Back in October, the city of Xiamen in Southeast China was hit by super typhoon ‘Meranti,’ one of the strongest typhoons of 2016. The typhoon was at category two as it crossed Taiwan, and weakened slightly as it hit the mainland. Elmich, our partners in greenwall products, had previously installed a VGM greenwall system on JI Hotel Xiamen’s facade that measures 2, 360 sq. ft.
The typhoon had wind speeds of approx. 87 mph recorded as it blasted through Xiamen. After the typhoon, they discovered that the enormous VGM greenwall (including plants!) withstood the typhoon- see the photo below. From Elmich’s blog post:
Super typhoon ‘Meranti’ made landfall in Xiamen City, Fujian with a wind gust speed of around 170 km/h bringing heavy downpours and causing major disruptions to the electricity and water supplies affecting more than 3.2 million homes located in the region.
Elmich VGM mounting system is equipped with anti-lift arms and proprietary anchoring pilaster system, and certified by independent international test authority to withstand wind uplift from various directions up to 110km/h.
In this application, the real test of nature has proven that a product of quality can withstand the strongest typhoon.
The results of the green wall remaining in pristine condition is remarkable and attributes to the durability of the products. The VGM3 is a 100% recycled plastic planting module, attached to stainless steel rails mounted to a wall or structure. Once grown in it provides instant, complete coverage of any vertical surface. With the VGM System, root growth isn’t limited by restricting cells or baffles, thus plants grow healthier and stronger.
For more information regarding the Green Wall at JI Hotel Xiamen, click here.
Here’s yet another spectacular green wall using our VGM green wall system – this time at The Nanjing South Railway Station, People’s Republic of China . Adorning the entire length of a prominent high retaining wall near the station, the majestic VGM Green Wall is part of an effort to beautify the station for the Summer Youth Olympic Games, being held this month in Nanjing. The Nanjing South Railway Station serves four major high-speed railway lines and a network of other railway lines traversing China. It is the world’s second largest railway station in terms of GFA (Gross Floor Area) at 458,000 square metres (4,929,871 square feet) with 28 railway platforms. Solar panels capable of providing 7.17 megawatt of electricity cover the majority of the railway station roof and the VGM Green Wall covers 12,000 square feetof the retaining wall. This bold statement in sustainability sends a welcome “green” message to international athletes and visitors arriving for the Summer Youth Olympic Games 2014.
Seriously! We’ve acquired the assets of Vespro Inc. of Northern California, the manufacturer of Root Solutions root barrier. While many of our products are decorative (pots, planters, site furnishings), quite a few are more functional (container irrigation, planter liners, living wall systems). The root barrier product fits perfectly into the functional part of our line – a locally-manufactured product sold primarily to landscape contractors, by our existing distributors, and specified by our design partners.
We just recieved word from Elmich, our partners in Singapore, that they have received certification for the VGM Modular living wall systems at wind speeds up to 68mph. They contracted with a testing agency in Melbourne, AUS, who created and executed the test. While the video above might not be particularly exciting, the results are excellent.
The short story-
The new 3rd generation VGM modules (coming at the end of November) feature an optional plastic retaining clip that keeps the module in place. While it was tested here with wind, the same clip can be used for seismic retention and vandal prevention purposes.
With the wind coming from three different directions, there was still no appreciable uplift on a typical module. That is, the brackets held the boxes fast on the rails no matter the direction of the wind.
The 3rd generation modules also feature planting windows with additional retention bars. These prevent wind erosion of the soil or plants, and help keep the planting bag in place.
We’ll be featuring a post on the new modules shortly after they debut in December. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, they feature full stainless steel hardware, and a fully removable lid. As a bonus to the installing contractor, the new bracket system will be faster and easier to assemble than the previous generations.
Today Andy Chew, General Manager of Elmich in Singapore, stopped by our offices on his way towards Greenbuild next week. We’ll be sharing booth number 189 with them at the show. Elmich is our partner in all things VGM, our modular living wall system. We had a chance to discuss some of the installations that they have been working on, our advances using the hybrid trellis concept, and the future of development of the VGM system.
They have recently signed the contract for the Solaris project in Singapore, which will feature a VGM system climbing the full height of a 24-story skyscraper! It promises to be truly spectacular. They’ve gained the confidence of the design community by having project after project go in successfully (and sustainably!). They’ve developed some unique irrigation elements that we may be bringing to the U.S. soon. Andy estimated that they’ve installed nearly 5000 sq. meters of VGM in SE Asia thus far.
We also discussed options for the upcoming third-generation of VGM modules. Most of you will be pleased to hear that the sides and the back will be fully plantable! The top will be easily removable, and the full frame set will be replaced with corner braces that attach to the rails. We also believe that the system will be able to be sold at a price close to 15-20% below the current price for the VGM modular living wall system. There is still a fair amount of development left, along with extensive testing. We’re anticipating release sometime midway through next year.