ABOUT US

ARTIST Martina Petrovic – artist http://martinapetrovic.com/

ADVISORY BOARD

Iva Bekic – Architect
Dries Laget (UGent) – biologist
Dragan Pavin – botanist and bee keeper
Milica Zelenika – botanist
Nevena Perisic – biologist

 

 

BUZZ | WHAT  

What is BUZZ about?                                

BUZZ is an art project that proposes solutions to save the bees and also aims to do much more!
We are working on a project that addresses the important question of today: 
How do we treat our environment? How aware are we of the consequences of our actions? 
What will happen if we do not act now? Due to today’s way of living and how we develop our cities and industries, natural resources are becoming scarce, nature is paying its toll and many animal species have found themselves on the IUCN red list of threatened species.
It is a fact that bees are endangered and that they are on the verge of extinction. But there are still things that can be done! The goal of this project is to raise awareness and more importantly to address the problem itself. Of course, it is not an ultimate solution to the problem but a first step in the right direction towards saving the bee population. 

Description                         

First phase: The idea is to create new spaces where bees will be able to get their nutrition and also to introduce and raise awareness of the problem to the public, by constructing green facades made of plants that provide food for bees. (In this phase we will be concentrating on helping solitary bees).  Before and after the presentation of the mural we plan on giving a series of educational lectures and discussions on the topic of  “bee extinction” and the possible solutions. 

Second phase: The expansion of the project BUZZ throughout the city of Gent, and going even further Flanders, Europe and the World. When we have the certain amount of green surface in one urban area, like the city of Ghent f.eg., then we can move on to implementing urban beehives. One beehive can be raised on a 2ha surface of urban environment that has already been ‘’greened’’ with BUZZ murals, gardens and parks that consist of a combination of flora (trees, plants and flowers) that are preferred by bees. To provide an additional source of food, roof gardens can be planted. Urban beekeeping and roof gardening creates a stronger bond in every community. It brings people closer to nature, while also making a advantageous sustainable circle, where a community can take care of bees and enjoy their fruitful products. 

Third phase: It is not possible to clearly define the third step at this point in time because depending on the results, connections and partnerships that will be made during the first and second phases in the project BUZZ, different options and opportunities will arise. 

To give some insight in the possibilities we give you some applications that could be a result of the project and its benefits. Bee products, such as wax or honeycomb can be used in producing sculptures and other art objects. Bee products can also be used in architecture, interior design and the health industry to list some. But what we can say for sure, is that in the third phase of the project we can rest assured that our children and their children will not have to worry about food scarcity due to the absence of bees. 



 

BUZZ | HOW 

How do we do it?                  

First part of the project 

In this proposal we focus on the first step as described in Description: first step, page 4.
For the readers simplicity we focus on the façade.
Construction of the prototype mural on the Carrington gallery façade 

The surface of this wall will be covered with 9 different types of plants that bloom in different periods of the year, therefore providing food for bees during the whole year, while also changing the artistic pattern on the mural as time passes. The pattern will transform throughout the seasons, giving different impressions in spring and summer than autumn and winter. The intention is to give visibility to the circle of life. It is a living work of art that changes and transforms naturally, revealing the flow of time in nature. 

For the installation of the Vertical Gardening Systems we plan to collaborate with Florafelt, a company that specializes in this field. They provide a service of installing panels, planting and maintenance. We have chosen them for their unique, patented, hand made planters, designed to use the micro fibers in PET felt to water plants equally. The felt is made from recycled plastic bottles, nylon and nontoxic fiber that is practically  indestructible. This amazing material provides a safe growing medium that is pH neutral and nonreactive, so  you can garden organically right on your wall. It’s even safe for vegetables and herbs! Roots grow right into the felt, which comes alive thanks to the microbiology in the soil. 

 



BUZZ | TECHNICALLegend

FIELD POCKETS       
CODE  DIMENSIONS (cm)  WALL 1  WALL 2   SUM 
F12  81 x 61  73  72  155 
F12 TRIMMED  81 x 30.5  28  10  38 
F12 TRIMMED  56 x 61  10  3  13 
F12 TRIMMED  56 x 30.5  5  1  6 
F4  31.5 x 61  47  16  63 
F4 TRIMMED  31.5 x 30.5  4  3  7 
SINGLE  31.5 x 15.25  5  0  5 
         
SUM        287 

FIELD POCKETS       
CODE  DIMENSIONS (cm)  WALL 1  WALL 2   SUM 
F12  81 x 61  73  72  155 
F12 TRIMMED  81 x 30.5  28  10  38 
F12 TRIMMED  56 x 61  10  3  13 
F12 TRIMMED  56 x 30.5  5  1  6 
F4  31.5 x 61  47  16  63 
F4 TRIMMED  31.5 x 30.5  4  3  7 
SINGLE  31.5 x 15.25  5  0  5 
         
