Historic Michigan town gets outdoor living wall on substation

Living wall greens up the exterior of the new substation in REO Town neighborhood

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The Lansing Board of Water & Light’s new Central Substation in the city’s historic REO Town neighborhood features a two-sided, 425-square-foot living wall installed with the LiveWall® Outdoor Living Wall System. Completed in July 2019, the living wall greens up the exterior of the new substation and establishes a visual link to the Scott Sunken Garden.

“The Central Substation provides more reliable, affordable power to downtown Lansing,” said Dick Peffley, general manager, Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL). “The green wall is a vital part in fulfilling our commitment to the community that the design of the new substation would revitalize the area’s landscape, establish an inviting gateway to REO Town, and reconnect the area to downtown.”

“We envisioned the living wall as a green focal point that softens the view of the Central Substation’s brick façade, which people see as they drive into or exit downtown,” said Bob Ford, ASLA, principal, Landscape Architects & Planners, Inc., the landscape architecture firm for the project. “It also serves as a prominent landscape feature that visually connects the substation to the historic Scott Sunken Garden, which was saved and relocated as part of the project.”L Wall Bwl Plant Install July2019 2

“As seen from the Sunken Garden, the living wall is an extension of the garden landscape and unifies the overall landscape,” said Paul Toaz, landscape manager, Lawn Sprinklers Sales, Service & Design, Inc., the project’s landscape contractor and living wall installer. “For example, when you exit from the Sunken Garden parking lot, you face the west section of the living wall and see its natural beauty.”

The LiveWall Living Wall was installed in two sections on the north and west walls of the Central Substation. Each section measures 21’-4” x 10’-3 3/8” and fits into specially recessed frames built into the substation’s brick walls. In total, it includes 330 LiveWall modular planter boxes, which are high-impact, UV-resistant, architectural quality moldings. Manufactured in a cedar color to complement the color of the bricks of the substation’s exterior walls, the planter modules contain re-usable inserts that hold the growing medium for the plants and contain a mix of six different annuals.

The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL)

The BWL is a municipally-owned public utility that provides safe, reliable and affordable utility products and services to more than 97,000 electric and 56,000 water customers throughout the greater Lansing, Mich. area. The BWL owns 2,000 miles of overhead and underground power lines and more than 800 miles of water mains, providing 2.7 million megawatt hours and 7 billion gallons of water to customers annually. To learn more about the history and mission of the Lansing Board of Water & Light, visit www.lbwl.com.

LiveWall

Designed with a healthy regard for plants, LiveWall® is the patented living wall system that achieves simplicity and sustainability in harmony with nature. LiveWall is the result of four years of R&D by the professionals who created LiveRoof®, the superior green roof system. LiveWall green wall solutions are engineered with horticultural and structural features specific for indoor and outdoor environments. LiveWall supports plants as nature intended — roots growing down, stems and leaves growing up. With unsurpassed versatility to grow a diversity of plant types, LiveWall transforms ordinary walls into inspiring, thriving vertical landscapes that are simple to install and easy to maintain. 

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