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The Bluffs at Playa Vista Parking Structure with Greenscreen® wall mounted trellises on south facing elevation.

The Bluffs at Playa Vista is a creative office space in a thriving community development on the west side of Los Angeles. The LEED Gold Certified project earned its prestigious status for its energy-saving design and water conservation. The Bluffs at Playa Vista uses 100% recycled water for all landscaping, including the established vegetated green walls installed on the two adjacent cast-in-place concrete parking structures. 

The Bluffs was a two-phase project overseen by Morley Builders and designed by Scott Johnson, FAIA, with design assistance from Jed Donaldson, AIA, both with Johnson Fain. Scott and Jed were the visionaries behind the geometric concept and design of more than 15,200 square feet of wall-mounted Greenscreen® trellis panels installed between 2008 and 2010. 

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A Creative Green Space Takes Shape

Greenscreen®, a three-dimensional welded wire trellis panel system, was used to create unique geometric shapes on the face of the parcels A and B parking structures. Fully populated with lively royal trumpet vines, Greenscreen® panels create large green facades that provide shade, cool ambient temperatures, and slow stormwater runoff through rain capture on the leaves and in the soil bed. During the establishment period, typically two years for trumpet vines and most native trees, heavier watering is needed, and as they mature, the amount of water required begins to decrease.

Jed Donaldson shared that Johnson Fain was familiar with the product and wanted a system that looked aesthetically pleasing with or without plants. Due to its proven functionality, the Greenscreen® trellis was planned from the start and Johnson Fain's first choice."...the three-dimensional quality of the system seemed to outperform flat systems," adds Jed.

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Lean Walls to Green Walls

Trellis panels 4' wide and in various lengths were designed to attach strategically to the face of bare concrete walls and span from multistory parking spandrels, forming engaging and playful dimensional patterns. The high-profile green walls created a visible backdrop from the office building courtyards and off Playa Vista's popular South Campus Center Drive.

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Planning for Success with Technical Expertise

The design intent required detailed shop drawings for field verification to ensure the panels were fabricated accurately, which Johnson Fain shared was helpful with project planning. The panels were manufactured with factory welded channel and edge trim so that when installed, there is a clean frame around the outer perimeter of each panel grouping. This required close collaboration between the contractor, installers, and the factory to ensure precise fabrication of each panel. An additional west-facing section of panels was installed in 2009 with full perimeter trim around each panel, cutting down the overall lead time. Since all 61 panels were the same size and hung with the truss direction horizontally versus vertically, it allowed for installation flexibility.

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Accessories Designed To Perform

The trellis panels were fastened with standard adjustable clips to allow space between the back of the panel and the face of the wall. The standard clip used during installation was named 5132A, which has evolved into our current 5132R clip. The clip's adjustable sled can slide forward or back for the desired panel distance from the wall surface. The small air gap between the wall surface and the back of the panel helps with the regular maintenance of green facades.

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Water-Wise Landscape Design

According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Playa Vista was the first planned community in Los Angeles to use 100% recycled water for landscaping. Water-wise design is critically needed across California landscapes as the state continues to experience drought and unpredictable extreme weather patterns. Aligning with Playa Vista’s water conservation objectives, the renowned international design collective RIOS designed the landscaping at The Bluffs using native ornamental grasses, varieties of vibrant plants and succulents, native trees, and the drought-tolerant royal trumpet vines flourishing on the trellises. The landscaping functions to conserve precious water resources, attract pollinators, and support biodiversity. Vertical greenery also helps soften and beautify hard, hot concrete surfaces for which parking structures are commonly known.

Over 14 years later, The Bluffs at Playa Vista project using Greenscreen® panels illustrates how sustainable practices seamlessly woven into architectural design can stand the test of time, benefiting stakeholders and the community.

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Since 2009, Greenscreen® wall mounted trellises enveloped in lush vines at The Bluffs at Playa Vista continue to perform as designed.

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Greenscreen Joins Tournesol

Welcome to Tournesol! Greenscreen® was acquired by Tournesol, enabling a mutual expansion of product offerings with integrated and innovative solutions for green infrastructure and urban greening.