3E12’s Wall Helps Tech Go Green


While the walls outside most Brooklyn Tech classrooms can easily be ignored, the one outside of 3E12 cannot. It is a “green wall”, filled with numerous plants which absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the stuffy building.

The green wall is one in a series of steps that the school has taken to minimize the carbon footprint of the building. Hopefully, the green wall can help cool Brooklyn Tech down during the hot summer months and move the school into the 21st century.

Dr. Margarita, an Environmental Science teacher, runs and maintains the wall. Her idea for the wall was to teach her AP Environmental Science course about the “future world design” and “different soil types”. She said that this would help her “use the green world inside.”

There were many challenges in getting the growth wall started and maintained. Margarita said there was a grant process and that she “underestimated the cost.” This led to a revised budget and Margarita was able to secure grants from the Parents Association and the Alumni Foundation. Just as Margarita started the growth wall project, the pandemic hit, and the project was placed on hold.

When the 2021-2022 school year started, Margarita restarted the project, but continued to face issues. Margarita had to drill a hole in the wall for the irrigation system, but the irrigation system was not strong enough, meaning that the excess water used to water the plants was not cleared. This was a problem because the process was wasting water and could lead to water leaking into the hallways.

Margarita eventually collaborated with a variety of students in different majors to ensure the wall could be finished. Eventually, a new gutter system was installed, and another hole was drilled so that the excess water could drain into the gutter that circulates it back into the initial reservoir.

Shawn Hayden (‘23), a Civil Engineering major, who is a part of the collaboration, said that the project is a great way of “contributing to the school.” Maeve Chen, a civil engineering major, (‘23) agreed and said that the project is “bringing together the majors, which is cool.”

This collaboration has led to an improvement in the green wall. The automation system is fixed, and the plants now have lights. Dr. Margarita is currently working to expand the green wall project to other parts of the school.

All of these improvements have attracted attention to the green wall. For example, Jacklin Xie (‘24), a Pharm D major, is researching the air quality of the green wall because she explains that “many articles she read on the air quality of the green wall is done with controlled situations, and that she wants to see the impacts of a green wall in everyday situations.” So far, it is too early for her to conclude anything, as there are too many variables involved, but she hopes to be able to show the positive effects the green wall has had on the school.