We’ve featured lots of sustainability driven projects on AD that implement passive systems, eco-friendly materials, and green roofs. But this government building in Portland, Oregon has completely overshadowed any green wall we’ve seen thus far. Tim Newcomb for Architectural Record reported that a 200-foot-high living wall may be tacked onto the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building.
More about the potential 200 foot living wall after the break.
Originally designed by SOM back in 1975, the building is undergoing an upgrade to meet contemporary energy efficiency standards. SERA Architects, a firm based in Oregon, is leading this renovation which includes an overhaul of the heating and cooling system, while adding a rainwater harvesting system and more shading devices.
While the renovation, which is being funded by federal stimulus dollars, is scheduled to begin in the fall, the main green wall on the west side of the building may not actually happen. In an early scheme of the living wall, Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture aided in designing 7 movable green vertical fins that ran the whole height of the tower – yet, concerns regarding installation costs and maintenance have brought up some issues.
We are all for sustainability and encourage retrofitting existing structures with new greener systems, but this green wall needs more development. 200 feet of a green wall is quite a lot of green and may seem completely out of scale if built. Currently, the wall appears as a “second thought” which is just attached to the building with no relationship to the other facades, scale or rhythm of the building. Hopefully, the green wall idea won’t be completely erased but rather further designed to bring it to the next level and make it more successful.