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.

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.

GPW: ESRI Canada’s Garden in the Sky

May 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm

As you know by now, ESRI Canada’s Garden in the Sky  in Toronto, Canada  is the winner in our  first contest here at Greenroofs.com, the 2010 Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!  Earth Day Photo Contest, and was featured as our Greenroof Project of the Week (GPW) from May 2, 2010 through May 9, 2010.   Submitted by Josephine Chan, Public Relations Specialist, Marketing, with ESRI Canada, this project received a whopping 735 votes!   Well, Josephine is a marketing specialist and  should be  commended on doing a great job of  getting the word out to vote for her project!

 

Although this really was a popularity contest, nonetheless, this “Garden in the Sky” is a stunning example of  collaboration, resulting in a thoughtful,  peaceful, and inviting  greenspace in an otherwise dreary, hot urban roofscape canyon typically found in our core downtown areas.   I asked Josephine why she felt the ESRI Canada living roof was special:

“The green roof is a great project because it provides access to nature in an urban environment.   It reflects the passion for the environment and collective creativity of ESRI Canada’s staff, who were consulted and encouraged to submit suggestions for the design of the green roof.   The result is a colorful, accessible and functional rooftop garden that significantly enhances our workplace and the environment.”  ~ Josephine Chan

ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) Canada is a geographic information systems software company who wanted an ecological roofing alternative for their ninth-story  headquarters.   According to an article in unlimited Magazine, company president Alex Miller saw big potential:

“We’re an environmental company.   Our business is building geographic information systems for our customers.   We wanted to set an example of what a company could do, for a relatively small amount of money overall, at improving the sustainability of our surrounding environment.” ~ Alex Miller

The greenroof was designed by Scott Torrance Landscape Architect of Toronto, who also  conducted  a Green Roof Feasibility Study for the ESRI Canada Head Office in 2007.    The design encompasses several zones of outdoor rooms  for circulation purposes,  and also reflects the indoor plan.

The project  was  installed and is maintained by Gardens in the Sky, Flynn Canada.   Not including the planters, the 7,500 sf  installation is a pre-vegetated LiveRoof  Hybrid  greenroof system combining 4″ LiveRoof Standard and 6″ LiveRoof Deep modules.    Josephine told us about several challenges that  were encountered during the design and implementation of the roof garden.  The first step was convincing the landlord, Crown Property Management, that it was an idea worth pursuing.

“Fortunately, they are committed to making their buildings more energy efficient and sustainable.   They agreed that a green roof would be a valuable enhancement and covered the cost of re-roofing the structure on which the garden would be laid.  Capital costs for the green roof were in the range of $25 to $35 per square foot.   The investment the company allocated for the project was substantial.   However, it knew the benefits would far outweigh the costs and proceeded with the project despite the severe economic downturn.”  

 

ESRI Canada faced other challenges such as winds, loading capacity and logistics for a project located in a busy commercial area of east Toronto, and shares the following items that needed to be addressed:

“Wind velocity, particularly nine stories above ground, needed to be factored into plant selection and installation.   An 85-ton crane was used to lift a total weight of 260,000 pounds of plant modules, including 100 yards of soil, 56 planter boxes and 4,000 individual modules of live root plants.   Further complicating the process was logistics.   Crane availability and other logistical considerations in a busy office building meant that work could only be done on Saturdays and Sundays.   This was carried out with a crew of eight working 12-hour days for two weekends in early May 2009.”   Another reason for doing the crane work  over weekends was so that the fire routes were not blocked during working hours.

One other interesting  challenge was  the need to access window washing anchors set within the gravel, which was accomplished through Scott Torrance’s design (photo below from Treehugger).   The landscape architect positioned the  plantings “so that the lines for the window washers go between them.  The gravel also keeps people on roof away from the glass.”

 

Kees Govers, BSc (Agr), of LiveRoof Ontario Inc. adds perspective from the installation process:   “In May 2009, Gardens in the Sky devoted two consecutive  weekends to the installation.   On the first Saturday, all the planters and furniture were hoisted to the 8th floor balcony and positioned, and on the second Saturday the LiveRoof modules were craned up and installed along with the irrigation and the pathways.

“The pathways were all preloaded in LiveRoof modules and were simply installed as any other module.   As a result, the entire green roof is truly portable.  It would take approximately one day to completely remove the entire green roof without a trace, if and when the time came.   Because LiveRoof utilizes patented “˜hoppits’ as conveyance for the modules to the rooftop, even grasses and perennials can be completely full grown ready for installation in the nursery and installed without any damage.  As a result, the green roof is truly finished on the day it is installed rather than requiring another two to three years of growth.”

