05 Feb Bomb Cyclone Didn’t Stop GSky From Installing Green Walls

2017 ended, and 2018 started, with a “bomb cyclone” bringing snow, ice & wind chills that reportedly plunged temperatures in the Northeast below 20 degrees several times.

While the weather made life miserable outside, GSky brought vibrant nature and beauty inside by installing five living walls all during the winter storm. This was not an easy feat, but the experience, planning & partners that GSky has in place made the process possible.

The walls consist of interior tropical plants that don’t tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees, which increased the level of difficulty finishing these walls before the new year. However, GSky’s team pulled through and made it happen. Not only did the walls bring nature inside while it was frozen outside, but with GSky’s sustainable technology, they’ll be standing there for years to come.

Read more about the five green walls that were installed during the bomb cyclone:  

Embassy Suites — Denton, Texas

Two vibrant vertical green walls made up of 1,752 plants were installed at the Embassy Suites in Denton, Texas. These 22 foot high walls flank a stone water wall feature in the lobby of the hotel with LED rail track lights lining the green walls. Not only does the lighting support the needs of the plants, but it also adds to the ambiance. The plants were designed to form a bold curvilinear design to flow seamlessly across the living walls, adding to the feeling of life and movement in the area.

Rose Hulman Institute of Technology — Terre Haute, Indiana

Over winter break at the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, a vibrant green wall was installed in the newly expanded Hulman Memorial Student Union. The school wanted to welcome the students back to the Union with a dynamic and lively green wall. They accomplished this with 1,458 plants placed in a curvilinear form to represent movement and life.

“I must admit, I was skeptical about a living wall when we first started discussing it from a maintenance perspective.  I couldn’t have been more wrong and the design is just amazing.  Really catches your eye as you enter our new main entrance. What a beautiful system with benefits that keep giving over time.” – Michael A. Taylor, MSM, CEFP  |  Senior Director Facilities Operations for Rose Hulman

ASICS — Boston, Massachusetts

Located at ASICS’ new product creation and design lab in Boston, Massachusetts, is a newly installed Versa Wall®. The living green wall incorporates the ASICS logo within the plant design. “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived, so it’s only fitting that their green wall represents those words through the design.

Long Island Marriott — Long Island, New York

This 367 square foot Versa Wall® was installed in the lobby of a Marriott in Long Island, New York. With 2,350 tropical green plants designed giving the impression of a natural background of foliage, it adds depth, dimension and texture. A beautiful wooden frame surrounds the plants enhancing the natural beauty in the lobby for guests and employees.

Hotel at Avalon —  Alpharetta, Georgia

The Hotel at Avalon, located in Alpharetta, Georgia, is the city’s first full-service hotel in almost 20 years. Upon entering the hotel’s lobby, two Versa Walls® border each side. Paired with the walls are modern swings for guests to enjoy. Installed as quiet, natural backgrounds, the luxury hotel atmosphere evokes a graceful, modern ambience.

Have any questions? Email marketing@gsky.com

12 Dec GSky Versa Wall® Color Program Provides Adaptable Designs

GSky’s Versa Wall® is customizable and made to easily change out existing plants to replace them with colorful foliage to match the season or holiday. These durable and unique walls provide the freedom of keeping one design all year long, or with our Color Changing Program, swapping it out for multiple occasions.

BLG Law Firm – Vancouver Office

When first installing this Versa Wall®, year-round plants were placed to keep the foliage looking fresh and relevant as well as fitting into every season.

However, once the holidays came around, BLG Law Firm wanted something a little more festive. Small areas were replaced with poinsettias to bring a holiday flair to this wall.

BLG Law Firm’s Versa Wall® during the year

BLG Law Firm’s Versa Wall® during the holidays with small areas replaced with poinsettias.

Chicago Transwestern

Initially installed in spring, the plants on this vertical garden bloomed along with other plants in nature.

During the summer season, plants are replaced to create a bright, sunny pattern to portray summertime.

Santa Ana – Roger Dunn Golf

A GSky Versa Wall® stands at the front of the Roger Dunn Golf store in Santa Ana, California. Enhancing a connection between nature and the outdoors. The plant palette adapts to reflect different themes so customers will always have something new to look forward to.

