Winter travels… Ewing Irrigation, Kornegay Designs, Valleycrest Design Studio

I’ve already been busy out in the field to start off the winter. Just a few notes from my travels…

It’s encouraging to see companies in our industry that believe in the power of education for their employees. Our partners at Ewing Irrigation are truly committed to making sure their employees (and there are a lot of them) continue their training.
photo 1 We were invited this year (and have had the chance many times over the past few years) to visit their Employee Development and Leadership Conference. This year they made it a trade show format, and close to 40 vendors showed up to educate their staff. It’s held in Phoenix in January, so everyone enjoys the beautiful weather.

I spent the day letting the Ewing Branch Managers and Salespeople about our VGP tray-based living wall system, and our new Boulevard Structural Wood Tile. They had each and every person (over 300, total!) go through with each vendor and find out what was new. Quite a feat, and one that we were pleased to participate in.
photo 2

I took the opportunity the next morning to visit with our friends at Kornegay Designs, who are located right near the airport in Phoenix. As most who read this blog will know, they are a manufacturer of an incredible line of precast concrete pots. We find our self-watering container irrigation frequently co-specified with their products.

photo 3 I run into Larry and his wife Paula at many of the ASLA events, and always enjoy trading stories about the business. Sitting down in Larry’s office, the first thing I noticed was his old-school drafting board. He has a fantastic eye for design (as evidenced by their products), and he said he just couldn’t visualize the end result as well on a computer. I’ve heard many designers say the same thing – that the art of visualization is being lost as hand-drawing goes the way of the buggy whip.

photo 5 Just last week we were invited by Valleycrest Landscape Development, one of the largest landscape contractors in the world, to present at their Chief Estimators Summit. The meeting was held at the offices of the Valleycrest Design Group, located in Irvine. They’ve recently moved into this new space (very cool space, given the relative generic office building that they occupy) because they’ve outgrown their former locations. Business is good!!

11 We work with Valleycrest branches across the country – it seems like we always have a project in house for them. They were the first company to install a large, commercial greenwall (at the Atlanta Botanical Garden), installed the Miracle Mile “Art Moderne” GFRC and FRP planters in Los Angeles, and completed the “airside” installation of our pots and container irrigation at the Sacramento Airport Terminal B.

13 I was there with our regional sales representative Jon Willingham, who has a great rapport with his local branches. We were one of only 5 companies (!) invited to discuss their most current products. They wanted us to discuss the options available to them for living walls. It was a great chance to introduce the VGP to them – most were already familiar with the more commercial VGM modular system. We also were able to discuss other products, purchasing options, and projects. It was a terrific opportunity, and one that their estimators and buyers appreciated as well.

photo 7The educational efforts never stop – we participated in 4 other shows over the first 6 weeks of the year, not to mention the 10-15 luncheon presentations we’ve already done for designers this year. Please let us know if you have an opportunity for us to show you the developments at Tournesol Siteworks!

 

 

Upcoming ASLA-NCC Living Wall Seminar

Join ASLA – NCC on February 16th for the next lecture in its 2012 lecture series: Living Walls  – the Intersection of Art, Ecology and Technology!

Living walls ignite the imagination of designers everywhere. And what is not to like, for as encapsulated visions of nature with their seemingly perfect beauty contained on a wall or screen, they tend to idealize nature in the urban realm. The panelists will expand the dialogue on living walls to explore the many facets and perspectives of how living walls create a perfect intersect of design, environmental science and sustainable technology.  Dialogue will include both public and private sector projects and a discussion on available technologies and resources. Many of these walls and living design manifestations have been emerging as a response to today’s urban issues such as tight urban spaces, the general trend towards greener cities, fostering habitat in blighted neighborhoods, and emissions reductions. Some of the living wall projects that will be shared include recent Bay Area installations including the Drew School Wall, 12 Gallagher Lane, and the Metreon’s Moving Art Panels. Plus, there will be artful and inspiring examples from cities around the globe that may prove to expand your own definition of living walls. The question: “How sustainable are living walls – are they an urban panacea or just an iconic fad?” will be explored by each presenter.

Panelists leading the evening’s conversation are:

Continue reading

New Continuing Education Course: Green Walls – Integrating Nature into Buildings

Tournesol Siteworks is sponsoring a new CEU course, presented by McGraw-Hill at their Construction.com website.  We’ve spent the last three years talking about living walls to architects, landscape architects and designers. There has always been a huge interest in the topic, and we thought it would be worthwhile to expand our own efforts to teach the design community.

The course, written by Peter J. Arsenault, FAIA, NCARB, LEED-AP, incorporates both living wall and green facade topics. It draws inspiration as well from the Living Walls 101 Course developed by the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities organization.  McGraw-Hill has indicated that there has been strong interest in the course so far, even without much promotion!

We’d love any feedback you might have about the value the course, and the corresponding CEU credit has for you. From our understanding, all AIA approved CEU courses are also eligible for ASLA CEU credits, and even USGBC LEED credits.  Let us know what you think.