Surrey library goes green with living wall

While there are no shortages of parks around the Semiahmoo Peninsula to enjoy the greenery of trees, flowers and plants, there is one place where one might not expect to find such foliage growing – on the wall of a South Surrey building.

More than 10

While there are no shortages of parks around the Semiahmoo Peninsula to enjoy the greenery of trees, flowers and plants, there is one place where one might not expect to find such foliage growing – on the wall of a South Surrey building.

The ‘living wall’ began to take root last fall on the south exterior wall of 1815 152 St., home to the South Surrey RCMP and Semiahmoo Library.

More than 10,000 plants – including shrubs and small trees – were installed, a City of Surrey project estimated at costing $272,000 and described as “the largest and most diverse project of its kind in North America.”

The process began in late summer of 2010, when Green over Grey – the company hired to do the work – started working on designs for the 3,000 square-foot wall, including colours, shapes and flowering schedules. The planting was completed within a few months, and before long, the first of the flowers began to bloom.

In addition to its unique visual appeal, the wall also provides improved air quality and energy savings. According to Green over Grey, the additional insulation created by the two-inch layer of air between the plant and the concrete can decrease heating and cooling costs by up to 20 per cent.

The garden mimics the way plants grow along cliffsides and bluffs, and requires no soil; using a hydroponic system, the plants are added to a recycled-fabric layer through which nutrient-enriched water is circulated. The plant layer also protects the concrete from the elements, much like a rainscreen would.

Despite being the first of its kind on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, the living wall project isn’t a new concept – the oldest such wall was planted in Paris about 30 years ago, and covers approximately 10,000 sq. ft.

Living walls can also be found around Europe and Asia.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Santa Parade may be cancelled

Annual parade in Cloverdale has seen security costs skyrocket

Semiahmoo Peninsula singer joins voices with vocal partner to form virtual choir

Singers share sacred choral piece online as antidote for dark times

‘The exposure is great’: Why this photo is a contest-winner for one Surrey adventurer

Nature photographer Eduardo Baena spends a lot of time in the wild

South Surrey hikers discover decades-old campsite hidden in Golden Ears Park

Group reconnects with original campers through social media, returns log book

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read