GPW: Allen & Overy LLP HQ, Bishops Square

July 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 7/11/11
Allen & Overy LLP HQ, Bishops Square
London, England, UK
58,125 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2005
Owner: Allen & Overy
Location: London, England, UK
Building Type: Multi-Use
Type: Extensive & Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 58,125  sq.ft.  
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Private

Project Description & Details

The new headquarters for Allen &  Overy steps back from Bishops Square in a series of green tiers, with roof gardens overlooking the plaza below. The building was commissioned by Allen & Overy to meet the needs of a modern international law firm with strong environmental objectives in mind, serving both retail and office use. Located in the historically sensitive area of Spitalfields, it completes the regeneration programme of this important neighbourhood bridging the City and the East End.

The headquarters encompasses three landscaped greenroof terraces, and a fourth terrace is covered with photovoltaic cells to capture the power of the sun and reduce the energy take of the building. These open green spaces on private terraces provide an area where staff can relax and also help to reduce urban heating. Alumasc ZinCo green roof components were used as part of the key specifications, including FD 40 Floradrain ® water storage and drainage board as well as specialist substrates which support a large number of grasses, shrubs, and flowering perennials including turf, lavender, heather, iris, sedum, and boxwood.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Project Architect: Foster + Partners
Developer: Hammerson Plc, Corporation of London
Planning Authority: Tower Hamlets
Landscape Architect/Sub Consultant: Townshend Landscape Architects
Contractor: Willerby Landscapes
Greenroof Supplier: Alumasc Exterior Building Products
Greenroof System: ZinCo
Waterproofing: Hydrotech Structural Waterproofing


Additional Info

Commencing construction in 2001, the the state-of-the-art building was designed and built specifically for Allen & Overy by leading architects Foster+Partners and  was  finished in 2005.  Their driver for the greenroofs was twofold: they wanted to improve the biodiversity of this highly built up area of London and also wanted to create an outdoor garden type of area for staff to have their lunch, hold meetings and use for client events.

“Bishops Square development provides a major new public space for London larger than the Piazza at Covent Garden. It completes the regeneration programme of this historically important neighbourhood bridging the City and the East End.  Comprising 4 acres of landscaped civic space, a new covered market area, 40,000 sq ft of retail space and 774,000 sq ft of high spec offices, the scheme extends the original wholesale fruit and vegetable market to create a new urban destination with an eclectic mix of offices, residential buildings, shops and a network of pedestrian routes and plazas.” ~  Foster+Partners case study

Foster+Partners also says that the building incorporates the largest commercial photovoltaic installation in Europe and will produce enough energy to power the landscape lighting across the site – I don’t know if this fact still holds true, but it does have a large and rather impressive solar array.  The main roof has about 580m2 photovoltaic cells generating around 50,000kWh per year and the Allen & Overy’s website says the solar array saves 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“We are proud to have been awarded a rating of ‘Very Good’ by the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), the world’s leading system for assessing the range of environmental aspects associated with buildings. ” ~  Allen & Overy’s website

The Allen & Overy HQ greenroof  is not only ecologically sensitive, but designed in an elegantly linear fashion.  The private terraces are used often, not only by the employees but also to entertain special gatherings.  Their office brochure states “One of the best features of Bishops Square is the ability to hold barbecues in the summer or evening drinks on the terrace.”

In fact, the  prestigious  offices of Allen & Overy has hosted both the 2010 and 2008 World Green Roof Congresses.  Aramis and I were lucky to have attended the 2008 World Green Roof Congress here put on by Dusty Gedge of Livingroofs.org and CIRIA, with support from the European Federation of Green Buildings, so we can attest to the beauty of the spaces and the hospitality of the greenspace; the views were pretty spectacular, too!  You can read a little about it here.

The open space is extremely inviting: built in benches provide comfortable seating, tall grasses sway gracefully in the wind here and the flowering perennials provide color and structure throughout the seasons.  Granted the bright green grass needs higher maintenance than the other plants, but it does provide nice contrast and the turf is used by many.

