Green Wall Interactive Educational Elements and Habitat Structures

Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $5,500

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:


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

Primary Contact First & Last Name: Cayce James