Feasibility and desirability of implementing a vertical garden on LSC Builging of Dalhousie University's Studley Campus
Su Gurler, Oyku
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This study provides information regarding the feasibility and sustainability of a vertical garden in the study area on the eighth floor of the Life Sciences Center (LSC) at Dalhousie University. We hope to use this garden to benefit the university community through increased green space, volunteer opportunity and affecting food security on campus. Multiple studies have found that green space implemented in cities can decrease stress and increase productivity (Ibrahim, Kelly, Adams, & Glazebrook, 2013). Stress and productivity are two large aspects of student’s lives, and important to regulate. Also, we hope to introduce volunteer opportunities for students with the upkeep of this garden, especially in their first year of study. Lastly, we hope that we can donate our produce to local initiatives such as the Loaded Ladle in the Dalhousie Student Union Building on Studely Campus. The chosen methods were cost analysis of the vertical garden and surveys to determine interest in the project as well as determine interest in volunteering to sustain the project. The cost analysis showed that the vertical garden would cost around $852.99, but costs could be reduced by roughly $186.97 if materials were donated or recycled. Survey responses were collected via in-person and online surveys. In the responses there were no indications that people using the space would enjoy it less with a vertical garden, and 91.4% of all respondents said they would enjoy the space more or much more. Among this group 71% indicated interest in volunteering to sustain the garden after installation. Results showed that there is a high level of interest in installing and maintaining a vertical garden. Knowing that the total cost of materials is between $666.03 and $852.99 is important because it could be used to help solicit funding. Also, since results were very provertical garden installation and sustainability, these figures could be used to strengthen any pitches for funding that may be given in the future. It is recommended that this project be followed up with further studies to engage realtime use of the space and opinions after installation. Also, this study should be used as a base for possible future projects installing small-scale vertical gardens in public locations. However, criteria should be changed based on location, people using the space, plant types that can grow in that environment, among other considerations.