green wall limited maintenance access


I'm working on a project that was initially approved with the condition of having a green wall on the rear wall. This building is 4 stories tall and surrounded by 1 story constructions. So the plan was to have the green wall from second level to the roof in the back. The problem now comes with the access for maintenance. The company who install these plants says that they need a front access to the whole surface about 4 times a year. I was told that NYC doesn't allow suspended scaffolding for this situations, not to mention the litigation with neighbors for this easement; and there's properties around for ladder or similar. Can anybody advice about a system with limited access for maintenance that can provide this kind of look?


Jun 2, 14 5:55 pm

How about something like this:

Jun 2, 14 7:54 pm

Build in a rail system for a window washing rack.

4x/yr?  I would think monthly at least for a year.  Plants will die and weeds will grow.

Jun 3, 14 1:54 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

In my opinion:  Green walls = weird fad.   They seem like they are primarily designed as a sign announcing, "Look at us!  We're green!  We're forward-thinking and awesome!"

People get tired of maintaining green walls, and they start looking crummy, or die altogether. 

Green ceilings next?

Jun 3, 14 2:35 pm

green it all

^-- flash and pop-ups.  they need more web designer and less plants, but whatever.  they do a good job at what they do.

Jun 3, 14 2:39 pm


OK, since you have already screwed up at your job because job #1 is to do your homework before you commit to something, then you have to do job #2 and figure out how to fix it. 

You can:

1) go back to the approval dept and beg for a change


2) redesign so they can maintain 


3) install anyway and let it die (which is what usually happens anyway)


4) install some other thing so they can hang over the edge to maintain it (window washing bosuns chair)

Jun 3, 14 3:18 pm

Finally, seems that we are going to set back the wall and create a path so they can reach the surface. This will screw the structure highly... so now what i'm looking at is a rolling ladder, like library type, with a railing on the top. Still this thing is huge! like 30' tall... i'm not sure if by code i am allowed to put such a ladder, not to mention if this ladder needs angle will set back my wall like... 8'? I am hoping i can do railing top & bottom and vertical ladder so i only have to set back around 3'.

PS. I jumped in the project for the CD, schematic phase wasn't my design :)

Jun 4, 14 1:13 pm
x intern

Your building appears to be in the middle of a giant dirt field why don't you put the green on the ground where it belongs.  Or install and grid/mesh and plant vines.  

Jun 4, 14 2:41 pm
OSHA governs building maintenance. Look on their website for ladder requirements.
Jun 4, 14 4:57 pm

Can't you go back and redesign the green wall out of the picture and just do a highly insulated wall of conventional type construction?  Screwing the structure and probably losing usable square footage for the sake of politically correct empty environmental symbolism is certainly not in the interests of your client.  This kind of nonsense is what gives architects a bad name.

This too shall pass (sigh). 

Jun 4, 14 7:21 pm

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