Sticking with one type of plant, this design uses the wall as a blank canvas.

During the British Open, an abstract flag was designed onto the wall. With a subtle waving pattern, this Versa Wall® highlighted the national colors of Great Britain and the USA.For the 2016 Olympic Games, colorful bands of plants abstractly represented the colorful rings of the Olympics logo.Nike Swoosh represented with poinsettias for the Holiday SeasonHow the green wall stands during a nonseasonal display.

Incyte Biopharmaceutical Co – Wilmington, DE

Designed within a café and meeting spot is this interior Versa Wall®, where people eat, drink, and mingle around. To keep the look fresh, areas change every four to six weeks. This adds interest along with health benefits and a seasonal color change. 

Installed in the fall using mums for color.

For the holiday season, the plants were switched to red and white annuals.

Smart Walls

The Smart Wall® adds nature, color and design to any space. Not requiring any special allowances, like a water hook up for it to work, this product allows you to install a living wall anywhere. These walls are ideal for small businesses and homes that want a green wall in their space.

Royal Botanic Garden – Sydney

Commissioned for the 200th Bicentenary celebrations the Calyx, a new world-class center for horticulture uses GSky’s Versa Wall® which allows them to change the design frequently coordinating with their educational programs.

07 Dec Meet Hal Thorne of GSky Plant Systems in Delray Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hal Thorne.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Hal. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up moving around a lot as my father was with the government. Sports were an important part of my early life through college (basketball and baseball). I have been fortunate to have had three careers each with a leading institution or company in its industry. I first started out in education as a coach and administrator at a leading private school in the Boston area. After going to business school after 10 years, I worked for the leading seed genetics company in the world, Pioneer Hi-Bred International. We developed and sold corn, soybean, canola, cereal and other seeds to farmers worldwide. I finished my career there as VP for Global Sales and Marketing when Dupont bought the Company.

I worked several years thereafter doing the same but including Dupont’s Agricultural Chemicals. I retired and found my present business as a part-time consultant. They were in Vancouver, British Columbia doing green roofs but had a small wall product. I bought some investors in and took the company out of the green roof business and into living green walls. I somewhat jokingly say buildings have only one roof, but they have eight walls (four inside and four outside). This Company today is the leading Global Provider of green wall systems.

Through this journey, I learned to be competitive but fair, to value different people and cultures, to appreciate getting things done, and to be a good and trustworthy partner. After all, in the world of business one rarely gets things done by themselves.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For some reason, I always had positions and jobs a little ahead of my time or training. Gaining acceptance and trust was a constant effort. Learning also became more of a challenge as technology increasingly has come to dominate business and keeping up is no small feat.

From a physical perspective, I literally flew around the world on a monthly basis and I learned it took real stamina and drive, as well as some amount of adventure to be willing to try new things. Finally, communication skills are vital to a successful career and effective leadership.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with GSky Plant Systems, Inc. – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
GSky Plant Systems is a leading supplier of living green wall systems with over 525 wall systems in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Today we offer four different green wall systems for interior and exterior use. This sets us apart from our competitors who mostly sell one type of system. Also, our geographic span sets us apart as we have learned to remotely manage our products through partnerships.

We design, install and maintain walls, and each system is unique in terms of design flexibility, installation location versatility, plant selection variety, size, cost, coverage time-line, and components. We are developing partnerships with installers, dealers, and maintainers of green wall systems which allows us to expand internationally as well as an ad to our knowledge base given the diverse locations we have product in. Our systems are turn-key and plants are guaranteed as long as maintenance is in place.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Being in a young and growing industry, our vision is that over time wall systems will become more functional in providing benefits such as air quality, acoustical absorption, toxin degradation, heating and cooling properties, workplace productivity, and someday real screening of all the unsightly tall, concrete structures going up in ever-increasing populated areas.

Plants are essential to our eco-system so we must find ways to grow them in places that they normally wouldn’t. So GSky’s plan is to become a learning organization, to continue to develop new and improved systems that support plant life while offering added befits, and to be a global company to take advantage of the diversity in ideas and people.

