UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into implementing biowall in the new SUB project Yoon, Andrew; Ghorbani, Maryam; Shariati, Saba; Elgie, Thomas; Ennison Jr., Tony


Plants have always had a therapeutic effect on humans since time in memorial. Not only do plants serve as a great source of nourishment, clothing, and building material, but they also improve our living environments, our health, and mental well being by providing cleaner air and an aura of aesthetic beauty. Dating back to the time of the Ancient Babylonians the concept of the bio-wall has been used to display the beauty of plants in social infrastructural settings. The architectural excellence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon has deemed it as one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. In the 1920s, the integration of the house with the garden or man with nature was promoted by a strong garden city movement in Britain and North America. It is in this same spirit that the construction and display of a bio-wall is being proposed as potential means of inspiring students and visitors of the new Student Union building (SUB). Bearing in mind the aim of the new SUB committee to promote sustainability awareness on campus, this proposal of a bio-wall seeks to address this goal directly by providing a functional art piece which is socially attractive and educative on matters of sustainability. In order to investigate the feasibility of the proposal, it is necessary that an effective triple bottom line assessment be conducted to evaluate the environmental, social, and economic factors that pertain to the bio-wall. The evaluation seeks not only to present the benefits in these different areas, but also to present some of the shortfalls that come with the bio-wall’s many advantages. The assessment provides the essential details and information needed to determine the feasibility of the proposal. Overall the analysis supports the implementation of this proposal because of the outstanding impact it will have on bolstering the awareness of sustainability on campus and on improving the experience of students and visitors of the new SUB. Socially the aesthetic value of the bio-wall will attract many viewers and the environmental impact of an improved air quality will also be a social and economic benefit. In addition the aim of this proposal and project is to spark an interest in incorporating bio-wall designs and other vertical wall designs in campus infrastructure and beyond. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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