Queens University of Charlotte Adds Living Wall to New Science and Health Building
Founded in 1857, Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The university serves approximately 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. To meet growing needs it has undertaken the construction of a new $18M Rogers Science and Health Building.
“For the design of Queens’ Rogers Science and Health building, we sought to respect tradition while bringing aboard a modern twist which celebrated environmental science.
We considered many sculptural ideas and were captivated by the building’s greenhouse where students will be able to monitor plant growth conditions and environmental factors in ways not possible in a traditional laboratory,” said Philip A. Kuttner, AIA, LEED, BD+C and Chief Executive Officer of Little. “After some deliberation, we proposed the addition of an exterior green wall which we felt could be visually compelling, environmentally responsible and also serve as an educational tool.”
Dr. Reed Perkins of the Environmental Science Department immediately embraced the green wall concept as a key teaching tool for his students in the Rogers Building. “A living wall can offer an opportunity for our students to truly live science, not just learn what others have done. From the beginning, the faculty wanted even the most casual observers of the university to see that this building was a place of science, discovery and imagination.”
Ambius, a global interior and exterior landscaping company, www.ambius.com, was hired in the fall of 2011 to install the wall.
“The DNA strand is made of evergreen so that it stays green all year round as well as seasonal changes with evergreen and flowering plants,” said Denise Eichmann of Ambius. “Working with Dr. Perkins, his colleagues, and the architect firm, we produced four drawings with recommended plant species and plant design for the spring, summer, fall and winter living wall prototype.”
The installation of the green wall took about two weeks. “It was fascinating to watch the installation process,” said Nichols. “The wall is 24 feet wide and 35 feet tall and there were 693 standard panels and several custom panels so ensuring that the right plant was placed in the proper place was crucial. Each plant container was numbered and Ambius followed their chart which showed exactly where to put each container on the wall.”