The reflective windows of the building present an ever changing London cityscape scenery to visitors – I took this photo in September, 2008 where you can see the iconic Swiss Re Headquarters at 30 St Mary Axe, popularly known as the Gherkin, also designed by Foster+Partners:

The Allen & Overy HQ greenroof offers something that many extensive living roofs unfortunately do not – highly valuable and sought after  amenity  space.  Structural issues aside, it would be awesome if we could have more intensive greenroofs out there to not only provide a cool respite to our animal friends but also to help sooth the human beast in all of us after a long hard day at work!

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: July 1, 2011

July 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on  Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from July 1, 2011 from our daughter, Anjuli –  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 this week, July 1st 2011 on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Have you heard the news yet?  It’s our pleasure to announce the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 – Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design! An event like no other, this is the first virtual conference & expo experience specifically designed for the Greenroof & Greenwall Industry!  Held online on August 23 & 24, 2011, our mission is  to inform, share, and create a global social media experience for imagining, learning & networking via the power of the Internet.  While it’s not meant to ever displace the physical experience, it’s a greater opportunity to reach more people.  And, it’s extremely affordable – we’re partnering with associations and offering 50% off the $99 Registration Fee, making it just $49 with the special promo code, and only $25 for government and students.  Stay tuned for more information about our most exciting news yet coming soon!

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Breaking Ground Contracting Green Roof & Rooftop Garden built in 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  Breaking Ground’s living roof supports wildlife biodiversity, economic development, offers educational opportunities to a broad range of people and provides a healthy, organic food alternative in the Urban Core.  It is also the first green roof in Florida to incorporate native plants, rooftop permaculture and Florida-friendly landscaping.  The living roof is comprised of three main component ecosystems, including native wildflowers, shrubs, small trees and an intense permaculture food and herb garden.  In addition to the green roof, this project also incorporates a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic solar system, a solar thermal system, living walls, a rain garden, low and no VOC interior paints and finishes, extensive reuse of materials from the demolition of the original building, high efficiency HVAC system with individual occupant controls, outside views for all occupants, and lots more.

To learn more about the Breaking Ground Contracting Green Roof and Rooftop Garden  greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

What’s New“

– Our June 2011 eNewsletter is out, so check it out and read all about our Sky Gardens Blog posts, contributing editor articles, APRs, joblinks and much more!
– Read our latest Guest Feature article by Artie Rollins and John Robilotti: “Various Types of Green Roof Systems Come Together at NYC’s 5-Boro Complex.”  Artie and John go into great depth about their awesome vegetated research rooftop on Randall’s Island, New York.

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Home owner installs Green Roof Paks, designed by Green Roof Blocks, on residential garage roof.

–  Over at Sky Gardens, catch up on all of Linda’s latest posts: “Ed Snodgrass & John Shepley Voted Two of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2011″ – did you know they were both contributing editors of ours? – Greenroofs.com’s “TWIR” on GreenroofsTV, and as always, our GPW.

–   “Upcoming Events“

– July 5th: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is hosting a Webinar on Shade Tolerant Green Roof Plants, with Kelven Goodridge, GRP. The Green Infrastructure Webinar Series is free to attend, so reserve your seat now and invite a colleague.

–   “In the News“

–   Benjamin Gottlieb, of CNN International, reports on “Crops out of concrete: Farming Hong Kong’s urban island.” Six months ago, local entrepreneur Osbert Lam started the Eco-Mama rooftop farm; and says “there are a lot of empty, leftover rooftops that could easily be transformed into fields.” Gottlieb says the Eco-Mama farm is one of an estimated 300 urban farming projects in Hong Kong and urban farmers find the activity personally rewarding. But Hong Kong lacks strong support from the government and agriculture only provides less than one tenth of 1% of Hong Kong’s GDP. But even with the challenges facing urban farming there, people like Lam remain optimistic and believe a community of rooftop farmers can prosper in Hong Kong.

– Belinda Lanks, of Co.Design, talks about “JDS Architects Builds A Rolling Rooftop Playground And Park.” Lanks says, “The Copenhagen firm takes the green roof a step further, creating a delightful outdoor playground for both kids and adults.” Copenhagen’s multiethnic district of Nørrebro is densely populated and JDS Architects’ idea was to create a “missing garden” above some of their own designed penthouse apartments for the residents and neighbors to enjoy. The nearly 10,000-square-foot roof includes a grassy hill with curved steps, a wooden deck, a shock-absorbent playground and a suspension bridge, all safely fenced in.

