For us here at greenscreen®, spring time means the AIA Conference and Expo. The 2015 AIA Conference is a great opportunity to meet with architects from all over the world and find out what projects and questions that they have regarding green facade technology. In 2015, the AIA Expo was held at the World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. We haven’t been to Atlanta for a while to do a show, so we were looking forward to meeting designers that we may have not had a chance to meet before. We were even more excited since greenscreen® just completed our third party verified Health Product Declaration (HPD) and the architectural profession has been largely responsible for driving the product transparency movement.
Typically, for all conferences and expos, we roll into town a couple of days early to set up our booth and take the opportunity to get out and document local projects. The booth usually takes between 4-6 hours to set up depending on the configuration and it is truly a labor of love. We are very fortunate that we can actually construct the booth out of greenscreen® panels and then use them to display the great projects that designers and contractors have completed. We often get designers stopping by to see if their projects are hanging on display and we always add a few with local flavor.
After a day of booth set up, we set out to see some of the local Atlanta projects that had been installed since the last time that we were in town and to check up on some of our older favorites. Our first stop was up in Marietta, GA to see one of our Whole Foods installations. We have been included in a number of Whole Foods stores including their flagship in Chicago and the home store in Austin, TX. The Marietta Whole Foods is one of our favorites because the design features custom, oversized column treatments in the curbside café entrance area and wall mounted infill panels surrounded by a structural steel frame.
The curved column-like design has been very successful and has even been extended to other entrances for retailers. There are also wall mounted installations that help to disguise the functional necessity of trash dumpsters located in the parking lot.
As luck would have it, we struck up a conversation with a representative of the project development/management team from EDENS. They have been very satisfied with the look of the greenscreen® panels and were looking for information on how to maintain their investment and to get some recommendations on adding additional plant material. After our chance meeting, we have shared with them copies of our greenscreen® Guidelines for Green Facade Plant Selection and the greenscreen® Guidelines for Green Facade Maintenance to pass along to their landscape contractors and clients.
Heading south back towards Atlanta, we stopped at our newest installation at the Buckhead Marta station. The Buckhead station was constructed by Archer Western, a member of the Walsh Group, and features an alternating combination of freestanding fence components with freestanding column punctuations. The planting combination of native Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) and Confederate Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) was filling in very nicely and made the short walk from the station to the adjacent parking area just that more pleasant on a sunny, spring day!
Once back in the downtown Atlanta area, we checked on a couple older projects to see their progress. One of our goals during these site visits is to capture the projects as they get more mature so that we can document the “living” component of the greenscreen® system. Within walking distance of Olympic Park are the Residences at W that has custom shaped “boxes” at the front sidewalk separating the drop off area from the street. The “boxes” help to separate the two areas and provides a nice entry detail to the high end condo lifestyle.
Located on Olympic Park and adjacent to the Coca-Cola Museum is the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium is renowned as the largest in the world with over 8 million gallons of fresh and marine water and more than 100,000 animals representing 500 species from around the globe! A large, freestanding greenscreen® installation helps to define the northern end of Olympic Park and create a transition from park to urban environment.
All in all, the 2015 AIA Expo was a great opportunity to meet with almost 17,000 architects and those within the architecture profession! The southern collard greens, BBQ, Atlanta Hawks playoff basketball and the chance to see some greenscreen® projects were an additional bonus. We are looking forward to 2016 in Philadelphia!