Habitat Horticulture Founder David Brenner is a pioneer in the field of vertical gardens. Working at the intersection of botany, architecture, interior design and urbanism, he’s applied his passion for plants to a growing list of innovative projects.
David has partnered with architecture firms including Gensler, HKS, SOM, Studios, Snøhetta, IA, and EHDD to build a wide variety of modern, human-centric spaces with abundant plant life at their heart. The result has been everything from a luminous foyer teeming with greenery at the Foundry III building to an inspiring installation of native plants at the California Academy of Sciences. Other clients include the SFMOMA, Westfield, Facebook, Tesla and Google.
David holds a degree in Environmental Horticulture Sciences from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. He credits his time spent studying at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, with setting him on the path to living wall design. It was at Kew that he came to fully appreciate the beauty of epiphytic plants – those that grow on trees. He later experimented with growing mediums and studied further how plant species interact, eventually perfecting the system he uses today.
David sees this work as an integral part of a public shift in consciousness – towards a renewed sense of the value of nature and a growing appreciation amongst city-dwellers of the restorative effect of plants in our lives. For David, designing living walls affords the chance not only to promote awareness of native and endangered plant species but also to have a direct impact on quality of life.
Mickey brings a keen sense of the construction process, formal design training, a professional attitude and a lifelong obsession with plants to Habitat Horticulture. His devotion and meticulous manner is crucial in ensuring each installation is not only executed successfully according to plan, but also on time, within budget. Mickey is a proud graduate of the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo landscape architecture program.
As Construction Manager, Alan Good works closely with the owner, architect and construction team to ensure each project is carried out successfully from inception to completion. Before joining Habitat Horticulture, Alan Good spent nearly six years as the steward of the 2.5 acre living roof on San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences, overseeing the establishment of the the roof’s initial plant community and developing the roof’s diversity from four to over 100 species of Bay Area native plants. As head of the Academy’s Landscape Department, Alan also managed many major landscape construction projects in Golden Gate Park, while collaborating with botanists and other scientists to align the Academy’s outdoor landscape with the mission of the institution. Beyond the Academy, his career includes significant experience in nursery management, native plant restoration, project management, and the creation of visually powerful and ecologically coherent planted environments, including the maintenance of San Francisco’s only Patrick Blanc installation, a four-story vegetated facade. At Habitat Horticulture, Alan draws on his many years of experience to bring living architecture projects to public, commercial, and residential environments.
Billy is a talented horticulturist who constantly pushes the boundaries of what is possible with one of the world’s most valuable and interesting resources: plants! In our ever-changing environment, Billy believes it is necessary to respect plants, while using them to our best advantage. This enthusiasm and intensity for all things green spurred from his roots growing up on a farm.
Billy’s primary role is to ensure that our living walls remain healthy and vibrant throughout the year. It is Billy’s job to make sure all growing parameters our met and the system is functioning at the highest performance possible. Billy also manages and schedules the daily operations of our maintenance crews and develops Integrated Pest and Disease Management Programs for each site to help prevent and control any potential problems down the line.
Billy attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he earned a degree in Environmental Horticultural Science, with a concentration in Nursery & Floriculture Production. He worked at the Cal Poly Plant Conservatory, as Head Curator, as well as at the Horticulture Unit on campus, as an orchid specialist. Billy’s background is heavily influenced by greenhouse systems that can be directly applied to any type of growing situation. Yes, that means living walls!
Nicholas graduated from Vassar College in 2012 with a degree in Urban Studies, focusing on Architecture and Geography. Nick produces detailed shop drawings/specifications and prepares submittals for each of our projects. His wizardry of CAD programming and attention to detail are paramount in creating a seamless transition from design to installation. He has worked with Burdge and Associates in Malibu, CA, ERW Design in Los Angeles, CA and Interboro Partners in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in the Bay Area, where he continues to pursue his passion for architecture and design. In his free-time, he likes to organize concerts in the East Bay, and hike the area’s vast array of trails and open spaces.
Mateo studied Industrial Design in Mexico City where he then specialized in recycled plastic composites for sustainable construction and developed materials for vertical garden companies. Mateo recently finished a MSc in Advanced Sustainable Design at Edinburgh University. His material and sustainable design expertise brings a product development focus to Habitat Horticulture. Mateo produces detailed shop drawings and specifications for our living walls and irrigation systems and is instrumental in coordinating the transition from design to installation. Mateo recently moved to San Francisco blocks away from Ocean Beach where he likes to surf in his free time.
Donna works with Habitat Horticulture’s team, architecture firms, local businesses and community-based organizations to bring living walls to our San Francisco neighborhoods.
When she is not working on living walls, Donna can be found contributing to the community and other landscapes. She is a board member of the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association, the Community Garden Coordinator with a community garden in the Mission, and a Collections and Garden Volunteer with the University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum.
Donna is studying landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley Extension Program. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Yale School of Management, a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, and a Bachelor’s of Art from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her prior experience includes serving as the Director of Finance and Administration for several nonprofit independent schools in San Francisco.