Vertical plant installation uprooted at TRU

The plant wall at TRU's House of Learning was removed after administrators determined it was too expensive and a safety hazard.

KAMLOOPS - The four-storey plant wall at Thompson Rivers University is no more after administration determined there were too many negative reasons to continue maintaining it.

“It will be missed,” the university's vice-president of advancement Chris Seguin says. “But when cost, safety and preference are lost, sometimes you make hard decisions."

The plant wall was an enivronmental feature that ran vertically across a four-storey wall in TRU's House of Learning which opened during the summer 2011. Campus staff began its removal this week.

Seguin says over the course of its duration, the watering system for the wall created a slipping hazard after pools of water would collect at the bottom level of the building. Coupled with the watering issues came humidity problems. If a plant died and rotted, the smell would carry throughout the entire building.

Another decided factor was the price tag. The plant wall cost the university between $20,000 and $30,000 annually to maintain, which 70 per cent of surveyed students said they didn’t care for.

While life was cut short for the plant wall, Seguin says work on a new piece to replace it is already underway.

“(The wall) is going to be a recycled wood product that will create a textured look. It’ll be stunning,” Seguin says, adding the building will maintain its LEED environmental certification which designates it as a green project.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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