Thursday, 22 May 2014

Ecosystem Installed in Affordable Seniors Residence
Welland, Ontario Seniors will Benefit from the BEST

Image by PeapodLife: Ecosystem mechanicals, base, and panels installed
at Birchwood Place, 235 Fitch Street, Welland Ontario 
(inset photo credit: Niagara Regional Housing).

“We know safe and affordable housing is an absolute necessity for having a healthy life.”
~ Maryellen MacLellan, NRH Housing Operations Manager

Over the past few weeks, PeapodLife and its partners have been working on a rudimentary green wall ecosystem for Birchwood Place, Fitch Street Affordable Residence for Seniors.

PeapodLife has to wait for the final completion of the ecosystem, due to various factors which must be met:
  1. The building has undergone final clean-up of dust, and airing out of the complex for construction adhesives and other chemical construction pollution, including contributing materials gassing-off.

  2. Once ample time has been given to achieve safe levels, we will begin to add water and get the Ecosystem running.

  3. Shortly thereafter we will add the plants, water plants and fish, as the water and system settle. Please note that this too is a gradual, organic process. Ecosystems are self-organizing and at their best when given a chance to find their own expression.

In synthesis, we need to give the ecosystem the best possible start and can’t rush this critical time. Like any natural being in its infancy, the ecosystem is at its most fragile and nowhere near its full potential in the beginning. It actually “grows up” and into its new environment, self-organizing and establishing its own optimum way of being.

Image by PeapodLife: What a PeapodLife Living Wall looks like when the ecosystem has had a chance to begin to establish itself.

Compare this to other so-called “living walls” which look great just after being installed, but then begin a slow—and sometimes quite rapid—decline into a soggy, rotting, mouldy mess. Many designers and architects have actually dropped the idea of working with these pretend living walls, and building owners who invested in large-scale installations now lament doing so, with tens of thousands of dollars being spent annually in plant replacement costs.

PeapodLife is committed to doing living walls the right way, as they were meant to be done: working in support of natural processes, not against them. The result? Vibrant, beautiful ecosystems which may cost a little more money up-front, but in the long term pay dividends to all who experience them.

Image: PeapodLife Ecosystem at Graduate Engineering Lab, University of Toronto.

And really, if an affordable housing complex for seniors in Welland can afford one, that speaks volumes: not only of PeapodLife’s willingness to work within the parameters set out by our clients, but also our commitment to making our BEST—Building EcoSystems & Technology—available to everyone on the economic and demographic spectrum. 

Niagara Regional Housing is accepting applications for the new non-smoking seniors (55+) apartment building at 235 Fitch Street (East Building), Welland, ON.

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