Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 36.07
Liaison Dr. Christopher Williams
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Delaware
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Michelle Bennett
Sustainability Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
University of Delaware STAR Tower Living Wall

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

A newly installed living wall at the University of Delaware’s Tower at STAR brings the outdoors in, offering inspiration, relaxation and renewal - along with improved air quality - for students, faculty, staff and community partners needing to catch their breath in this one-of-a-kind space. The design and location - directly in front of the Exercise Intervention Space on the second floor of the Tower at STAR - were intentional, giving those using the space a view unlike any other. It’s also functional - the wall includes a small chef’s garden featuring herbs that can be plucked and incorporated into the cooking activities in the adjacent demonstration kitchen.

The College of Health Sciences worked with New Jersey-based EcoWalls to design and construct the living wall. Sue Barton, a professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, also provided valuable input on the plants for the wall, along with graduate student John Kaszan. Michael Coraggio, founder and design principal of EcoWalls, said some plants, including spathiphyllum and philodendron, were selected because they can absorb volatile organic compounds and other harmful indoor air contaminants. Others have a soothing fragrance, including hoyas, which smell like chocolate, as well as vanilla orchids.

Sensitivity to the environment and sustainability loomed large throughout the project, Coraggio said. The wall features a water-efficient irrigation system and sustainable hydroponic technology, resulting in zero waste. The wall can reclaim excess water for treatment and reuse in another watering cycle. Following an acclimation period, plants on the living wall in the atrium at the Tower at STAR need maintenance only once a month, mainly for pruning and checking nutrient levels.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Air & Climate
Wellbeing & Work

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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