Hey, look at that: Embassy Suites in Streeterville has a fancy new green wall. According to a press release, it's the "largest indoor living green wall in Chicago." Quite an achievement. The wall is filled with 3,840 plants, "which provides a strong visual statement that demonstrates Hilton Worldwides' commitment to green efforts with all of their brands," continues the release. But while we're on the topic of Hilton's green cred, just how green is that thing, anyway? According to the designer, the wall produces clean oxygen equivalent to 16 fourteen-foot-tall trees. Green! But wait a second: Lloyd Alter over at TreeHugger also took a look at it, observing that the wall's computer-controlled irrigation system draws about 220 watts of power, which, according to his calculations*, would mean that it would produce about 12.26 pounds of CO2 per day (if it's operating all day, and if the electricity, like in the rest of Chicago, comes from coal**). OK, so the wall wastes energy, but it sure looks purty!
*Chad Sichello from GSky Plant Systems weighed in and reported that Alter's calculations were off by, well, a lot. He says the irrigation system only draws energy for about one hour every week — not every minute of every day.
**Only about one-third of Chicago's energy comes from coal.
· Do Living Walls Really Contribute to Clean Air? Not In Chicago. [TreeHugger]
· Embassy Suites Features New Eco-Friendly Green Wall in Sky Lobby [Marketwire]