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07 Nov Visit These Green Walls While Traveling This Season

The holiday season brings people together, meaning you’ll probably be commuting through an airport to see your loved ones or friends. In several airports throughout North America, you’ll find a vertical living wall. Adding nature back into a traditionally sterile, chaotic environment makes for a more enjoyable and organic experience. Make sure to check out these green walls the next time you travel to one of the following airports:

San Francisco Airport Lounge

san-francisco-airport-living-wall-gskyOne of the world’s leading financial companies is creating a series of airport retreats to elevate its customers’ travel experience. At the San Francisco International Airport, the living green wall spans 2-stories and can be seen from a distance. The Versa Wall® system is a prominent part of its branding strategy.

Detroit Airport Terminal

detroit-airport-living-wall-gsky-plant-systemsdetroit-airport-living-wall-food-court-gskydetroit-airport-living-wall-food-court-gsky
Located at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Delta’s second major hub, there are two Versa Wall® systems in the Delta Terminal, which is reported to be the longest continuous terminal in the US. Nearby are seating areas, restaurants and bars.

Chicago O’Hare

chicago-ohare-airport-living-wall-gsky-plant-systemsThe Chicago Department of Aviation had a temporary exhibit, Fly Green Chicago at O’Hare International Airport to showcase the department’s industry-leading green initiatives at both O’Hare and Midway International Airports. The exhibit educated both travelers and employees about the merits of going green by highlighting CDA’s efforts to conserve energy, reduce waste, and protect natural resources at Chicago’s airports.

Miami Airport Lounge

miami-airport-living-wall-gsky-plant-systemsAt the Miami International Airport, located in the lounge behind the reception desk, this Versa Wall® system was designed as “Waves on the Beach” to accommodate the character of the local geographical area.

St. Louis Airport Terminal

The historic Lambert-St.Louis International Airport began its Terminal 1 interior renovation in early 2011. In order to soften and bring life to the the new meet/greet area, a 123 sq ft. VERSA WALL® was installed. The new VERSA WALL® is a fantastic display that represents Lamber-St. Louis Int’l Airport’s commitment to green initiatives as well as their ongoing effort to improve airport experience for passengers.

Houston Airport Lounge

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is just one of the many airports that has a Versa Wall® system inside their building, which gives many benefits such as the plants on the green wall removing toxins in the air.

These green walls are apart of a series of airport retreats created by one of the world’s leading financial companies to elevate its customers’ travel experience. The Versa Wall® system is a prominent part of its branding strategy. There are also Versa Walls® at these airport lounges:  

Vegas Airport Lounge

At the McCarran International Airport, this green wall greets you as your enter the lounge (if you’re a lucky guest).

New York Airport Lounge

The LaGuardia Airport in New York features a Versa Wall® system, which is a prominent part of their branding strategy.

Seattle Airport Lounge

Located in Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, these 2 green walls featured are our Versa Walls®

Have any questions? Email us at: info@gsky.com

28 Sep A Winning Combination: Living Walls and Staircases

Incorporating living walls and staircases into large reception areas, retail spaces, gathering spaces, etc. serves not only as focal points but provide a natural environment to “hike” up the stairs promoting wellness. Here are just a few examples:

Nixon Peabody LLP

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This Washington based law firm decided to make their office open, modern, and green! Their three-story Versa Wall® consists of seven different species of plants which can be viewed while traveling from floor to floor. The living wall welcomes visitors and employees by acting as the focal point in this part of the office.

Sonos

living-wall-with-staircase-gsky-sonosOffering their consumers wireless home or office speakers, Sonos is not tied down by generic walls or staircases in their office. Instead this 1,309 square foot Versa Wall® acts as a gateway for staff and visitors between the lobby and a food service area. On the ground, staircase, or second floor you cannot miss the impact that this green wall has on the room.  

Lenovo

living-wall-staircase-lenovoStanding tall beside the winding three-story staircase is a large three-story green wall composed of four different plants forming a braided pattern traveling up the wall. The sections stand alone on their respective floors, but if you take a step back you can see how they flow as one.

