The world’s largest manufacturer of athletic shoes and apparel recently opened a brand new European distribution center that does everything a little bit differently. The ultra-sustainable facility is centrally located in Belgium and is surrounded by six enormous wind turbines that produce enough electricity to power 5,000 houses. In addition, solar panels cover an area the size of three soccer fields, incoming shipments arrive by canal, and the entire operation runs on renewable energy. If that’s not enough to impress you, they even plan to increase the biodiversity of the area by using green roofs and green walls to attract birds, insects, and bees.
This American multinational corporation is a leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing footwear, apparel and sports equipment, but their new distribution center proved that they can also be a leader in the green building movement.
With the help of Mobilane and BSI Bomenservice, they designed and built the largest exterior greenwall in Europe. Mobilane specializes in developing and manufacturing innovative, cost effective, and sustainable living wall systems for the built environment. BSI Bomenservice was tasked with the installation and maintenance of Mobilane’s greenwall system.
The greenwall is 23,000 square feet and contains over 100,000 plants from 14 different species including Alchemilla, Bergenia, Campanula, Geranium, and Nepeta, among others. After having tested a number of different systems on the market, Mobilane’s LivePanel living wall system was specifically selected for this project because, along with its proven performance, it is an incredibly sustainable system with very low water consumption. Furthermore, LivePanel’s simple modular design helped simplify the installation process and shorten the overall build time.
The giant living wall is relatively low weight and contains a total of 11,000 interchangeable “plant cassettes.” Rows of plant cassettes are placed in between horizontal rows of aluminum “gutters,” which also serve as a water reservoir. The plants in the cassettes are watered and fed by an innovative cloth wicking system that uses capillary action to suck water from the reservoirs up to the plant roots in an even and constant manner. Water level sensors in the reservoirs automatically signal a computerized pump to deliver more water to the reservoirs when needed. The integrated irrigation system continuously distributes just enough water and fertilizer throughout the wall, minimizing water consumption and ongoing maintenance.
Mobilane’s living wall products are able to transform any working or living environment into a relaxing and healthy green environment. They produce a range of different greenwall products that can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Once disassembled, the living walls can be completely recycled.
Mobilane’s full line of living wall products are exclusively available in North America through Suite Plants (www.suiteplants.com).
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