Sustainability Message Flourishing in NYC

Sustainability Message Flourishing in NYC

While we celebrate an early spring, I thought I’d share a particularly relevant story concerning one of our recent sustainability projects at the Hostelling International – New York City. In addition to our standard energy conservation measures including a LED Lighting Upgrade, Ozone Laundry, Variable Frequency Drives and an Energy Management Systemswe also installed an EcoWall at the Hostelling International – NYC.

EcoGreenHotel solicited the services of a relatively new, up-and-coming company called EcoWalls. As its company name implies, EcoWalls is a startup partnership between Rutgers University students and professors seeking to blend hydroponics and aesthetics together in order to form a more beautiful and environmentally sensitive indoor spaces.

We were looking for a way to communicate the large investment that Hostelling International committed to provide a more sustainable environment to their guest and the EcoWall appeared to be a wonderful communication tool. EcoWalls creates a truly unique experience that only“living walls” can offer; essentially, creating the chance for people to connect with nature in an unexpected space. Biophilia is the intrinsic connection that people have with nature. By incorporating natural elements like lighting, stone, water, and plant material, people feel more comfortable in a space.  Living walls take this a step further by improving both the aesthetic and biologic nature of the built environment.  They can be used as tools to purify air, treat grey water, create habitat space for wildlife, help to mitigate storm water runoff, and provide natural insulation to reflect solar radiation and cool building temperatures.

To date, EcoWalls has worked with several companies in the resort, green hotels and hospitality industry including Walt Disney World, Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas, and the Palmyra Resort. Each company did have different reasons to incorporate an EcoWall into their design concept – allowing for the tremendous variety of possibilities to be showcased. At Disney’s Epoct, Ecowalls created living wall flags; Italy, France, Great Britain, and Japan for the entrance to the World Showcase at Epcot. In the Atlantis Resort, a colorful plant pallet has been made to symbolize a coral reef; the Palmyra Resort requested to incorporate “mobile” living walls into a lounge area created for an event.  The living walls flanked a large media screen and included native fern species from Jamaica – servingas visual enhancement and a unique marketing mechanism.

This diverse versatility and customization of these “green products” (pun intended), is what attracted the New York City Hostel to first consider undertaking this project.  At the hostel, a 100% automatic hydroponic living wall was installed primarily to add to the room’s ambiance, as well as, allow their guests to gain a firsthand appreciation for the property’s corporate sustainability mission statement with a plaque to be installed along side. “…Going green starts with small changes. I can’t be more pleased with the outcome of our beautiful Living Wall. This was an effort by many that made this wonderful piece of art come to fruition.” says George Finn, General Manager at Hostelling International – New York City. In addition, the plants for the living wall were selected based on their unique abilities to assimilate different types of pollutants, purifying the air we breathe.

Continuing, George states that “Some 225,000 + visitors from around the globe each year will now have a chance to appreciate this profoundly “green” and beautiful centerpiece of our common area of the Hostel. My hope is that it inspires one to pause and think about what sustainability and going green means to them. Through this work of art, we will call to attention our pledge to be good world citizens and encourage all to do what they can in order to pass this world on to generations to come a better place than how we were brought in to find it. You must be the change you wish to see in the world… this wall speaks that change!”
EcoWalls is able to accomplish such “botanical boldness” by utilizingits proprietary blend of lightweight inorganic materials and unique irrigation method in order to grow lush green-scapes on building facades. Additionally, EcoWalls takes its sustainability projects a step further integrating 100% post consumer recycled material with the wall frame 100% recyclable.

If you have a specific question about this topic or any other sustainability/energy conservation project please contact EcoGreenHotel.

About EcoGreenHotel

EcoGreenHotel LLC (Knoxville, TN), is a privately held company dedicated to helping lodging facilities address a broad spectrum of sustainability issues. EcoGreenHotel provides customized consulting services tailored to the needs of the hospitality industry in the areas of energy efficiency and certifications, including LEED, Green Seal and Energy Star. For those properties that have reached certified levels of sustainability, For further information, email or call 888-229-0213.

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