A once thriving green wall ” The Block, Sky High ” has now been left high & dry!
Fytogreen was delighted to design and construct an innovative green wall solution at the iconic ” The Block, Sky High ” – the first of many, for Channel 9’s TV series “The Block.”
Back in 2013, The Block, Sky High (pictured right) was an Australian First: Green walls on all 4 sides of a building. A total of 25 individual green walls spread over 5 levels of the soon to become iconic “ The Block, Sky High ” building. In 2014 the project was the winner of the ‘Architizer jury & popular choice’ award for Residential Mid Rise Projects, and it was also awarded as a super green, eight-star ENERGY EFFICIENCY rated development.
Although it is always a tragedy observing the loss of such a wonderful garden, much has been learned, including the importance of ensuring body corporates, building management service providers and builders are integrated in their communications, design intents and hand-overs.
Following this, it is vital that appropriate system service providers are engaged to manage and maintain such systems appropriately. We have also learned how far our vertical garden system can be pushed without maintenance, how the systems fare under such conditions within high wind shear exposures through shade to permanent full-sun exposures, drought and heat-waves, without monitoring or general maintenance that all living gardens require.
Vertical gardens are not merely gardens bolted to walls. They are highly specialized eco-systems addressing a significantly diverse range of functionalities in support of architecture within our population and pollution stressed contemporary climate.
Such systems require expert maintenance, much like water purification systems, air-conditioners or farms. If we expect our botanical gardens and farms to be completely self-sufficient and maintenance free, we would not achieve the functionality from them they are designed to provide.
Fytogreen have over 200 successful vertical gardens installations. Our projects showcase a diverse range of notably large and complex designs through to small scale indoor and outdoor installations throughout Australia, including the tallest internal green wall in the southern hemisphere.
The loss of a Fytogreen vertical garden is rare,if not completely unheard-of … Fytogreen pride itself on the ability to integrate successful gardens into built structures, and are proud to be Australia’s leader in building sustainable green walls (ie. The plants live out their natural lifespan, and are not continually replanted with large quantities of fresh plants).
THE FACTS – THE BLOCK, SKY HIGH
1. Fytogreen installed the green walls in June 2013, and included 4 months maintenance to Channel 9 as part of the contract. Maintenance by Fytogreen concluded in October 2013 .
2. The Body Corporate took over the building and decided against entering into an ongoing maintenance agreement with Fytogreen, despite numerous meetings, recommendations and pricing options.
3. The Body Corporate contacted Fytogreen in April 2015, requesting assistance for building related issues and to additionally provide a single maintenance visit on the vertical gardens. Fytogreen completed the work and then waited a further 6 months to receive payment.
4. Fytogreen have not been involved with the Green Wall since April 2015, and we have been informed that the irrigation supply to the garden has now been turned off completely.