GPW: Growing Up (131 Queen Street)

May 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 5/2/11
Growing Up (131 Queen Street)

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2,906 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2010
Owner: Private
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Extensive, Test/Research
System: Custom
Size: 2,906 sq.ft.  
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, By Appointment

Project Description & Details

Melbourne’s skyline is now a little greener with the completion of the world’s first fully-funded, competition-designed, retrofitted green roof.  The new Growing Up project was launched to retrofit a green roof to a CBD (Central Business District) building, and demonstrates the environmental and social benefits of green roofs on city buildings.

BENT Architecture won the design competition, and the 10-story office building at 131 Queen Street was chosen.  The design revolves around the central landscaped hill, from where the circulation zone expands and contracts to create a number of vegetated gathering spaces of varying scales and orientations.  Traditional garden structures, such as a folly, gazebo, and terracing, create diversity along the journey.  Growing Up (131 Queen Street) is home to over 1,300 predominantly indigenous, drought-tolerant plants.  University of Melbourne scientists assisted with the plant and growing media selection; KHD Landscape Engineering Solutions installed Elmich drainage and soil containment materials. Growing Up won the Melbourne Design Award for Commercial Architecture for 2010.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect and Greenroof Design: BENT Architecture
Project Manager: Better Projects
Waterproofing Contractor: Polyseal Group
Growing Media: Debco
Soil Blower: We Blow
Drainage: Elmich Versicell
Drainage and Growing Media Installation: KHD Landscape Engineering Solutions

Sponsored by Melbourne Water, Sustainability Victoria, VicUrban, City of Melbourne, and Australia Post, the Growing Up Competition was the initiative of the Committee for Melbourne’s Future Focus Group.  Landscape architects and architects were asked to design greenroofs for one or more of three short listed buildings, and the most sustainable and innovative greenroof design would then come to life on the winning building: 131 Queen Street – by the winning firm: BENT Architecture.  They also held a student competition, and the winning entry received $2,000 (Australian).
“A principle objective of “˜Growing Up’ was to demonstrate that the design challenges associated with retrofitting a green roof are not insurmountable and that the benefits that green roofs provide to the environment and building owners alike far outweigh the challenges associated with their construction.”    ~  Melbourne Design Awards 2010

Located in the commercial/financial area of Melbourne’s CBD, Growing Up is owned by an Owners’ Corporation comprising commercial occupancies.  The rooftop is deemed a garden oasis within the city, drawing upon considerable financial and in-kind industry support and designed as a best-practice example of how public and private organizations can partner with industry, business, and research institutions to create innovative solutions, such as vegetated roofs, to combat climate change.

The greenroof isn’t the only environmentally friendly feature – many of the building materials are recycled, including glass and river pebbles for the permeable paving, timber cladding for the planter beds, expanded polystyrene formwork for the hill, and salvaged tiles for the seating.  Rainwater is harvested from adjacent roof structures and gravity fed to water cisterns at roof level.  Permeable paving and drainage systems filter and reduce stormwater flows into the broader storm water network.

And, Growing Up includes a dedicated research area for Melbourne University scientists to investigate plant species and substrates most suitable for city’s unique climate.  You can see the short and fun video “The start of GREEN ROOFS in Melbourne” from KHD Landscape Engineering Solutions with time lapse film  here, and read more at the  Melbourne Design Awards 2010 website.

“˜Growing Up’ is a place to escape to, a place of surprise, a place to meet, a place for quiet contemplation, a place to read a book, a place to hold a class, a place for BBQs, a place to exhibit, a place for meetings, a place to gain distance and reflect on life; an engaging and vibrant multipurpose outdoor living space activated by its inhabitants and contributing to the city, both socially and environmentally.” ~  Melbourne Design Awards 2010

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.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: March 18th, 2011

March 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Our daughter, Anjuli Velazquez, has been writing, filming and editing our “This Week in Review” video since August, 2010 and each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com.     She’s become quite popular, and we thought it would be a great idea to start posting her transcript, too, to make things easier to research.   Click on the photo below to see the video, or here.   Enjoy!

–   Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for March 18th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–   Our Project of the Week is The Department Store, Stephen Marr Hair Salon Greenwall built in 2009 in Takapuna, New Zealand.  In 2010 The Department Store was named top retail concept store in the world by Monocle magazine.   One of the centerpieces of the store is the lush interior greenwall on the top floor.  The double-sided greenwall, designed and installed by Natural Habitats Landscapes, is New Zealand’s first interior greenwall.   The wall is 10 meters long by 2 meters high and boasts well over 1,000 individual plants.  It divides the upper level, promoting unique spaces that can be used for presentations like fashion shows.  The building has had skylights installed to ensure the wall is given as much natural light as possible, and so the use of supplementary man-made lighting is kept at a minimum.   This greenwall is an original and breathtaking piece of artwork, but also offers some incredible environmental benefits, like: increased thermal insulation to buildings, noise dampening, and creating cleaner and better quality air, which means healthier buildings and people.   From a commercial perspective, the greenwall increases the building’s value and has also been found to raise employee productivity.

–   To learn more about The Department Store, Stephen Marr Hair Salon Greenwall, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

–   “What’s New“

–   Check out Linda’s latest Sky Gardens Blog posts about the New Zealand greenwall, and the “CitiesAlive 2011 Call for Paper and Poster Abstracts.”   Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is pleased to be working with the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society as co-hosts for CitiesAlive, the 9th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference to be held later this year in Philadelphia from November 29th to December 3rd.   GRHC says they’re looking for papers that display novel ideas on taking a green approach to storm water management through the use of green infrastructure, indoor greening and residential green infrastructure.   All applications are due by April 15th, and for more information you can visit this blog post and/or e-mail Luna Ghose at lghose@greenroofs.org.

