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Seven Green Walls Enliven the Exterior of Golden 1 Center in Sacramento
Golden 1 Center is the brand new home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. The Kings set out to build the world’s most sustainable indoor arena, establish new standards for energy efficiency and water conservation, and re-define how a downtown arena relates to its surroundings. Designed by AECOM, Golden 1 Center is the world’s first LEED Platinum certified indoor sports venue. As fans approach the arena, they see living symbols of the Kings’ commitment to sustainability: seven green walls totaling 4,800 square feet. Featuring 5,400 plants, the green walls were constructed with the LiveWall® system from LiveWall, LLC, the green wall subsidiary of Hortech, Inc., Spring Lake, Mich.
“Unlike any other arena, the beautiful Golden 1 Center is the catalyst for the region, built on the foundation of the city’s ideals and values, a purposeful effort to think about our environment and resources, and profoundly impact the economy in Sacramento and beyond,” said Chris Granger, president of the Kings. “The entire project is a model of sustainability. Our green walls are a prominent feature of the arena and represent the fulfillment of our vision.”
“The inspired idea was to make the building look as if it rests on the green wall, grounding the arena on the landscape and extending the landscape from the plaza up to the walls of the arena itself,” said James Haig Streeter, landscape design lead, AECOM. “As people come up to the arena, it appears to emerge from the landscape. They see vibrant bands of green that change, as different sections utilize different plants based on the varying patterns of sun and shade around the building.”
Completed in September 2016, the seven sections of green wall total 4,800 square feet and include 2,700 LiveWall modular planters. They feature 18 different types of plants and 5,400 plants in total. All flowering plants bloom in shades of purple, the Kings’ signature color.
In evaluating green wall system options for the project, AECOM considered several critical success factors. “We wanted a proven, tried and true system with well-engineered components that could scale up,” said Haig Streeter. “It was important for the green wall design to provide adequate soil depth and volume to protect the plants and keep the walls from drying out in the heat of summer.”
The Sacramento office of BrightView, one of the nation’s leading landscape services companies, installed the green walls. The installation includes 2,700 LiveWall planter modules. They attach to a unique aluminum rail and mounting track system, which is affixed to the structural wall and secures the planters and integrated irrigation components.
Florasource Ltd. (San Clemente, Calif.), an independent horticulture supply company and LiveWall distributor, provided 5,400 plants in LiveWall’s planter inserts so that the plants would be hearty and ready for installation into the modular planters in September 2016. AECOM and Florasource selected 18 different types of plants. Many of the selected species will grow large enough to cover much of the green wall components. In order to create an authentic vertical landscape, they chose plant species that are native to the area, or which have similar aesthetic qualities. To minimize supplemental irrigation requirements, all the plants are appropriate for the climate. Varied plant mixes for individual green wall sections account for differences in sun and shade around the arena.