Letter of Intent
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: 
Letter of Intent: 

This proposal will build upon the previously funded CSF project—the Biodiversity Green Wall, Edible Green Screen, and Water Harvesting Demonstration Project—to include enhanced habitat and interactive educational elements that will reveal the functions and benefits of the project to the public. This proposal is for the design and installation of the following:

1) Interactive educational elements to reveal the hidden water harvesting components and explain the benefits of vegetated walls. Such elements could include a display that tracks current water levels in the cisterns and signage that uses QR (Quick Response) codes to allow visitors to look up monitoring data on the Green Future Lab’s website. In addition, a plaque that announces the project and lists project partners, including CSF, could help to inspire future campus sustainability projects by raising awareness about the funding opportunities provided through CSF.

2) Bird perches and nesting pockets to provide resting places for animals and to reveal the biodiversity benefits of the wall to the public. Our preliminary research revealed many hummingbirds, songbirds and insects that frequent the wall, however their foraging time is limited due to the lack of resting places. Bird perches would enhance both the biodiversity of the wall and the human viewing and educational experience.

Visual examples of these ideas can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.792670154082576.1073741834.701....


The interactive educational elements will be designed to engage the public with the green wall, while educating them about the multiple benefits of vegetated walls and water harvesting systems (i.e. water quality, water recycling, air purification, noise attenuation, biodiversity, urban heat island reduction, enhanced building performance). These benefits will be monitored and posted regularly to our website and be accessible to visitors through the use of a QR code.

A more informed public is more likely to modify their behavior in their daily lives and professional paths to support sustainability. Because the Green Wall is on Gould Hall which houses architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, real estate and construction management, the Green Wall has the potential to impact future building of sustainable systems in budding built environment professionals. Bird perches and nesting pockets integrated into the Green Wall will attract attention to the wall through bird songs and activity, encourage public awareness of the importance of biodiversity, and enhance the needed habitat benefits of the wall.


The design, fabrication and installation of these components would be done primarily by students, with faculty and staff oversight. A team of students (2-3) would be hired through the Green Futures Lab, directed by Professor Nancy Rottle. Many students have already approached the lab to express interest in working on the project. The team would get approval for the designs by UW Grounds, UW Facilities, CSF, the College of Built Environments, and any other required departments. Elements would be purchased using local materials, and fabricated using the shop at the College of Built Environments. The Green Futures Lab and its students have proven their ability to manage a complex design and construction project through the implementation of the Green Wall project, which navigated through over 50 faculty and staff and obtained all the necessarily approvals needed to move through each stage of the project. Additionally, the Green Wall has been advertised through numerous UW, local, regional, and national media outlets, displaying the capacity for this project to educate and bring awareness to student led sustainability.


CSF Funded:

Equipment + Construction:

Installation of Water Level Measuring Pole ~$1,000

Interpretive Sign Printing/ Fabrication (2) ~$500

Materials (Steel, piping, float, etc) ~$500


Personnel and Wages:

Design, Fabrication and Installation by students ~$2,350 (136 hours x $17.3)*

Project management by student ~$280 (16 hours x $17.3)

Website design and maintenance by student ~$870 (50 hours x $17.3)

Total Budget: $5,500


*Department standard hourly graduate student rate of $15 plus required benefits of 15.3%

Non-CSF Sources:

Student volunteer hours ~ $1,700 (100 hours)

Faculty oversight volunteer hours ~ $2,400 (40 hours)

Total estimated volunteer value: $4,100


Project Completion Total: $9,600

Contact Information
Primary Contact First & Last Name: 
Cayce James
Full Proposal
This will display after the CSF committee has reviewed and approved your LOI, and after you have received the link to edit your application.
Executive Summary: 

This proposal is for material and labor costs for students to design, fabricate and install interactive educational elements and habitat enhancements to the previously funded CSF project, the Biodiversity Green Wall, Edible Green Screen and Water Harvesting Demonstration Project at Gould Hall.  These improvements will include the installation of bird perches on the Green Wall, a prominent water level monitor on the cisterns, and interpretive signage with links to online data.  Gould Hall is located in a As is often the case for highly urbanized environmentareas, the environment surrounding Gould Hall is deficient in wildlife habitat and generates profuse amounts of polluted stormwater runoff.  where wildlife habitat is rare and polluted stormwater is abundant. Exposing the water harvesting capabilities, habitat value, and other benefits of the Green Wall project will help students and passersby to understand and envision more sustainable opportunities for dense urban environments.  The project will be implemented through the Green Futures Research and Design Lab (GFL) at the College of Built Environments and the student team will consult with applicable departments during design and construction (i.e. the Gould Hall building manager, campus facilities and engineering, CSF, UW Architecture Commission, and others).  Through this grant, the wall’s capacity to support biodiversity will be enhanced, and interactive and dynamic interpretive features will compellingly inform students, faculty and the public about the sustainability features and the performance of the Green Wall.

