U of Ottawa snags living green wall award

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The University of Ottawa has won a 2014 Green Roof and Wall Award of Excellence from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) for its six-storey biofilter living wall—the tallest in North America.

Featured in the Faculty of Social Sciences Building, the tropical plant-covered wall is a valuable component of the building’s air exchange system and part of the faculty’s goal to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Diamond Schmitt Architects pioneered the commercial application of the energy-efficient air purifying process developed by Nedlaw Living Walls nearly a decade ago.

Awards judge David Yocca, principal landscape architect and planner at Conservation Design Forum, pointed out that the diversity of entries across the continent shows how living architecture has advanced from obscurity to mainstream design.

“For many projects, the level of integration and range of attributes demonstrates a certain maturity of the green roof and wall industry,” he said. “Many submitted projects illustrate the potential for living architecture to be greater than the sum of the parts, and amplify the performance and utility of built infrastructure for many audiences at the same time.”

The GRHC is a non-profit organization working to promote the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs, green walls and other forms of living architecture across North America.

The awards will be formally presented at CitiesAlive conference in Tennessee in November, 2014.

The 2014 Awards of Excellence Winners include:

• Intensive Institutional Award: P.S. 6 Eric Dutt Eco Center, New York, N.Y., MKM Landscape Architecture PC.

• Small-Scale Residential Award: Kimball Ave., Chicago, Ill., Omni Ecosystems.

• Extensive Industrial/Commercial Award: Midtown High Rise, New York, N.Y. Award Recipient: New York Green Roofs.

• Special Recognition Award: Music City Center, Nashville, Tenn., Roofmeadow and Greenrise Technologies.

• Extensive Institutional Award: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Southwest Fisheries Science Center, San Diego, Calif., Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co.

• Extensive Residential Award: Silver City Townhomes, Milwaukee, Wis., Xero Flor America.

• Interior Green Wall Award: Social Sciences Building, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont., Diamond Schmitt Architects / KWC Architects / NEDLAW Living Walls.

• Exterior Green Wall Award: The Shoppes at Kingsbury Square, Chicago, Ill., Wolff Landscape Architecture.

• Intensive Industrial / Commercial Green Roof Award. Whole Foods Market, Lynnfield, Mass., Recover Green Roofs, LLC.