The west side of the 18-story Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building is getting a 250-foot-tall green wall, writes The Washington Post. The western wall is also 150 feet long, making the expanse about “three-quarters the size of an NFL playing field, minus the end zones.” The federal building’s new wall is part of a $135 million remodeling mostly funded by federal stimulus funds. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) (see earlier post on GSA’s Design Awards) seeks to create a “landmark high-performance building.” According to The Washington Post, it’s the largest stimulus project in Oregon.
SERA Architects, the design firm for the building, will create seven vertical “vegetated fins” that will “jut at acute angles.” The fins act as a trellis and provide the foundation for the plantings. The architects are still working out which plants will grow well 250-feet in the air, and how to fertilize, water, and prune at those heights. High-rise pruners may be deployed in the same way skyscrapers get window washers. Additionally, rainwater will be collected on the roof and an elaborate irrigation system will water the wall.
The wall helps create a new look for an unloved “modernist, International style” federal building created in the 1970’s. In addition to removing and replacing the facade, the GSA will add new energy-efficiency features: “Elevators that generate electricity on the way down, solar arrays on the roof, smart lighting systems that adjust to the daylight available, using some of the collected rainwater to flush toilets.” Construction is expected to take 30-40 months.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities told The Washington Post: “The GSA has been a real leader in the use of green roofs and walls. It’s nice to see the government leading by example.”
Image credit: Baumberger Studio / SERA Architects / GSA