SUM        287 



 

SEASONS VISUAL  1 

 Front and side of Carrington

 

 

 

 

The surface of this wall will be covered with 9 different types of plants that bloom in different periods of the year, therefore providing food for bees during the whole year, while also changing the artistic pattern on the mural as time passes. The pattern will transform throughout the seasons, giving different impressions in spring and summer than autumn and winter. The intention is to give visibility to the circle of life. It is a living work of art that changes and transforms naturally, revealing the flow of time in nature.

 

 

 

 

SPRING

 

 

 

 

SUMMER

 

 

 

 

 
AUTMN

 

 

 

 

 

4  SEASONS VISUAL  2

 

 

 

 

 
SPRING

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMER

 

 

 

 

 

AUTUMN

BUZZ | PLANT LIST 

This is a selection of top 86 plants that are of great importance for the bees, some of them give nectar, some pollen, and some both. The selection is made in regard to a couple of criteria:  

  1. Plants that can potentially be grown on the vertical wall
  2. Importance for bees (plants are recommended by beekeepers and botanists from their own experience  and knowledge and also after researching published scientific articles )
  3. Plants that are perennial (mostly)
  4. Plants that are known to be suited for the European climate. 

For the green (living) wall it is recommended that plants should not be seeded but already grown previous to their planting into the construction. 



 

 

BUZZ | WHY 

Why are bees important?      

Albert Einstein:” If the bees disappear from the face of the earth, men would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!” 

The bees play one of the most important roles in our ecosystem. We all know that without the pollination of plant life there wouldn’t any fruit or vegetable for us as species and don’t forget animal life. On Earth, 80% of flower species are pollinated by insects, majority of which are bees.  

Our food supply is set-up in that to cater our needs in the most cost effective way without taking in account what the ecological consequences are. We treat the environment without care and change the ecological balance that exists on this earth to cater to our day to day needs. Great examples to this blatant disregard of the existing ecological balance and a direct threat to the further existence of the bee population are:  

Natural habitats for bee pastures are reduced or the bee hives are located at such excessive distances from the food sources that it is becoming more and more difficult for the bees to find food. Our practice of monoculture is a “desert” for bees, the bee community needs pollen from a variety of plant species to be able to survive. 

Also, over 25,000 species of bees live on planet Earth (O’Toole and Raw, 1991). Bees are co-grown together with flowers, and in the process of natural selection, they developed almost fantastic mutual adaptations, all for the purpose of efficient pollinating (from the aspect of the plant) as well as providing food for the progeny of the bees (from the aspect of the bee). 

Bees as pollinators, whether grown or living free in nature, represent a valuable but also limited natural resource that every society needs to take care of. Of all cultivated plant species 82 are the most important in world trade, 77% of these plants depend on insect pollination, and as much as 48% are directly dependent on bees pollinating (Prescott-Allen and Prescott-Allen, 1990; Buchmann and Nabhan, 1996).  

Nearly one third of the foods used in human nutrition today is obtained indirectly or directly thanks to insect pollinators (McGregor, 1976). Therefore, the disappearance of bees from a particular site would cause an accelerated disappearance of over 20,000 plant species that would negatively affect the overall ecological balance. Just imagine life without meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and so on. They are important not only for fruit and vegetable producers but also for improving the quality of human nutrition, and therefore health. 

Bees are pollinating many other plants beside the crops. Some data suggest that bees pollinate over 16% of the flowering plants on the planet (Buchmann and Nabhan, 1996). Bee pollination maintains both indigenous and introduced plant species, therefore they participate in the control of erosion, beautifying the human environment and increasing the values of property.  

They pollinate wild plants that are basic food for wildlife, which gives them important value as links in food supply chains of local natural ecosystems. Bees may not be necessary for human life, but they are certainly necessary for the life of today that we are familiar with (Delaplane and Mayer, 2000). 



 

BUZZ | BENEFITS 

Benefits     

 

Vertical greening offers an outstanding number of public and private benefits: aesthetical, social, ecological and environmental. The contribution of plants on building facades is an essential part on how to build a sustainable future in our cities. Their implementation is also ecologically and aesthetically acceptable as an adequate architectural feature that upgrades facades. This emerging technology should be considered as a valuable part of the design process for addressing climate change and energy crisis, and should become government policy in the near future. The living wall could also function for urban agriculture, urban gardening, or for its beauty as living art. 

