College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Landscape Architecture

Coming to Fruition

Professor Nola’s design studio one year after working on their living wall designs sits in front of the completed green wall.
Professor Nola’s design studio one year after working on their living wall designs.

The Stamp Student Union’s newest installation is digging its roots into student life. A living wall, also known as a vertical garden, was installed last month and is sprouting lots of excitement. A once plain and barren hallway is now bright and vibrant with luscious plantings and even some edible ones! The initiative was led by the UMD Facilities Management, Professor Dennis Nola’s Fall 2017 LARC340 studio (pictured above), and Furbish, a company that specializes in developing green walls and green roofs. For the students, this project was no ordinary design concept. The students knew this project would be built, and that provided them an extra push to work their hardest. Raena Nola said that she found herself thinking and designing more practically because of it. During the design process, students presented design concepts to Stamp Student Union faculty and heard from living wall experts from Furbish. The design concepts of the students were then taken into consideration for the final installment. In addition to the studio class’s contribution, four students came together as “Team TerpVert” to produce a grant proposal for the UMD Sustainability Fund.

Team TerpVert was successful in being granted the fund, which advanced the installation process of the living wall. After many months of hard work and coordination, the students, faculty, and others who were involved with the project got to see the wonderful fruits of their labor. Dan Wray, the Assistant Director of Facilities for the university, worked closely with Team TerpVert and the LARC340 studio class to make this project happen. Here are his thoughts on the project:

Q: What are you most proud of regarding what’s been done?

“I was incredibly impressed with the student project concepts and think the final design of the wall reflects several inspirations from the students in the Fall 2017 LARC 340 course. Stamp maintenance staff ran all of the plumbing and electrical components to make ready for the irrigation, controls and lighting system. Bravo to our talented students and capable staff!”

Q: Now that the living wall is constructed,what’s next?

“Now that the installation is complete, we will work to “tell our story” and promote the benefits of the Vertical Garden. Stamp Marketing is developing a promotional video that will be displayed in the hallway as well as informative signage that will adorn the wall space on both sides of the wall. The video will include a time-lapse of the growth of the plants and installation. The signage will promote the benefits of the Vertical Garden and include the student designs from the fall LARC340 class. We are planning to have all of this in place for an official ribbon cutting on Maryland Day 2019!”

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