Student group in sustainability class propose a green wall for Pitt

This wall will grow on you!

With succulents popping up all over Instagram and in Urban Outfitters, the allure of indoor plants are both aesthetically pleasing and good for the environment. Indoor vegetation can decrease the amount of cancer causing indoor air pollutants, lower your electric bill, and add a splash of color to an interior.

A group of students from Ward Allebach's Sustainability class are proposing the construction of a green wall inside one of Pitt's buildings. But what is a green wall? A green wall is a wall with plants and soil on a wall.

An outdoor green wall on PNC's building. Courtesy of

Another benefit that most of us as college students would appreciate is the significant increased level of memory and productivity when being around plants. What could be the secret for getting on the dean's list? It may just be some plants accompanying you on your cramming session at Hillman library.

I wouldn't be suprised if more people start having emotional support plants instead of support animals (leashes are optinal).

Constructing this garden of Eden, however, will not be easy. This group faces a multitude of logistical challenges. One of these potential issues include lighting. In order for this system to be fully sustainable, the plants need a natural source of light. This requires the location to be very specific.

Another problem will be a water source. The wall cannot be too out of the way or high up to receive water. The group also would want to use some of the water from when it rains. Pittsburgh has a major infrastructure issue whenever it rains. The influx of water overflows the sewer system, making untreated waste water flow into the three rivers. By using some of this water, they hope to help alleviate some of the problem. This strategy of watering requires some sort of system to carry the water from the outside (most likely the building's roof) to inside the building.

Image may contain: Bowl, Plant, Flora, Aloe

The University of Pittsburgh has taken initiative in the sustainability strategies. This progress is applaudable but there is still a lot of work to be done. As college students, we are forced to be indoors for the majority of the academic year. Classes can be challenging as is, but to battle the negative effects of sick building syndrome while trying to study for a test seems like an uphill battle.

This health issue is caused by poor ventilation in buildings. Harmful compounds are unable to be filtered out, causing health issues that can discourage productivity. Some of these include irritation of the eyes and headaches. With the construction of this wall, the positive affects will hopefully encourage Pitt to put one in all of their buildings.

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