2023 Gold Award for Living Wall Design/Renovation

Green Wall Design and Installation

In a private school inside Chicago, a set of four living walls was installed in 2019. The walls lined a heavily-trafficked hallway and were seen by nearly one thousand students every day. The wall system was complex; the plants were installed as plugs inside a mesh material- there was no soil to store water, so the plants relied on steady irrigation to survive.  Over time, as the walls and their hardware aged, pieces of the system began to fail. The irrigation system was a major issue, and all of the plants were suffering as a result. At this point, the school contacted us and asked for recommendations to address the situation. The client wanted to keep their live walls, but our team had a better solution.


Our team knew the best path forward was replacing their current system with the ASI NextGen Living Wall System. This would allow our service team to easily monitor moisture levels and conduct replacements when necessary. Our design team jumped into action, providing three designs for the school to choose from. The client selected the first design, with a lush, natural feel.


Our field team carefully removed all existing plant material, disposing of the mesh backing in the process. All irrigation was disconnected. No more leaking irrigation lines to worry about! The next hurdle was the school year itself. Because the installation would be spread over multiple days, we needed to wait until summer break to install. In the meantime, decorative vinyl covers were designed and put in place to keep the hallway presentable for the remainder of the semester.  As we were waiting for summer to begin, our sales team sourced custom stainless steel side panel coverings, to make the transition from old to new hardware seamless. D5 Design & Metal Fabrication, a full-service fabrication company in the city, assisted throughout this process.


Finally, installation week arrived. Our crew, armed with a simple pattern guide, plugged in the plants one at a time, creating a vibrant, colorful display that the school hadn’t seen for years.  After months of design and planning, the living walls were complete. A new, long-term system was in place, and our service team is now much better-equipped to deal with the walls. The client is ecstatic and we are proud to have completed another beautiful living wall.


Sometimes, there are many ways to solve the same problem. In this client’s case, a faster, easier solution would have been to continue to make band aid fixes to their root issue. We could have installed several flats of fresh plugs for an instant visual improvement of their walls. We decided against the quick-fix method. Instead, we chose to pursue a labor-intensive permanent solution, completely changing their wall system. While this did create more work for us on the front end, it will save countless hours and headaches in the years to come. Our team pulled together and solved this problem with foresight and professionalism. We are proud of our work, and our client can now rest easy with their beautiful living walls.

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