By using green walls on vertical surfaces which are otherwise unused, lack of land is no longer a problem, as the greenery now covers the building façade, thus the air quality in the urban environment can also be improved. Green walls have the potential to help with: 

  1. environment reduction of the urban heat island effect and regulation of the microclimate. Studies done with models suggest that vegetated facades can reduce the effect urban heat island with around 2 degrees Celsius, improving air quality, thermal comfort and human health, while saving 5% up to 10 % in electricity consumption.
  2. sound insulator and building structure protection whilst improving the air quality. Plants can be used as sound barrier as they can reduce the noise perceived by the receiver. In the case of green walls, plants will absorb the frequencies of the sound, thus, reducing the noise pollution in the urban area.
  3. enhancement of biodiversity by adding natural habitats in the city. Green walls help in increasing ecological values by creating habitats for birds and insects.
  4. therapeutic effects of plants and landscape. It has been proved that visual and physical contacts with plants can result in direct health benefits.
  5. absorption of storm water and puts a stop to storm water flooding. Green wall is actually a mulching technique as it covers the impervious surface of the building with plants and soil or other planting mediums. The green wall is able to retain water and controls the water runoff from the roof, thus improving rain water retention and onsite wastewater treatment. Plant roots also play a role in filtering the impurities in the water before it enters a groundwater aquifer.
  6. protection of building façade
  7. improvement of energy efficiency. Plants can offer cooling benefits in the city through two mechanisms: direct shading and evaporate transpiration. The green wall uses plants which provide shading to the building that helps with the increase of insulation (keep cool in summer and keep cold out in winter).
  8. improved aesthetics. Green walls increases necessary green masses in cities.
  9. improved indoor and outdoor climate, reduce the greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) ,Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).

All kinds of economics benefits are associated with the green walls. The ability of the vegetative surfaces to retain stormwater and water runoff from the roofs can help in reducing the damage to storm water drainage infrastructure. Plants introduced around buildings can improve construction integrity by lessening the weather effect. The use of green walls can reduce the climatic stress on building façades and prolong the service and practical life of buildings, not to mention reduced cost on the painting materials.  

Other than that, energy saving is another significant economic contribution brought by greenery in the cities. Studies have been done where the energy used for cooling in a building can be vastly reduced. In addition, the softness of greenery compared to hard surface of the concrete can also provide visual relief to plain walls. 

Educational Benefit of green wall: Because of the scale and visibility of these Green Walls they are the perfect tool to teach about the environment. The next generation needs to learn about the environmental concerns of today and how we are addressing them.  

Problems like the Heat Island Effect, Global Warming, CO2 reduction in cities are all addressed by Green Walls. Just a few of the ecological issues that Green Walls may be used for in education are: ecological observation, growing plants and vegetables, identifying ways to protect buildings, bee biology. Thus the educational opportunities are endless.  



 

BUZZ | PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS 

Potential problems and solutions, future improvements 

What we feel could arise as a potential problem is a danger that some of the plants won’t react well on being planted on the façade, due to the conditions such as lack of sun or the size of the felts pockets. Even though we have thoroughly researched plants that are suitable for this project, consulted botanists and went through relevant research, there is always a risk with first time attempts. Therefore our aim is to plant as much plants we can in the pilot mural and study their behavior, so that we can be more efficient and wise in the next phase.  

There will be also an annual checkup of the plants conducted by Florafelt, with purpose of replacing the sick plants, making improvements in irrigation system if necessary or tending to potential malfunctions. If plants get sick and there is a need for treatment we have a solution that is completely organic, pesticide safe and cutting edge in agriculture: bio pesticides.



 

BUZZ | TIMELINE

Duration of the project: Depending on the choice of the participants with a min. of 1 year. 

We opt to use perrenial plants in all the Vertical Gardening Systems. 

This choice is made because as we see it, it would be a permanent installation. 

As described in page 3: description, this is only the first step of a three phase project. 

If we want to actively make a difference in regard to the bees and their continued survival it is important to communicate to all participants that the systems are built to last a long time and that it is important if we are to have any impact on the situation, we have to keep them installed and maintained as long as possible.  

  1. Presentation BUZZ project 
  2. Installation of the BUZZ vertical gardening systems.
  3. Lectures
  4. Preview and Press Conference coinciding with the preview of the exhibition
  5. Public opening 



 

BUZZ | CONCLUSION 

Conclusion 

We are truly excited and inspired about this project. We feel that BUZZ will give a voice to ideas on how to take care of our environment, what we can do and how we can bring communities together to face a challenge that concerns all of us. By using a very visible and public medium such as facades, we have a perfect way to communicate, to create awareness and to awaken their curiosity and interest.  As a result we get them to actively work together towards a sustainable future. This through taking care of bees, nature, our personal living space and each other.  

