Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Green wall

Dansko scores

Green wall

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

This is the green wall at Dansko's less-than-a-year-old corporate HQ in West Grove, Chester County. It's a haul from Center City but what a cool place to work. The wall is 22 feet high, 20 feet across, in the 2 1/2-story atrium. It's planted with tropicals and incorporates this beautiful waterfall. The wall embodies some new technology that is just taking hold in this country. Called a biofilter wall, its plants absorb carbon dioxide, pollen and all sorts of bad stuff in the indoor air (toluene, formadehyde), filter it through soil-less roots and shoot it into the building's HVAC system. It ain't cheap, and it's unclear how much actual benefit employees derive as measured by cleaner air, but aesthetically it's a wonderful sight. And it makes for a very pleasant work space. Dansko has three green roofs and just about every amenity possible, including onsite child care and a very nice gym, to make going to work less stressful. (These days, I can only daydream about a workplace like that.) Watch for a story in the paper on Friday about green walls. There are lots of them - green walls, not stories, which is what made it so hard to do. You'll be surprised how easy some of them - not this one, obviously -  are to put together. Even so, you might want to take a ride out to West Grove. Strictly business, of course, but while you're there, no harm in checking out the Dansko shoe outlet!

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected