Case Study: A living wall for visual impact and learning Rangi Ruru School
A showcase for Christchurch
Clever spaces, eye-catching looks, and innovative, environmentally friendly features, including solar power, make new buildings at Rangi Ruru Girls School in Christchurch a splendid showcase for exciting, contemporary architecture. They also offer a tantalising glimpse of what could be possible on a larger scale for Christchurch.
Challenge: adding a living aspect with a learning outcome
In its redesign and rebuild of the science facilities Rangi Ruru School wanted to add a living aspect to the building that reflected a focus on the environment and something that could be used by the department as part of the learning that occurs within the building. Fuji Xerox agreed to sponsor the project, they have a philosophy of being a strong, kind and interesting company. A kind company contributes to to local and global communities in terms of environmental conservation, ethical behavior, and social contribution. This was a particularly good fit with Rangi Ruru School. The design brief, outlined a need for a solution that would have visual impact, evolve with time and change and colour with the seasons.
The GreenAir solution
A living wall was immediately seen as a means of providing what was required and GreenAir was commissioned to design, install and maintain the wall. Utilising a 5m x 2.5m space GreenAir and Fytogreen designed a greenwall to meet the Departments needs. Using the Fytowall vertical garden system, the green wall features a series of modular panels containing a lightweight, soil-free growing medium in which a variety of plants can grow. The panels can be attached to any vertical surface such as a wall, building or balcony. The plants were pre-grown by GreenAir off site, so when installed they were ready for vertical growing. This meant that by the time they were installed, the plants already created a wonderful visual display. Rangi Rurus brief to GreenAir was for a green wall that would be vibrant whatever the season. With this in mind we selected a range of green and flowering plants that would evolve in the following years ensuring continual vibrancy. The wall is automatically fed and irrigated with a hydroponic watering system. GreenAir visits monthly to monitor behavior, shape the growth and report back to the school on the walls status. Students as part of science teaching monitor the impact on temperature and the cooling properties of the green wall.
A real breath of fresh air
GreenAir have been superb to work with, they are contactable and responsive. Their ongoing maintenance has seen the wall go from strength to strength. I have no hesitation in recommending either a living wall or GreenAir as the company to design and install it.
Neil Templeton, Business Manager The new living wall at Rangi Ruru School is a great example of vitality at work giving both the pupils and staff a real breath of fresh air.
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