LiveWall green walls at Brome Burgers & Shakes express the Brome brand and bring its commitment to sustainability to life.
Restaurants, hotels, and resorts are finding that green walls can boost their brands and help build business. Brome Burgers & Shakes in Dearborn, MI, is a case in point.
“We are all about sustainability, green living, wholesome food, and self-awareness about the environmental impact of our choices,” said Sam Abbas, the business’ founder. “We want everyone who visits our restaurant to experience the core values of our brand in every aspect of our operations.”
Brome’s commitment is evident in the restaurant’s location. Abbas chose to refurbish a corner building that was constructed as a retail store. “Every decision we made about the project reflects our responsibility to the environment,” he said. “We hope to inspire our customers, suppliers, competitors, and contractors to appreciate the values that inspire us and express them in the ways they live, do business, cultivate food, and enjoy it.”
An adaptive re-use design developed by the Hallarsan Group, Detroit, renovated the long-vacant 3,700-sq.-ft. space and created a modern, open, light-filled restaurant. The sustainable design preserved the cedar trusses of the original 15-ft.-high ceilings. During construction, the original concrete floors were revealed and refurbished. Tables were custom fabricated out of reclaimed wood from dilapidated structures in Detroit, and much of the furniture was sourced locally. The idea of using green walls as a focal point of the interior was developed during a design brainstorming session.
Green walls stand out
The green-wall installation is one of the most prominent design elements in the restaurant. The green wall took a large, blank wall area that would have otherwise just been painted or wallpapered and brought it to life.
The installation totals 309 sq. ft., divided in two sections each 16-ft. long by 9-ft. 10-in. high. A mix of six tropical plants, selected because they thrive indoors, grows on the wall. The plant palette features Pothos, Epimedium, and Tradescantia Red.
In addition to the featured green walls, the interior includes a front window planter. Its greenery is reflected in the glass top of the adjoining counter.
Bell’s Landscape Services Inc., Wixom, MI, recommended, sold, installed, and maintains the LiveWall green walls. The business won a Gold Award for Creative Landscape-Green Initiatives from the Michigan Green Industry Association for the project.
“We got into green-wall installation and maintenance as a way to grow our business,” said Marcy Bell, president, Bell’s Landscape Services Inc. “I did our research on the market for living architecture and on various green-wall systems. We decided to go with LiveWall (St. Nunica, MI). It is the most complete system, the best engineered, and the most hospitable to plants.”
Mike Bell, chief executive officer, Bell’s Landscape Services, commented that the system is well designed and assembles part by part in a logical fashion, following the installation process explained in the installation guide and schematics. The first step is installation of vertical strips that mount to the building wall and to which the other components are attached. The vertical strips also establish the necessary air space between the wall and the system. Next, horizontal aluminum rails with conduits for the tubes bringing water to the integrated irrigation system are mounted to the vertical strips. For indoor installations, LiveWall uses drip stake assemblies, which inject water into the growing medium. Molded-plastic modular planter boxes fit into place on the rails. Finally, separate liner inserts that have been pre-planted slide into the planter boxes.
“Maintenance is straight forward,” said Mike Bell. “Every six weeks, we clean out any die-back, trim the plants (especially the ones in the lower rows of the modular planters), check soil moisture, and inspect and adjust irrigation.”
“The green walls propel our brand forward,” said Abbas. “They create an atmosphere in which it becomes more than serving and enjoying great burgers and shakes but also about making a positive impact on everyone’s lives.”