Our New Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World™ WebTV Video Premiere & GPW: Cook+Fox Architects, LLP

April 20, 2011 at 9:31 am

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 4/18/11
Cook+Fox Architects, LLP
New York, NY, USA
3,600 sf. Greenroof

Year:  2006
Client/Owner: Cook+Fox Architects
Location: New York, NY, USA
Building Type: Corporate
Type: Extensive, Test/Research
System:  Custom
Size: 3,600 sq.ft.  
Slope: 2%
Access: Accessible, Private

Project Description & Details

In the summer of 2006, Cook+Fox Architects decided to set a greener, healthier example with a roof that absorbs stormwater, lowers surface temperature, and benefits both the local ecosystem and the human environment.  Having grown rapidly, the firm had recently moved to an 8th floor penthouse of a former upscale department store in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District in Manhattan.  The new space looked onto a sizeable terrace-level rooftop, but it was coated in black tar.  While the owners of the building were open to the proposed greenroof, they were concerned about the integrity of their existing roof membrane and building drainage system.

For these reasons, they were interested in a flexible system that could be moved later if necessary.  Green Paks, a modular greenroof system by Green Roof Blocks, was installed with eight types of Sedums and Talinum on the architects’ headquarters.  Two years later the roof did leak, and a new roof was needed.  Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Cook+Fox Architects LLP Office is that it is the first known modular greenroof system to have been entirely removed with new waterproofing installed, and then re-installed in the fall of 2008 to great success without having to dig up a single plant, let alone incurring the cost of a new greenroof system!

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect: Cook+Fox Architects
Modular Greenroof System: Green Paks by Green Roof Blocks
Landscape Designer: Jost Greenhouses
Plant Supplier: Emory Knoll Farms and Jost Greenhouses
Growing Media: McEnroe Organic Farm
Monitoring: Paul S. Mankiewicz, Gaia Institute
Greenroof Consultant: Kelly Luckett, Green Roof Blocks

Cost was also an initial issue for Cook+Fox, which was another reason the lower price option Green Paks were so attractive.  Along with a host of other sustainability issues,  Mayor Bloomberg introduced important incentives for rooftop greening with their comprehensive and sweeping PlaNYC  – add that to the fact that 20+ Cook+Fox volunteer architects actually installed and planted the  880 Green Paks, and you’ll understand how they kept the total costs down, plus were vested in its future from the beginning!

See some photos below of the initial installation and the first couple of seasons from the Flickr account of  one of the architects at the time, Shelby Elizabeth Doyle:

Learn all about Cook+Fox’s entire pre- and post Green Pak design considerations and installation experience plus learn about what NYC has been doing to promote sustainability and  greenroof construction by watching the premiere of our WebTV episode “Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World™: Cook+Fox Architects Office” on Earth Day – this Friday, April 22, 2011 here on GreenroofsTV!

Two years in the making, join me  as we film on location in New York City and St. Louis and interview the client/owner Cook+Fox‘s Senior Associate Mark Rusitzky; Rohit T. “Rit” Aggarwala, Former Director, Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability at the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York (2006-2010); Plant Consultant Vic Jost of Jost Greenhouses; and  Kelly Luckett, President of  Green Roof Blocks.

Find out how the Cook+Fox greenroof has fared since the Green Paks  re-installation!

Watch the Trailer here.

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.