West Elm Tottenham

living-wall-staircase-gskyThis award-winning design was done for one of our corporate clients in their store in Tottenham, England. Green walls have become a unique, fashionable fixture for the brand and conveys their aim to be green. The verdant living wall is located above the main stairwell, serving as the store’s centerpiece to greet customers and alike as they enter the store.

Steptoe & Johnson

living-wall-staircase-gskyThree living walls, with one each on either side of the firm’s main entrance and one reaching up the stairs, greet lawyers and clients as they enter. An international law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., it is the 93rd highest-grossing law firm in the United States according to Am Law 100.

Kal Tire

The first GSky commercial project in the Okanagan Valley, this 254 square foot wall welcomes people descending the staircase into the atrium, creating a soft atmosphere alongside the concrete staircase and floor.

NY Brooklyn Residence

More than just a house plant, this living wall is the focal point of the home. The 180 square foot wall follows the stairs up to the second floor to a skylight that brightens the whole house. Residents get to enjoy the living wall from all areas of the home as the living spaces encircle the Versa Wall®.  

Shake Shack Al Fanar Mall in Kuwait

Walking into this Shake Shack, you’re not just going to get good food, but also a green view with some fresh air on the side. Peeking through to guests on the top and bottom floor, visitors get to experience the full wall while descending down the stairs.

16 Mar 5 Reasons Why Living Green Walls Are The Future

The exponential growth of green design, clean technology, and environmental awareness has created a sharp demand for living walls – its concept dates all the way back to the 1930s but has just recently gained momentum in all sectors and industries of business. The Versa Wall & Pro Wall are clean examples of this. Why?

What started as an architectural movement in design has now become a symbol of environmental consciousness for both businesses and consumers. Architects, commercial real estate developers and residents now recognize the importance of going green, being eco-friendly, and incorporating environmental themes in their living and work spaces.

And the movement is only just beginning – green design has moved from simple installations on buildings to being incorporated into buildings. The symbolic effect is huge – businesses want to inject ‘green’ into their mission because they know that vertical gardens are valuable to their employees and clients.

Here are a few reasons why you should keep living walls on the lookout:

They’re already here
Metropolitan areas are notorious for the urban heat island effect. As a result, major cities like New York, San Francisco, and Seattle are pioneering the growth of living walls, contributing to approximately 25% rate of development for vertical gardens. With such dense populations and commercial building, it’s no wonder that people want to bring nature back into their lives. The result? 68% of businesses that have a living wall report happier employees and stronger client relations.

Clean Technology
With the world slowly moving away from fossil fuel extraction, businesses that develop clean energy and green technology solutions are going to pave the way for a healthier, more sustainable environment. As more and more people realize that going green is beneficial for their health and the economy, living walls will be one of the easiest and most cost-effective green ways to alleviate environmental concerns.

Going Up? Vertical Architecture means Vertical Gardens
In Shenzhen, China, architects are working on building a vertical city – the first of its kind anywhere on the globe. On the other side of the world, Mexico City has implemented a vertical garden solution on the columns supporting its highways in order to alleviate the greenhouse gas emissions from traffic. As cities and municipal governments begin to incorporate these elements of green design into urban plans, more businesses will catch on as well.

Reduced Energy Costs
The fact is that having more plants in an area cools down the need for electric and gas fans and air conditioning. By installing your own living green wall, you not only cleanse the air but cool it through a process known as ‘evapotranspiration.’ If that word got you in a tongue twister, don’t worry — evapotranspiration essentially means that the sum of evaporation from the soil and plants is the same.

This process can reduce temperatures from 2-9 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, which results in a huge amount of savings in electricity and gas month-on-month!

Increased Real Estate Value
The physical benefits of living green walls are immense, but the financial value is often understated studies show that buildings that have living green walls jump in value — sometimes by 12% or more! In addition, they help buildings qualify for the prestigious LEED rating as well.

If you haven’t already considered it, a living green wall may be just what you need to bump up your building. The benefits of going green aren’t limited to just the physical or financial — whether you’re looking to install a beautiful work of art or alleviate environmental degradation, living walls can help.