GPW: Chicago Botanic Garden Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center

March 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 3/21/11
Chicago Botanic Garden
Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center
Chicago, IL, USA

Year: 2009
Owner: Chicago Horticultural Society
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Building Type: Educational
Type: Extensive & Intensive
Test/Research
System: Custom
Size: 29,500 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

Envisioned by Booth Hansen Architects as an anchor for the Chicago Botanic Garden’s 15-acre science campus, the new 38,000 sf LEED Gold Chicago Botanic Garden Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center building serves as a state-of-the-art research facility and laboratory dedicated to plant conservation and public education.

One of the building’s main “classrooms” is its North (planted with a mix of plants) and South (North American native plants only) Garden Roof, which features an overlook with interactive panels explaining the benefits of rooftop gardens and green roofs.  The roof was designed to be an educational environment and research facility with a total of seven monitoring stations; the public is allowed to look at the plant material while scientists experiment with different plants to see which types grow best on green roofs.  A total of 320 different plant taxa were selected by a team of Garden staff and Oehme, van Sweden & Associates.  Sika Sarnafil provided the waterproofing for the green roof and the white energy efficient reflective roof.  The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Conservation Science Center also features 288 photovoltaic panels on the roof overhangs, which supply about six percent of the building’s energy needs through the 54.7kW system.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Waterproofing: Sika Sarnafil
Roofing Contractor: Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving Co., Inc.
Architect: Booth Hansen Architects
Landscape Architect: Oehme, van Sweden & Associates
Plant Evaluation Manager: Richard Hawke, Chicago Botanic Garden
Green Roof Garden Horticulturist: Emily Shelton, Chicago Botanic Garden
Electric Field Vector Mapping (EFVM®): International Leak Detection (ILD)
Modular Greenroof System: GreenGrid

The majority of the roof space is a custom designed built in place greenroof but the north side also has as an area planted with the modular GreenGrid system.  The waterproofing system includes Electric Field Vector Mapping® from International Leak Detection.  ILD installs and performs the EFVM® test directly for Sika Sarnafil; the system uses pulses of low voltage electricity to detect roof system breaches, even with the vegetative cover in place.  Any breach can then be easily identified and repaired.  The Green Roof Garden at the Plant Science Center was made possible by the generous support of the Ellis Goodman Family Foundation and the Josephine P. & John J. Louis Foundation.  See a great detailed case study from Booth Hansen Architects, and make sure to see the many excellent videos from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!  Click here to see more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.  See how you can submit yours here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.