The living wall is not only beautiful, but there are benefits to having one on the facade of your home. In the winter, plants help insulate a building, keeping the property warm and decreasing the cost of heat. In the summer, greenery reverse-insulates, making a home cooler and reducing the cost of air conditioning.
Eco Brooklyn Living Walls is an innovative green contracting and design firm in Brooklyn with a mission to green New York City. To inspire more people to create natural environments that are healthy, happy, and beautiful, Eco Brooklyn Founder Gennaro Brooks-Church has covered the facade of his brownstone showhouse with a living wall.“Planting a living wall is like painting,” said Brooks-Church. “I love the creative process of designing patterns and picking plants and textures that work in this environment, making it a living work of art. It’s the first townhouse facade covered by a living wall in the United States. Hopefully, this will be the first of many and, like so many things, it started in Brooklyn.”
After one month of building, the living wall construction, design, and planting are complete in time for Climate Week NYC. The wall contains an array of plants, from shrubs like rhododendrons, jazz hands, brass buckle, sprinter boxwood, to perennials such as autumn fern, heuchera black pearl, liriope, and green carpet, among others. Coconut fiber with a binder is what Brooks-Church used for the growing media. The structure is food-safe, meaning edible plants can be grown, not weather-dependent, and is watered with drip irrigation.
With a sanctuary and pond in its front yard, the Eco Brooklyn Showhouse is already a neighborhood attraction. “All day, people stop by, take photos, ask questions, and share their gratitude for this little slice of ecology in the city,” said Brooks-Church. “The turtle sanctuary came naturally as people brought rescued turtles — we have 12 now.”
A Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, the showhouse also boasts a stream on its green roof, a natural swimming pool in the backyard, and a two-story treehouse built from wood salvaged from an old water tower.
“Living walls are the future. If you Google ‘Utopian City’ you see nothing but images full of nature. We are biophilic creatures, so our ideal habitat is full of natural elements. And in NYC where land is limited and costly, where else can you build but up? Living walls are perfect for NYC. Demand is exploding and is just going to increase. It is an exciting time to be building living walls.”
All are welcome to view the Eco Brooklyn living wall facade at 22 2nd Street, Brooklyn NY.
We here at GirlieGirl Army are hoping this inspirational and thoughtful design inspires more proactive conscious design! Adding more green to your home and life is NEVER a bad idea.