The architect that designed the new atrium at the Bigfork Valley Hospital in northern Minnesota wanted indigenous artificial plants that would compliment the natural northwoods landscape surrounding it. The design called for an impressive skylight above a commercial planter for indoor trees and plants that would direct traffic to the patient care areas. An early challenge was finding an artificial plant manufacturer that could handle the complexity of the installation since it would require fire retardant indoor plant and tree materials installed deep into a planter bed. Fortunately for the architect, Commercial Silk Int’l fit the bill.
After visiting the hospital, Commercial Silk Int’l presented the architect with an extensive line of IFR™ Foliage (Inherently Fire Retardant). Because IFR™ solutions are impregnated into the artificial foliage during the manufacturing process, the need to apply any surface topical fire retardant was eliminated.
Work began by selecting indoor artificial trees and artificial plants that would be indicative of a northwoods artificial landscape theme. The design took color, texture, and the scale of the indoor planters and trees into consideration. Once the tree and plant varieties were specified, the Commercial Silk Int’l team created a landscape design plan for the space, using digital imaging and product specification sheets.
The installation team battled through the complex fire code requirements by using steel supports and fire retardant sheet rock to build up the planters. Only after a fire retardant moss was applied around the indoor artificial plants were all the requirements met.
Commercial Silk Int’l used indigenous fire retardant material in the planters for indoor trees to create an immediate impact. The result was a verdant and lush northwood theme mirroring the outdoor landscape, while providing a peaceful area in the hospital to sit and relax.