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Based in West Michigan, Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group. And Spectrum Health’s heart and vascular care experts deliver world-class care. In June 2015, Spectrum Health installed a 200-square-foot green wall outside an entrance to the Spectrum Health Medical Group Heart and Vascular Center. Measuring 5’4” high by 20’ wide on each side, the freestanding living wall is a unique two-sided installation, proposed by Dave MacKenzie of LiveWall.
The east-facing side is the Heart Planted Wall, visible as patients and staff come up to the building entrance. It’s landscaped with a distinctive design of three heart shapes expressed in a dark red color with Coral Bells plus other perennials and sedums. The west side facing toward the building is the Vertical Edibles Garden planted with a variety of vegetables and herbs, promoting healthy eating for healthy hearts. Vegetables grown here include tomatoes, green peppers, Swiss chard, kale, leeks and herbs such as oregano, basil, rosemary, and mint. Spectrum Health Medical Group Nurse Kathleen Nickerson envisioned the heart design as an art piece to promote healthy living, symbolizing the process patients are engaged in to restore or improve their cardiovascular health. She says, “The two sides are the two sides of heart health.” In total 150 plants with about a dozen different types were planted in the LiveWall Outdoor System with Automatic Irrigation. During work breaks, staff enjoy looking at the green wall and gather at picnic tables and benches placed on the lawn nearby. They also benefit from harvesting herbs and vegetables to take home. Overall, the green wall is a sustainability statement with a clear line of sight from the parking lot and sidewalk leading up to the building. The prominent two-sided green wall not only welcomes patients and staff as they enter the Spectrum Health Medical Group Heart and Vascular Center, but the thriving living wall also inspires heart health with its unique, thoughtful, and demonstrative design.
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Greenroofs.com Project of the Week video photo credits: All courtesy of LiveWall and Chris Clark/spectrumhealthbeat.org.