Rejuvenating The Wall Of Life

TORONTO, Ontario

Originally published January 6, 2012, for the University of Guelph-humber’s paper, ‘Radix’

Guelph-Humber’s trademark plant wall or, more notably, “The Wall of Life,” is undergoing some major construction that will ultimately affect the way we breathe.

After being put up 10 years ago, the wall is having its first major overhaul.

Alan Darington, the president of Living Walls, which created the concept, explains that they are changing the way that water falls down from the wall.

The plants are not getting the right water in their roots, which have an impact on their growth.

Contraction on the Plant wall
Guelph-Humber’s plant wall closed for construction (C) Krystal Seecharan

“It may not seem like much” Darington says, “but it has a huge impact”.

“It’s more than just a plant wall, it is an indoor plant bio-filter. All the air that we are breathing is essentially coming from this wall, and all the rubbish in the air such as the benzenes, stink smells, and nasty air are being pulled out and biologically broken down.”

The wall is essentially a living creature at Guelph-Humber, and many students appreciate it. Carleigh Loshusan, a first year early childhood education student, thinks that the concept of providing clean air is brilliant.

“The fact that only our university has it shows how unique of a school we are and the fact that it helps students breathe cleaner air is an added positive.”

To other students the plant wall is a representation of our school and its community.

“I like the plant wall,” says Steven Lorini, a third year business student. “To me it symbolizes our future and how we have to grow into something big.”

This is the very first wall in the world to ever use this kind of technology. It generates virtual outside air, so you don’t have to go out in the cold to get natural fresh air you are getting it inside.

“The wall is truly an experiment,” says Darlington. “Since putting it in we have learned how to do things differently. We are bringing the wall up to speed on what we now know.”

Construction and cleaning of the wall will take most of the semester.

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