the living wall at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the East Village area of downtown San Diego.
A recent article by Delle Willett in the San Diego Downtown News showcases several of our living wall projects in Downtown San Diego. It’s terrific to see how developers and building owners are integrating nature into the urban environment. Living walls are now featured in (or on) upper-end hotels and restaurants, designer retail stores, chic spas, exclusive clubs — basically any place looking for distinction, something that makes them stand out from their competitors. Good Earth Plant Company and GreenScaped Buildings is happy to help them stand out! Included in the article are our walls for the law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP; the Westgate Hotel; the newly opened Urbana rental flats in East Village; and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, which we built in 2011 and is still the biggest living wall in San Diego.… Read More

Will the U.S. Join France and Require Green Roofs?

Germany has the largest concentration of green roofs with solar panels in the world. This is a school roof in Unterensinge, Germany, constructed in 2003. Photo: Courtesy Greenroofs.com database
You may have read the same headlines we did in the past week about new laws passed in France now requiring solar panels or vegetation sections on the roofs of all new commercial construction. French activists were pushing for 100 percent roof coverage but had to settle for Parliament requiring a minimum of coverage. France isn’t the first to mandate more environmentally friendly construction involving green roofs or solar energy. Germany has been a leader in this effort for 50 years. The City of Toronto is the first city in North America to have a bylaw to require and govern the construction of green roofs on new development.… Read More

From Eyesore to Eye-Popping: Our Planned Parenthood Living Wall

Plants can truly be the most transformative of gifts. Planned Parenthood of Mission Valley was the lucky recipient of a donor gift, designated specifically to transform a old fountain into a centerpiece for its outdoor entry gathering space. GreenScaped Buildings Project Manager Kerry Bauer worked with the client to determine which living wall system would be the best solution and fit within the existing space. After a thorough design evaluation, a little creativity turned up the perfect plan. Since the client had an open-ended time frame, we started with less mature plants and gave them double the normal growing time to securely root into the manufacturer’s shallow cell tray system before being mounted vertically.… Read More

It’s not a case of the Mondays; work might be making you sick

What if Peter's "case of the Mondays" was caused by working in a sick building? Photo credit: "Office Space," 20th Century Fox, 1999
Plenty of people joke that going to work makes them sick. But if you’re in a building with poor air quality, it’s not a joke. Work really IS making you sick. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings have indoor air quality problems. There are plenty of reasons: poor building design, the activities going on inside like manufacturing processes, for example, poorly maintained heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, harsh cleaners or pesticides, or indoor airborne contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are carbon-containing chemicals that can vaporize into the air inside a building, where occupants (like you) breathe them in.… Read More

Planting Seeds at ASLA San Diego Living Architecture Mixer

Plenty of seeds were planted at the ASLA San Diego Living Architecture Mixer at Good Earth Plants.
It’s hard to say who enjoyed our recent Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings Living Architecture Mixer for ASLA San Diego: the hosts, or the attendees. It’s fair to say everyone had a great time. We welcomed 80 attendees including Landscape Architects, Architects, and Interior Designers. Food was eaten, drinks were had, and knowledge was shared. Many professionals viewed, touched, and experienced our dozens of Living Wall and Green Roof demos in our Good Earth Plant Company Living Lab. Even our bar had a green roof. Our rooftop irrigation system turned while our attendees were viewing our original green roof on the GEP HQ building.… Read More

Living Architecture: More than meets the eye

GreenScaped Buildings designed and installed this living wall for The Irvine Company, an excellent example of "Nature In The Space."
There are so many benefits of living walls and green roofs, but you don’t have to take our word for it. The Summer 2014 issue of Living Architecture Monitor magazine features businesses which have recently installed living architecture discussing the improvements in the health and well-being of employees, as well as a positive side effect: increased property values. GreenScaped Buildings client Irvine Company Office Properties is included in the article, “How Green Roofs & Walls Have Impacted Building Occupants’ Well-Being,” Irvine Company manager Sherry Mashadian explains, “The living wall is definitely one of the greater features to the building and added value to the project.… Read More

Changed by fire: surviving and thriving after a disaster

Scenes from the Cocos fire. Courtesy NBC 7
Introduction: This blog post is not the normal bits of advice or inspiration about green building, plantscaping, or living walls. After the events of this week in San Diego and an unusually early start to what appears to be a long, hot summer and wildfire season to come, I couldn’t help but think about my own experiences surviving – and even thriving – after a wildfire. I wrote a lengthy journal entry about my experiences with a wildfire in 2003, when my own home was burned to the ground in the Cedar Fire. While many things were destroyed – including my marriage – new life literally did grow from the ashes, taking me in a direction I never could have imagined.… Read More