February 27, 2023

New Green Wall Installed in Living Building Science Wing

When the Bertschi School Living Science Building was completed in February 2011, one of the primary features was a 165 square foot vertical green wall whose primary use was to treat gray water. The wall model was a beta, and served educational and environmental purposes. However, over the years it ran its course and newer designs for green walls became available.

In spring 2019, the fifth grade class raised funds to help the school renew the wall as well as honor retiring founding science teacher, Julie Blystad. After a delay due to the pandemic, we were thrilled to engage with some parent volunteers whose expertise led us to hire Variance Design to redesign, fabricate, install, and plant the living wall and integrate a new aquatic element.

Last week, the new green wall was installed!

Green Wall Specs

  • The wall includes about 1,000 assorted tropical plants of 10+ species that grow in custom mesh pockets
  • A "life support" system of controllers, sensors, and pumps irrigate, fertilize, and balance water quality
  • The ecosystem of the wall supports a healthy environment for a new addition of fish
  • Students can track live data from the wall via an app

Thank you to the staff and volunteers who helped us bring this project to fruition. Special thanks to the Class of 2019 families who made this project possible.

Coming soon: the Class of 2019 legacy project plaque will be installed nearby to honor the contributions of those families and students who helped make the renewal project possible.

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