–   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.

–  This has been This Week in Review for July 1st, 2011 on GreenroofsTV. From everyone here at Greenroofs.com, we wish everyone in the U.S. a very happy, fun and safe 4th of July holiday this weekend! 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.

Greenroofs.com”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: May 27th, 2011

May 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on  Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.   Here’s the transcript from May 27, 2011 from our daughter, Anjuli –  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 May 27th, 2011, on    GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Unilever Corporate Headquarters designed by HDR, Inc,  built in 2009 located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.  The greenroof project is a 16,000 sq ft membrane roof retrofit over a 4-story office building, and the existing roofs needed to be replaced because they were leaking and showing signs of deterioration. Unilever desired a roofing system with an enjoyable appearance, considering its high level of visibility from the next door conference room space.  A new “˜Hydrotech‘ monolithic membrane system with an extensive “˜LiveRoof‘ pre-vegetated tray system was used.   A large variety of 15 types of Sedum and one Delosperma was planted.  To learn more about the Unilever Corporate Headquarters greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

What’s New“

–  Joblinks:   Robert Ebl Inc is looking for a part-time Intern in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL.

–  You can go to greenroofs.com/joblinks.htm more information on this job and other Green Roof Job postings.

–  Advertiser Press Release:   Thanks partly to Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance, Local School and Students of The Kenton County School District in Kentucky have benefited from the state’s Largest Solar Electric Installation.

LiveRoof and GreenFeathers, Inc. Announce Jenny Ruthven as the New Regional Sales Representative in the Pacific Northwest for the LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof System.

–  Manufactured by VAST Enterprises, Firestone SkyPaver™ Composite Roof Pavers were Selected for Projects in Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio.

Alumasc Provides ZinCo Green Roof for Pioneering Eco-Spa.

–   Make sure to read George Irwin’s latest article “The Next Add-On Service for Green Roofs and Green Walls“ where you can read about his “take on the latest profitable service for landscape contractors, roof garden and green wall professionals and garden lovers alike.

–   Over at the Sky Gardens Blog, check out our new Guest Blog post by Matt Burlin, the Outreach Coordinator for Sustainable Stormwater Management with the City of Portland Environmental Services. He reminds us that June 1 is the deadline of the sixth round of the Ecoroof Incentive. Also see Linda’s latest posts for our GPW, the Unilever Corporate Headquarters, and last week’s “˜This Week in Review‘ on GreenroofsTV.

–   “Upcoming Events“

–   May 1st – July 31st: is the Integrated Habitat Design Competition (IHDC) 2011 in London, United Kingdom.

–   May 27th – 29th: is ROOF INDIA 2011 in Mumbai, India.

–   May 28th: is ARCSA’s 100-Level Workshop, Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting in Atlanta, Georgia.

–   Also May 28th: is the Call for Papers Deadline for the WGIN’s Internationals Green Technology Symposium 2011 in Indore, India.

–   May 28th – 30th: is Resilient Cities 2011 – World Congress on Cities & Adaptation to Climate Change in Bonn, Germany.

–   June 1st: is the Application deadline to submit projects to the City of Portland Green Roof Incentive program.

–   June 1st – 4th: is Growing Local – 19th Annual Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) in Madison, Wisconsin.

And also June 1st – 4th: is the Green Roof for Heathy Cities – Green Roof Boot Camp in Chicago, Illinois.

–  For more Upcoming Events visit our homepage.

–   “In the News“

–  Lorna Thorpe of The Guardian talks about “British Land – offering urban shelter and habitats for insects and rare birds.” She says, “British Land won over the judges for its contribution to local biodiversity – urban habitats that provide shelter and foraging for insects, rare birds and plants in the heart of London.”     In one of the most effective ways to enhance biodiversity, British Land is setting the standard for biodiverse green roofs at many of its buildings; and over the past few years they have installed green roofs on all of its most recent office developments in central London, along with retrofitting them to some existing buildings.

