Shoppers enjoying their next trip to the popular Fashion Valley will be greeted by a beautiful and unexpected sight, thanks to the installation of a cutting-edge “living wall” at the property.
Living walls or green walls are structures that allow plant materials to grow on a building, but have the added benefit of allowing them to grow on vertical spaces indoors or outdoors. Both types of walls grow in “found space,” using far less space than typical gardens. Living walls can be planted with a wide variety of plants.
The Fashion Valley wall was installed by Jim Mumford, GRP, CLP of GreenScaped Buildings of San Diego. Mumford is well known as San Diego’s “green roof guy” and a green building pioneer. The project manager is Kevin Norton. The wall was designed by Rocco Campanozzi, Mission Landscape Architects, in collaboration with Mumford.
We’re thrilled to provide this new, aesthetically pleasing green attribute for our shopper’s enjoyment,” says Robert Doherty, mall manager. “We hope this natural wall will introduce an organic beautifying aspect to the property and will potentially start meaningful conversations to create awareness among our patrons about sustainability.”
Mumford planted the individual wall modules at his San Diego-based GreenScaped Buildings facility in April. They were allowed to grow horizontally for four months before being transported to the Fashion Valley location and installed vertically into place with the plants and especially the roots well established.
The wall is planted with 4,000 individual plants in 250 modules. Among the varieties including are spider plants, lemon button fern and ribbon fern, Heuchera, Mondo grass, and Moses in a boat. It is 16 feet tall and 50 feet wide, a total coverage of 800 square feet located on the northeast corner of the center across from The Cheesecake Factory and adjacent to the perimeter of True Food Kitchen. It weighs 13,500 pounds fully irrigated.
Mumford is a recognized pioneer in developing living walls, which are exploding in popularity both for commercial and residential properties. Mumford has been growing green walls as part of his living laboratory at GreenScaped Buildings for several years, perfecting various methods and products that contribute to low impact development, sustainability and restorative buildings. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of his green roof and walls, they produce increases in biodiversity, cooling buildings and reducing of the urban heat island effect, carbon sequestration, cleaning the air of particulates and adding oxygen.
“Living walls have exploded onto the scene and have become more popular far more quickly than I thought possible,” says Mumford. “Green roofs were our first step and while they are wonderful, they are not practical for everyone. Green walls can be built for a fraction of the cost in many more places.”
“New irrigation techniques and new tools allow us to build larger walls safely at a viable cost, creating found space for gardens in the middle of an urban environment,” says Mumford. “I’m excited to have Fashion Valley leading the way and generating awareness of sustainability issues with this project at their property. What a terrific way to greet shoppers, and provide them something beautiful to enhance their shopping experience.”