Tag Archives: Ewing Irrigation

Green Walls & Green Roofs Tweet Chat!

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Earlier this week, Tournesol Siteworks was invited by Warren Gorowitz, Vice President of Sustainability at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, to participate in a “TweetChat” that was, more specifically, a “#landscapechat.” Anyone in the Twitter world may participate in TweetChats, by adding a hashtag (#) and the specific topic – this was a landscape chat focused on green walls and green roofs. The #landscapechat is hosted each week by Corona Tools (who was unavailable, so Warren hosted our chat) and happens weekly on Wednesdays, featuring different topics during the year.

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New Orleans Botanical Gardens Green Wall – VGM Living Wall

Prior to the event, we collaborated with Warren on a list of questions and answers. During the hour, Warren tweeted (asked us) specific questions, which we answered and attached a few photos to illustrate. He asked about our company, and about us being a premier solution provider of landscape elements for rooftops, terraces, streetscapes, etc…nationwide. The chat moved to ask some of the trends we see in green walls, which are a boom in amenity space development and large urban public space projects.

Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM
Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM Green Wall

Warren asked a bit about the importance of green walls and some of the challenges. Challenges include the maintenance, access, and understanding the effects of weather (wind, light, heat, etc…) on the plants. There are also different types of green walls, including tray-based and modular systems, trellis-based and interior systems, all at different price points. For green roofs, there are shallow extensive systems, deeper intensive roofs, tray-based or built-in-place systems.

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Starbucks at Downtown Disney, CA

The chat/discussion turned to how green walls/roofs promote sustainability in urban spaces, such as how they promote a healthy environment – plants provide oxygen and pleasant surroundings, and renew and restore the ecosystem. Green roofs filter and moderate stormwater flows, reducing stress on existing drain water systems. Hospitals use green walls to promote healing and peaceful environments for patients. Both green roofs and walls mitigate urban heat island effect, as well.

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Swedish Hospital, Seattle, WA, TerraScreen Interior Green Wall

Meanwhile, others in the #landscapechat community were also tweeting questions about plants, moisture of soil, whether or not coffee would grow in a green wall (yes, it can) and even the use of media block.

Amazon HQ Green Wall (11)
Amazon Headquarters, Seattle, WA

The #landscapechat ended with questions about the future of green roofs and walls; we see a wave toward proliferation and integration into everyday commercial construction. We’re also seeing a move with green roofs towards integrating amenity spaces – making them more usable. It was the first TweetChat that Tournesol Siteworks has been part of, and it was a great experience. We look forward to participating in another one in the future.

Green Walls and Living Walls at Cane Island, Katy, TX

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Cane Island in Katy, Texas, is a new residential complex with 1,100 acres of master-planned community living featuring indoor and outdoor landscape design. AndersonBaron, a full-service planning and landscape architecture firm, designed the landscape environment with modular units for green walls and living walls bringing a new concept of green architecture.

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AndersonBaron specified our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system to climb the large, 15 foot bollards that line the main access road of the entrance to Cane Island. Our partner distributors at Ewing Irrigation and Supply collaborated with Shooter & Lindsey, a commercial landscaping contractor which installed the VertiGreen trellises. Our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system consists of a recycled plastic plant growing module (VGM), set into a double-panel trellis system.

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The plants are grown in the module (either on its own or pre-installed in the trellis), and hung on the wall once the plants are rooted. No separate planter or container is required, so it can be easily used in areas distant from the ground or another planter. The trellis system mounts to the wall with a simple bracket, like the original VertiGreen trellis. Either the plant growing module or the entire panel can be quickly removed for maintenance. In a blog by David Olson, public relations specialist for Ewing, David says they supplied the irrigation products for the bollards and other features. He writes,

“Construction of the bollards began in February 2015, and the first planting was over the summer. Shooter & Lindsey took delivery of the planters and grew the flowers at their offices while the bollards were under construction.”

Also in his blog, David quotes Luis Andrade, Ewing account manager, who stated about the project,

‘It’s a different concept…not just green design, but also modular so it can be changed every year.’

Shooter & Lindsey is growing plants for the bollards that can be switched each season so the plants will always have color and be constantly in bloom regardless of the season.

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Another extremely large and beautiful green wall was installed inside the Cane Island Recreation Center. AndersonBaron chose our VGP Tray-Based Living Wall System design for the two-sided interior green wall. The VGP system offers versatility, easy installation, and a lush, rich-looking living wall. The total dimensions of the living wall measure a whopping 18 feet high by 16 feet wide, standing three feet above the ground to total 21 feet in height! The green wall consists of over 1,100 VGP-01 trays, made of recycled polypropylene. For the plant sizes 148 of the VGP-1636 Mounting Panels were required to hang the VGP trays at standard 6″ intervals. The generously-sized pots will allow for long term growing, and easy replacement or change-out as desired. The trays drain overflow from a reservoir (sub-irrigation) allowing the plant water to drain to a specific point. This two-sided wall features about 7,500 Dianthus plants, which flower heavily and will cover the wall beautifully.

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Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGP Living Wall System  – click here to watch the video. The Cane Island living wall is a sight to see and we can’t wait to revisit in a year or two and take a look at how well it has fully grown.

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

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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.
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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!

 

 

First Look: Lotus Apartments, Salt Lake City, UT

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VGM Modular Living Wall, Photos courtesy Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities
VGM Modular Living Wall, Photos courtesy Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities

It was a pleasant surprise to find these photographs posted on the Salt Lake City Deparment of Public UtilitiesFacebook page!  We knew that the Lotus Apartments project was going in (their website says apartments are ready for move in in May), but we hadn’t been informed by the contractor that the wall was up. This is the first time we’ve seen it, and it looks great so far. Continue reading First Look: Lotus Apartments, Salt Lake City, UT

Ewing Irrigation sales staff training & tour

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Checking out the new TWIG - All images courtesy of Stacey Nord, Ewing Irrigation

As most of you probably realize, Tournesol Siteworks sells most of our product through distributor partners.  It’s always a pleasure to host our partners at our plant, and show them what we’re up to.

Last week we had 16 members of Ewing Irrigation‘s Northern California sales team come by for training and a tour. Not only that, we treated them to lunch, too!

Continue reading Ewing Irrigation sales staff training & tour