 

These two photos below were taken by Kees  approximately two weeks after installation was completed (late-May, 2009):

 

Kees explains that unlike other modular systems, LiveRoof doesn’t stack their modules.   “We also use only a minimal amount of stretch wrap to prevent overheating of the plants.   As a result we can ship fully grown grasses, perennials and sedums without any shipping damage to the plants and without having to utilize refrigerated trailers.   The elevators are removed during installation to create a monolithic green roof without visible modules.”

“We always utilize the living mulch principle when executing plant designs.  No deciduous plants are used without an evergreen groundcover underplanted.  Because everything is full grown and already maturing at the time of installation, there is never any exposed growing medium.   As a result, wind erosion of the growing medium is virtually non-existent even when the deciduous plants have gone dormant.” ~ Kees Govers

Patrick Biller, Green Roof Maintenance & Installation with Flynn Canada, Gardens in the Sky, believes the ESRI is a unique project.  “It has all the typical Sedums and grasses that other LiveRoof systems have, but it also has an area devoted to plants that are unique to green roofs.  A lot of rock garden Sempervivums were used, as well as thyme and Nepeta.   The sculpture in the center is unique and points in the direction of the city with the CN Tower in the background.”   From a maintenance point of view, Patrick says that the  LiveRoof system is quick to install, fills in quickly, and reduces the maintenance challenges, and that everything about the system is efficient.   Other than a few select perennials such as coreopsis and evening primrose dying out,  the greenroof  has filled in very nicely.   In early May Flynn Canada/Gardens in the Sky planted some more coreopsis and yarrow.

“I had the privilege of doing the spring clean-up on this site this spring, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  All the hustle and bustle of the city, with the Don Valley Parkway directly underneath and general road noise are masked up there, and it feels like an oasis.  Not very often do we do projects that can actually separate you from your surroundings, offering a tranquil space for people to enjoy.  I wish more projects were like this one!” ~ Patrick Biller

Despite the many site  challenges, ESRI Canada believes the company was able to “transform a previously dreary concrete terrace into a lush green roof that provides important environmental and business benefits, including improved air quality, lower energy consumption for air conditioning and reduced stormwater runoff.   Previously, you would be met by dust and highway noise when you stepped out onto the terrace.   Now, employees and visitors can walk out to green outdoor space for formal meetings, corporate events and informal lunch breaks.   They can enjoy the breathtaking view of perennials and tall grasses intermingled with sedums that can also be seen from inside and neighbouring buildings.   Birds and butterflies have also become frequent visitors to the green roof.   It has been transformed into a colourful, living garden enjoyed by many.”

Josephine gave us her personal reflections on the greenroof and its contribution to a healthier Earth:   “It’s been almost a year since ESRI Canada’s green roof was installed.  It was about the same time when I started with the company.  I have never worked in an office with a green roof before so I was, and still am, extremely impressed with ESRI Canada’s environmental effort and proud to be part of a company that is committed to being green.

“From inside the offices, you get seamless views of the garden, which is broken into zones that extend the interior space.   It’s a refreshing place to relax during breaks and provides a great venue for more formal corporate gatherings.  It’s designed with several walkways, so you can tour the roof and look closely at the more than 50 varieties of shrubs, flowering plants, grasses and trees.

“We’ve hosted numerous tours for customers, partners, journalists, and tenants in the building and surrounding buildings who are curious to see the green roof.  They are always amazed by how cool and quiet it is there, given that the busy Don Valley Parkway is just below.   Birds and butterflies are also frequent visitors.  It’s a living garden enjoyed by many.   In addition to providing weather and noise insulation, it retains stormwater and delivers significant energy cost savings.   It also serves as an excellent demonstration of and inspiration for preserving nature and caring for the environment.  “

Kudos to  all the stakeholders for a wonderful project and in particular  to Josephine Chan of ESRI Canada, who says she’ll be donating the $100 prize to a local charity that protects migratory birds.   Josephine adds, “I love seeing them on the green roof!”

Lloyd Alter from Treehugger.com created two videos about the project for his article “Prefab, Portable Green Roof Installed In Toronto” of October 5, 2009, where he interviewed ESRI General Manager John Kitchen and the landscape architect, Scott Torrance.     Also read more from  the  project  profile in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database, and watch a short video about ESRI Canada’s Garden in the Sky below:

Happy Greening for Mother Earth! ~ Linda V.