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Video & Project of the Week for January 11, 2016: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Pollak Building

on January 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm under Project of the Week: 1/11/16

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Pollak Building
Richmond, VA, USA
4,020 sq. ft Greenroof


Project Description & Details

Designed by VMDO Architects with Siteworks Studio, the walkout terrace located on the 5th floor of the Pollak Building Visual Arts Building at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) serves as a living classroom and provides for an opportunity for the students and faculty to congregate outside. With Roofmeadow as greenroof consultant and Wayne’s Wholesale Nursery supplying the plants, the roof illustrates three different types of green roof planting strategies and depths with conventional (3-4″), meadow (6″), and plants native (12″) to Virginia – the first such green roof in the Commonwealth.

Installed by Capitol Greenroofs, the assembly utilizes a Carlisle Garden Roof with Optigreen drainage and growing media, provided by Conservation Technology, over an IRMA roof.  Students from the VCU School of the Arts Department of Interior Design spent a day planting the perennials, grasses and succulents. Corten steel planters were placed randomly in the planting areas. Galvanized grating leads to a new handicap accessible entrance and a 1,500 sf Pennsylvania bluestone patio flanks either side of the grating. VCU installed a 16 foot tall Eddy GT, 1 kW vertical axis wind turbine on the top of the southeast stair tower on the Pollak Building in the spring of 2012 which can be seen from the greenroof.

Find more photos and additional information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.


Year: 2011
Owner: Virginia Commonwealth University
Location: Richmond, VA, USA
Building Type: Educational
Type: Extensive & Intensive
System: Custom
Size: 4,020 sq.ft.
Grade: 1%
Access: Accessible, Private



Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

General Contractor: Prestige Construction
Installation: Capitol Greenroofs
Plant Installation: 15 Students from the VCU Arts Department of Interior Design
VCU Arts Liaison: Camden Whitehead, Associate Professor of Interior Design
Architect: VMDO Architects
Membrane Assembly: Carlisle Garden Roof
Landscape Architect: Siteworks Studio
Drainage & Growing Media: Optigreen
Optigreen Supplier: Conservation Technology
Greenroof Consulting: Roofmeadow
Plant Supplier: Wayne’s Wholesale Nursery


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Pollak Building Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP


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