Green over Grey, Semiahmoo Library – Surrey, British Columbia


The Semiahmoo library is the proud owner of the largest green wall in the world. The architecture of the building is not just pretty; compared to a similar sized conventional building, it consumes 49% less energy, has a 30% increase in water savings (including drought tolerant native plants for the landscaping), the build diverted 88% of landfill with a waste management plan, supported the local economy by using locally manufactured materials (almost 45%), and 54% of the buildings materials contain recycled content.

What also sets this building apart, is the artistic application of the green wall. Using plants as his brush, designer Mike Weinmaster was inspired by the artwork of the Coast Salish (including Semiahmoo) First Nations People, and the resulting wall is a stunning display – almost a kind of living mural.

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