–   Do you think green walls can’t survive in the cold; they don’t look good in the winter, they are only viable in the south or indoors”¦ well, think again!   Contributing Editor George Irwin writes about Winter Interest with Green Walls in his latest column and shows some pretty interesting photos of various looks.

–   Advertiser Press Release: Irrigation Water Technologies America, Inc. recently signed an exclusive agreement with Australia-based Irrigation Water Technologies to manufacture and distribute the revolutionary water conserving KISSS product in North America.

–   Green Roof Jobs:   Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect is seeking resumes for a Landscape Architect/Designer with 5-6 years experience for their busy Buffalo, NY office, so make sure to check this job and many others in JobLinks if you’re looking to work in our industry!

–   “Upcoming Events“

–   March 18th – 27th: is the WMG Water Harvesting Certification in Phoenix, Arizona.

–   March 22nd: is the 2011 Green Roof Technology Workshop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

–   March 23rd – 27th: is the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show in San Mateo, California.

–   March 24th – 27th: is a Green Roofs for  Healthy Cities – Green Roof Boot Camp in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

–   March 25th – 26th: is the GreenScaped Buildings Spring Open House in San Diego, California.

–   March 25th – 27th: is the Better Living Show – Home, Garden & Lifestyle in Portland, Oregon.

–   And don’t forget that on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM (local time, wherever you are), lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.   With Earth Hour almost upon us, the organization’s thoughts, as well as ours, are with the people of Japan during this incredibly challenging and sad time for their country.

–   “In the News“

–   Kathleen E. Carey of the Delaware County Daily Times reports on “Green LEEDs to platinum: SAP America earns distinction for utilizing environmental sources for newest building.”  The Newtown Square campus of SAP America Inc. in Delaware County is holding one of the highest environmentally sustainable distinctions in the world with its new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum level construction.  Just some of the features that have led to its LEED Platinum certification are: its entry to the building – the passageway features a floor comprised of recycled materials, including seashells and pieces of crushed bottles and glass; glass panels surrounding the building with the goal of directing 90 percent of daylight to reach 75 percent of the employees; underneath the floors are tubes that transfer the natural temperature of the Earth which is generated from the 10 geothermal wells in the rear of the property to the inside of the building; and a rooftop garden that spans more than 1 acre which features lavender, rosemary, sedum and butterfly bushes.

–   Katie Kosier of Care2.com talks about “Removing Barriers to Green Building.”  With the help of Philadelphia based Re:Vision Architecture, Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility company, PECO, installed a 45,000-square-foot vegetated green roof on its headquarters in central Philadelphia.  It’s the largest in urban Pennsylvania and the roof absorbs more than 1.5 million gallons of rainwater runoff annually, it reduces air temperature in the summer and   it also provides a beautiful habitat for wildlife.   Principle Scott Kelly of RVA, says “For us, it’s about removing barriers to green building.”   You can find more information about the PECO Greenroof in our International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database by typing in Project ID number 851.

–   To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our  In the News or newslinks section of our website.

–   Have something you think we should know about and post on our website?   You can send us your green articles, videos and images to editor@greenroofs.com.

–   Stay up-to-date with what’s going on at greenroofs.com by subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube, following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook and being a member of our network on LinkedIn.

–   By the way, did you know that now you can watch YouTube videos just like this one on DirecTV?  That’s fun!

–   Still haven’t picked up one of our 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World 12 Month Wall Calendar yet?   Go to greenroofs.com/calendar.htm and order some today!   Thanks to George Irwin for this great photo!

–   This has been This Week in Review for March 18th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by Greenroofs.com.*

Did we miss something?   We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.

GPW: The Department Store, Stephen Marr Hair Salon, NZ Greenwall

March 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Greenroofs.com  Project of the Week: 3/14/11
The Department Store,
Stephen Marr Hair Salon, NZ Greenwall
Takapuna, New Zealand

Year: 2009
Owner: Stephen Marr Salon
Location: Takapuna, New Zealand
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 231 sq.ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

The Department Store is a multi-dimensional fashion, art and beauty experience across three floors and one of the centerpieces of the store is the lush interior greenwall in the Stephen Marr Salon on the top floor. Designed and installed by Natural Habitats Landscapes, it’s New Zealand’s first interior greenwall. It divides the upper level, promoting unique spaces that can be used for presentations such as fashion shows. The building has had skylights installed to ensure the wall is given as much natural light as possible, and the use of supplementary man-made lighting is kept at a minimum.

The living wall is double sided, and stands alone at 10 meters long by 2 meters high, boasting well over 1000 individual plants set in a unique, light, soil-free media. The investment into this original and breathtaking piece of artwork, aside from supporting Marr’s “˜green’ stance, is a powerful branding exercise and demonstrates the incredible environmental benefits a greenwall can have such as increased thermal insulation to buildings, noise dampening, and creating cleaner and better quality air, which means healthier buildings and people.
 
Designers/Manufacturers of Record
 
Greenwall Design & Installation: Natural Habitats Landscapes
Greenwall System:The Greenwall Company Australia
Greenwall Supplier: Natural Habitats Landscapes
 
And so it seems New Zealand is slowly waking up to the advantage of giving buildings a living skin.   For example, the designer of this  living wall, Natural Habitats, has a number of new exciting greenwall projects confirmed for 2011, indicating a changing mind set where the adoption of green technology is concerned.   Some of these include Auckland’s new Britomart East building, which is now home to a 130m2 greenwall; The Novotel Hotel at Auckland Airport (greenwall is set for installation in April, 2011), and New Zealand’s first 6 star green building.   Due for completion in 2012, it will also feature a Natural Habitats   living wall.

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.