Total amount requested from the CSF: 
$5 500
This funding request is a: 
ItemCost/ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Equipment & Construction
Installation of Water Level Measuring100011000
Interpretive Sign Printing/ Fabrication2502500
Materials (Steel, piping, float, etc)5001500
Publicity & Communications
Website Design and Maintenance by Student17.350870
Personnel & Wages
Project Management by Student17.316280
Design, Fabrication and Installation by Students17.31362350
General Supplies & Other
Non-CSF Sources: 
Source/DescriptionAmount RequestedDate RequestedDate Received
Green Seed Fund$40,478 12/5/20131/9/2014
Project Completion Total: 
$49 978
Sustainability Impact: 
Energy Use
Living Systems and Biodiversity
Environmental Justice
Sustainability Challenge: 

Our urban environment contains many environmental problems (i.e. issues of native habitat destruction, interrupted food webs, polluted stormwater runoff, carbon reliance, urban heat island effects, water consumption and waste, climate changing conditions, atmospheric impacts amongst others). The Green Wall project has many environmental benefits that address these problems (i.e.  water recycling, stormwater attenuation, air purification, noise attenuationreduction, habitat to increase urban biodiversity, urban heat island reduction, heat island mitigation, enhanced building performance, local food production).  The features provided by this project would educate the public about these benefits, some of which are not obvious to the untrained eye, and explain the inner workings of the Green Wall to better educate the public about living walls and water harvesting systems.  The water level measuring device, signage and web page would promote environmental literacy in our urbanized society, informing future professionals about sustainable design techniques and sparking interest in these techniques among the general public.  We intend to include a web link (e.g. smart phone QR code) within the signage to direct visitors towards dynamic explanatory graphics and text on the web page, which will include monitoring results and possibly live data, engaging the public interactively and educating them about the ecosystem services provided by the Green Wall project.

Additionally, we have observed substantial avian interest in the Green Wall, and it appears that birds are looking for perches to access the shelter, nesting material, and food source of plants growing on the wall.  Some are using the light poles but cannot reach the plants from these.  We propose to enhance the Green Wall’s biodiversity value by adding structural perches that will enable songbirds to access seeds and insects on the plants from a suitable proximity, and to successfully nest in the wall (as one bird attempted to last year.).  Bird perches would enhance bothincrease the biodiversity habitat value of the wall, attract more attention to the wall through bird activity and songs, and enhance the human viewing and educational experience.

Explain how the impacts will be measured: 

Installation of an external water level measuring device will enable the GFL to monitor the levels of water stored in the cisterns and the volume detained from entering the sewer system.  Using a visible, creative design will also enable the public to monitor these water levels. In addition, tThe Green Futures Lab recently received a grant from the UW Green Seed Fund for monitoring of the Green Wall project.  The GFL would be able to employ some of these funds towards measuring the effectiveness of the bird perches.  Students working on the project would be able to compare avian visitations to the Green Wall before and after the bird perch installation, noting species types as well as frequency and duration of visitations.  With development of a public website dynamic online Green Wall resource, data collected via the monitoring project with regard to the habitat value, water usage, stormwater detained, and thermal modulation would become available to the public on the website that CSF funding would support.

While educational benefits are difficult to measure, we would be able to gather some information by monitoring usage of the GFL’s website.  This will allow us to see how often people use the QR code provided on the interpretive signage by the Green Wall to link the website, and what types of information on the Green Wall they seek out most frequently.

Education & Outreach: 

This proposal is primarily geared toward education and outreach.  The Green Wall project has been widely publicized (see below) and has played a critical role in both promoting green walls and advancing the technology.  The GFL receives visitors from across the country on a regular basis that are interested in implementing a green wall elsewhere and are looking to the UW Green Wall for inspiration.

Despite the success of media outreach campaigns, the Green Wall project currently has an untapped potential to provide educational opportunities to members of the general public who visit or pass by the site.  By implementing this proposal, the inner workings of the Green Wall project (such as rainwater capture in the cisterns) will be revealed and thus provide a much more in-depth educational experience than is currently available. This will be particularly educational for those with an untrained eye in sustainable design.  The signage will include QR codes that will link to online informationthe Green Futures Lab website to further explain the project and convey current monitoring results, and to the CSF website to instruct how students can create sustainability projects of their own.

Already implemented education and outreach for the Green Wall Project:

UW TV- The Daily Double Shot

UW Today

Seattle Times

AIA What Makes It Green Award, Honorable Mention

AIA headquarters WMIG Gallery

Future Energy Conference, Seattle

CBE Blog Postings

Gallery Display in Gould Court Café

UW Sustainability Fair

OUT / in / FRONT 2012 Gallery

King 5 News

UW Website

Conservation Magazine

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Architecture + Engineering

Green Infrastructure Partnership

You Tube (time lapse video)

Switchboard, the National Resource Defense Council’s blog

Blog posting in Atlantic Cities

Involvement of over 60 students, faculty and staff and a local contractor

Student Involvement: 

This proposal will fund the labor costs for two students at the College of Built Environment to design, buy materials, fabricate and install the interactive educational elements and habitat enhancements.  It will also fund a student to design a robust Green Wall project page on the GFL website complete with live-streaming, or frequently updated monitoring information. There is a great deal of student interest in the Green Wall project, and we anticipate that there will also be significant volunteer participation among students, particularly during the installation and fabrication phases.  The project will be completed by the Green Futures Lab, directed by Professor Nancy Rottle, who was also the lead faculty advisor for the design and construction of the Green Wall.  This proposal will be student-led, with students obtaining design feedback from appropriate faculty and staff (College of Built Environments, Gould Hall building manager, campus architect, landscape architect, and facilities, CSF etc.).  Students will submit the signage design to the University for approval before fabrication. Students will use the shop at Gould Hall to fabricate most of the elements (design students are well-versed in the shop, and go through shop safety training).

TaskTimeframeEstimated Completion Date
Design of Interactive Educational and Habitat Elements1 monthJul-14
Order and Purchase Materials3 weeksAug-14
Fabrication and Installation of Elements2 weeksSep-14
Photo Source: 
Anastasia Stepankowsky | The Daily
Amount Awarded: 
Project status: