Awards of Excellence 2015

Breathe Wall

Breathe Wall

Grand Rapids, MI

Award Winner
LiveWall, LLC

Project Team

Designer, System Manufacturer, Plant Supplier, Installer: Dave MacKenzie, LiveWall, LLC
Business Developer: Amber Ponce, LiveWall, LLC

The largest graphic includes a windblown pattern of color in which white flowers spell Breathe O2 and symbolize the air. The green patterns, above and below, represent the forests and fields. And, the yellow in the upper right hand corner symbolizes the sun, which fuels photosynthesis, which yields oxygen. This vital process happens within the leaves, and therefore ‘Breathe’ also features leaf-shaped graphics of Michigan native trees, including catalpa, oak, beech and maple.
— Dave MacKenzie, Artist

The Fusion of Art and Nature

Entitled ‘Breathe’, this living art project at ArtPrize®, the world’s largest publicly voted art contest, is home to more than 3500 plants and reaches over 20 feet tall at its peak and stretches 150 feet long.  

Using the LiveWall® system as the canvas, the entry surrounds and buffers the noise and odors of the city around it.  ‘Breathe’ was inspired by the idea of restoring the built environment to a more natural state and restore balance to urban settings by reintroducing vegetation lost during urbanization.  16" wide planters were serviced by a spray nozzle which delivered rain-like irrigation to the plants contained within across the 1500 square foot wall with drain holes at the bottom of each planter.

In the first summer, a palette of over 70 different species created an abstract art piece.  After the annuals had been spent by colder temperatures, they were replaced with perennials. The following summer, sections of the wall were planted with 700 square feet of herbs, greens and vegetables. 

That fall, the remaining edibles were harvested, and prefabricated panels were added to the wall to create curvilinear extensions again transforming the structure into a work of art.  The installation was specifically designed to challenge and inspire each viewer to think differently about the constructed world—about how that world might look and feel if integrated with nature.

Berry Architecture Office

Berry Architecture Office

Red Deer, AB

Award Winner
Berry Architecture + Associates

Architect & LEED Consultant: Berry Architecture + Associates
Landscape Designer: Living Lands Landscape & Design
Mechanical Engineer: Reinbold Engineering
General Contractor: Shunda Consulting & Construction
Electrical Engineer: Acuity Engineering & Consulting Service Ltd

Doing what was right for the environment was the first goal of this redevelopment project for Berry Architecture & Associates. We wanted to create a pleasant oasis for our staff and our clients where they could be surrounded by a little bit of nature in a downtown urban setting.
— George Berry, Owner, CEO, Berry Architecture + Associates

A Little Bit of Nature in a Downtown Urban Setting

Completed in 2011, the Berry Architecture + Downey Roth Hrywkiw Fidek LLP building was a complete revitalization and modernization of a run-down 1950’s bowling alley in downtown Red Deer, Alberta. The green roof, planted in 2012, enhances this downtown neighborhood both aesthetically and environmentally adding a variety of flowering plants and grasses to the area including canada buffalo -berry, prairie onion, wild flax, and wild bergamot.

Students cultivate vegetables and herbs from seed in the greenhouse that are transplanted into raised planting beds. With the help of teachers and parent volunteers the students at P.S. 6 Eco-Center grow fruits, vegetables and herbs for the school cafeteria's salad bar. They collaborate with the cafeteria staff to develop recipes for the produce grown on the roof.

A unique feature of the green roof is the flowing stream which provides habitat and support for birds and insects. Staff and clients enjoy the pleasant setting of this natural retreat through a variety of social events including barbeques and green roof parties, as well as meetings and lunch time gatherings. Three raised planters provide fresh herbs and vegetables for the staff who take turns caring for the gardens. The gardens and stream are watered exclusively through the grey water system. Stormwater is collected in holding tanks located in the mechanical room on the main floor. That stormwater is then used to water the garden planters, refill the stream as needed, and even provide water to on-site toilets. All non-vegetable plants are indigenous species which do not require watering. Since the renovation, the runoff discharge rate and quantity values have decreased by more than 25%.

One goal of the green roof was creating a bio-diverse habitat for wildlife with an emphasis on indigenous pollinators by providing food with a wide range of indigenous plant species, as well as flowing water and perching and nesting sites. Other goals were to decrease the impact of rainwater run-off on the municipal water system and to improve the air quality of the urban environment by installing the roof on a formerly plant-free site.

Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Philadelphia, PA

Award Winner

Green Roof Consultant: Roofmeadow
Property Owner: University of Pennsylvania
Architect/Landscape Architect: WEISS/MANFREDI
Civil Engineer: Stantec Consulting
General Contractor: Gilbane Building
Green Roof Construction/Maintenance: G.R.A.S.S.
Roofing: E.D.A. Construction Company

A Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

The Meadow Roof is a prominent feature of the building, attracting individuals and groups eager to enjoy time on the rooftop amenity space. Surrounded by floor to ceiling etched glass walls on three sides and a clear glass railing open to the city on the fourth side, the Meadow Roof is also visually accessible from corridors and conference rooms. A second larger green roof includes native perennials and grasses planted alongside the building’s air handling and HVAC equipment. This larger sedum roof may is a storm water management workhorse.

Both green roof areas feature a diversity of planting that includes a number of native species that attract a variety of birds and pollinators. During the first year after planting, completion annuals (Gaillardia pulchella) germinated among the pre-grown Sedum mats. In the second growing season, the annuals emerged again, this time along with biennials and young perennials (Echinacea pallida).

Runoff water from the adjacent deck irrigates the Meadow Roof, which also is supplemented with a base-level capillary irrigation system during dry periods. The upper, non-greened roof runoff nourishes the two deep Meadow Roof bioretention tree pits, with supplemental irrigation during dry periods. The Sedum Roof manages the runoff from the adjacent rooftop HVAC equipment, the surrounding 15 foot parapet, and impervious paver walkways. The green roofs assure cost-effective compliance with Philadelphia’s Stormwater Regulations, reducing stormwater site fees by 27%. Additionally, integrating hydraulically independent biorentention cells into the extensive Meadow Roof obviated the need to replace the ground level detention basins with a more costly ground measure to both pre-treat and detain runoff.

Credit: Peg Woolsey

Credit: Peg Woolsey