We strongly believe that this project can reach a large and diverse audience, and will challenge the people’s notion about the importance of bees.  

The impact of the sound of one bee’s buzz is a big one and has the potential to spread really fast!!  

Our hope is to spread the message, reach out to fellow citizens and get them actively involved. Strength is in numbers! We all have to work together to tackle the challenges of our time. 

BUZZ is a project that makes a bridge between and tackles economy, social commitment, culture, education and ecology. 5 pillars of any modern day city. 

Economally through the participation of the many hard working small business owners. Bringing them all together to bring attention to this fantastic specialty street, attracting more visitors and as such more business through visibility and profiling. And let’s not forget attracting more tourist. Next to that the BUZZ project has a lot of economical benefits such as:

  1. absorption of storm water and putting a stop to storm water flooding.
  2. protection of building façade.
  3. improvement of energy efficiency.
  4. sound insulator.
  5. building structure protection 

Social commitment through the essence of the project which is:  

To have a plan for the bees continued survival and to actively bring a solution to the problem.  

Not only short-term but also long term. To create awareness to the problem and help people understand that they can take action themselves. It is the way to bring communities together on topics that concern all.  

Culturally by working with artists that use their position as an artist not only for themselves but use their practice as a tool to actively exact change on our society. We want to create awareness within fellow artists, cultural institutions and benefactors that art has a powerful message, that can be used for the betterment of our society, our environment and people living all over the world. Art is the leading edge in regard to the Soft Power of a society, as such it should be used as a tool to create awareness and exact change.  

Educationally because of the scale and visibility of the BUZZ project it is the perfect platform from where we can educate about the environment and what can be done by each one of us. The next generation needs to learn about the environmental concerns of today and how we are addressing them. Through the organization of lectures, panel discussions and Q&A sessions around topics such as Bees, their habitat, their needs and wants and pollination versus our food supply we hope to draw a clear picture of what the value and function of bees is in our ecosystem and how that directly has an impact on us. Other topics we will address during the duration of the project are: what can we do?, sustainable green cities and solutions to our modern day problems such as the Heat Island Effect, Global Warming, CO2 reduction in cities,… 

Ecologically because the benefits of the BUZZ project on our local environment are measurable and direct.

  1. environment reduction of the urban heat island effect and regulation of the microclimate.
  2. sound insulator and building structure protection whilst improving the air quality.
  3. enhancement of biodiversity by adding natural habitats in the city.
  4. therapeutic effects of plants and landscape.
  5. improved indoor and outdoor climate, reducing greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) ,Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).  

 



 

BUZZ | REFERENCES

REFERENCES

  1. Citi Data Center in Frankfurt features a green wall featuring plants that are irrigated with recycled water.  Source:http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/12/19/citigroup-consolidation-shutters-50-facilities 
  2. The Living walls as an Approach for a Healthy Urban Environment Dr. Samar Sheweka, Lecturer,  Architecture Department, The British University in Egypt, Cairo, Egypt.  /  E-mail: Samar.sheweka@bue.edu.eg Arch.  /  Nourhan Magdy Teaching Assistant, Architecture Department, The British University in Egypt, Cairo,  /  Egypt. E-mail: Nourhan.Magdy@bue.edu.eg
  3. Green Facades as a New Sustainable Approach Towards Climate Change  /  Dr. Samar Mohamed Sheweka a, Arch. Nourhan Magdy Mohamed b aLecturer, Architecture Engineering  Department, the British University in Egypt, Cairo, Egypt. bTeaching assistant, Architecture Engineering  Department, the British University in Egypt, Cairo, Egypt. 
  4. http://www.staffs.ac.uk/research/greenwall/type/ 
  5. http://www.growinggreenguide.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/growing_green_guide_ebook_130214.pdf 
  6. The role of bees (Hymenoptera: apoidea) in orchards pollination, Lj. Stanisavljević, N. Nedić 
  7. The survey of wild bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) in Belgium and France by Pierre Rasmont, Alain, Pauly , Michael Terzo, Sebastien Patiny, Denis Michez, Stephanie Iserbyt, Yvan Barbier, & Eric Haubruge , Laboratoire de Zoologie Université de Mons-Hainaut Avenue Maistriau, 19 B-7000 Mons (Belgique)  Zoologie générale et appliquée Faculté Universitaire des Sciences agronomiques de Gembloux  B-5030 Gembloux (Belgique)