–   Andrew Michler of Inhabitat.com says that “Green-Roofed Minneapolis Central Library is a Civic Lesson on Eco Design.” Minneapolis has one of the greenest libraries and the third largest library collection per capita in the US. The Minneapolis Central Library by Pelli Clark Pelli hosts a huge atrium that splits the building into layers of light-filled spaces to help encourage visitors to find a nice book and stay awhile. A series of greenroofs, advanced cooling and heating systems, and low-energy lights cuts the library’s energy use by nearly a third, teaching everyone by example exactly how deep green design benefits everyone.

–   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.

–   This has been This Week in Review for  May 27,    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.

Greenroofs.com”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: May 6th, 2011

May 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on  Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.   Here’s the transcript for May 6, 2011 from our daughter,  Anjuli –  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 May 6th, 2011,  on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Growing Up – also known as 131 Queen Street – greenroof built in 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.  Melbourne’s skyline is now a little greener with the completion of the world’s first fully-funded, competition-designed, retrofitted green roof.  The Growing Up project was launched to retrofit a green roof on a Central Business District building and to demonstrate the environmental and social benefits of green roofs on city buildings.  BENT Architecture won the design competition established for the project, and the 10-story office building at 131 Queen Street was chosen as the site.  KHD Landscape Engineering Solutions and Green Roof Technologies were involved in creating the green space as part of the $300,000 project, working together to provide end-to-end design, construction and maintenance services for green roofs.  The Growing Up project won the Melbourne Design Award for Commercial Architecture for 2010.

–   To learn more about the Growing Up (131 Queen Street) greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

–   “What’s New“

–  Advertiser Press Release:  LiveRoof ® Adds [a] New Regional Sales Representative in Florida.

–   The Winner of our 2011 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is the Aqua in Chicago, Illinois!  Congrats to Linda Smith from Barrett Company who submitted this lovely project which received the most votes from all the entries!  You can learn all about the Aqua at the Sky Gardens Blog.

–   Read Haven Kiers‘ latest Sky Gardens post “American Institute of Architects Select their 2011 COTE (coat) Top Ten Green Projects.”   Now in its 15th year, the AIA and its Committee on the Environment, or COTE, have once again selected their top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.  See the three great 2011 Top Ten Award Winners that have incorporated greenroofs into their design.

–   Speaking of Sky Gardens, make sure to catch up on all of Linda’s latest posts: “GPW: Growing Up (131 Queen Street),” “The Winner of our 2011 “˜Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!’ Earth Day Photo Contest Is…,” and last week’s script for “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV.”

–  Industry News

–   There is a New Sustainable Design 101 resource available for students and teachers from the American Society of Landscape Architects.  In addition to the animations, the resource now includes 20 case studies of sustainable projects of all sizes, including master plans, university campuses, urban farms, backyards, and greenroofs!

–   “Upcoming Events“

–   May 10th-12th: is Garden+Landscaping Middle East in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

–   And May 12th-14th: is the AIA 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Don’t miss exhibits from American Hydrotech, Bison Innovative Products, CETCO, Colbond, GreenGrid/Weston Solutions, LiveRoof, Sika Sarnafil, Tremco and ZinCo USA.

–  For more Upcoming Events visit our homepage.

–   “In the News“

–   Tafline Laylin of Inhabitat.com says “It’s Always Play Time at Henning Larsen’s Beautiful Green-Roofed Day Care Center in Denmark.”  Its tall windows let in lots of light while a special climate zone allows the children to play without gloves despite the cruel winters.  Wedged into a hillside, this building keeps energy consumption to a minimum and also features a small herb and vegetable garden for the kids.  As usual, Inhabitat has more stunning photos, so go to the article and browse their gallery.

–   Another article with beautiful pictures is “House Ocho with a Lively Green Roof.”  Preston Koerner of Jetson Green talks about this project in Carmel, California designed by Feldman Architecture, whose most notable detail is its dynamic greenroof that blends in with the hillside of the Santa Lucia Mountains.   House Ocho has additional green aspects which include the integrated photovoltaic skylights, custom windows to optimize passive solar heating, thermal mass in the form of concrete floors, radiant heat floors, recycled denim insulation, and sustainably harvested wood floors.  You can read more about this project in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database at the link below (http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1116) or just type in Project ID # 1116 on the Projects Database search screen under Keyword.

–   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.

–   This has been This Week in Review for May 6th, 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.