Project of the Week for March 21, 2016: Atlanta Botanical Garden, Hardin Visitors Center

March 21, 2016 at 8:01 am

By Linda S. Velazquez Publisher Project of the Week: 3/21/16


Atlanta Botanical Garden, Hardin Visitors Center
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
4,500 sf. Greenroofs

Project of the Week Atlanta Botanical Garden Hardin Visitors Center

Project of the Week Description & Details

Comprising 30 acres, the mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation and enjoyment, composed of a number of smaller themed indoor and outdoor gardens. Completed in the spring of 2010, the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Green Expansion Plan was a large-scale expansion project which doubled the size of the Garden while modernizing them at the same time. A number of new facilities constructed include the 600-foot-long Kendeda Canopy Walk providing visitors a journey through the treetops of Storza Woods, the Edible Garden featuring an outdoor kitchen and greenwall with a wide variety of flowering herbs, and the LEED Gold Allen and Gail Hardin Visitors Center. Now facing Piedmont Park, the Visitor Center provides a beautiful new entry experience for visitors and both extensive and intensive greenroofs cover nearly half of its roof area.

EDAW (now AECOM) provided landscape design for the new entrance, LEED Gold SAGE parking deck, and Visitor Center. The Garden Roof Assembly from American Hydrotech was specified, using Stalite PermaTill® growing media. The two inaccessible extensive greenroofs can be seen from the second level balcony, and visitors can walk out onto the intensive greenroof outside which meets grade on the upper level and stroll the paths. Providing additional garden area for visitors and even new wildlife habitat, a wide variety of shrubs, grasses, trees, and perennials were designed to provide color and interest in all seasons, and informational signage pertaining to the greenroofs can be found here as well. Runoff is filtered and an underground 100,000-gallon water cistern harvests stormwater from the seven-acre watershed and provides irrigation for 40% of the new gardens.

Project of the Week Atlanta Botanical Garden Hardin Visitors Center

Year: 2009
Owner: Atlanta Botanical Garden
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Building Type: Non-Profit
Type: Extensive & Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 4,500 sq.ft.
Grade: 1%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project of the Week Atlanta Botanical Garden Hardin Visitors Center

Project of the Week Atlanta Botanical Garden Hardin Visitors Center

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Jova/Daniels/Busby
General Contractor: Hardin Construction Company
Project Manager: Silverman Construction Program Management
Landscape Architect: EDAW
Greenroof System: Garden Roof Assembly, American Hydrotech
Growing Media: Stalite PermaTill®
Growing Media Supplier: ItSaul Natural
Plant Supplier: Saul Nurseries
Windows and Curtain Wall: Kawneer

Project of the Week Atlanta Botanical Garden Hardin Visitors Center

View the PROJECT PROFILE to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Project of the Week Atlanta Botanical Garden Hardin Visitors Center

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Hardin Visitors Center Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP

Video & Project of the Week for July 13, 2015: Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center

July 14, 2015 at 11:48 am Project of the Week: 7/13/15


Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
Atlanta, GA, USA
68,000 sf. Greenroofs


Project Description & Details

The former site of the iconic Rich’s Department Store (Atlanta’s most popular retailer throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries), the present Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center serves as the home of several federal agencies, including the GSA and EPA Region 4, and is one of Atlanta’s most environmentally friendly facilities. The center encompasses the six-story Rich’s Building and its beloved clock as the cornerstone of the facade (from 1924), the 10-story Midrise, the eight-story Bridge Building, and the 24-story high-rise Tower. Utilizing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the $2.6 million project renovation’s goals, consistent with the General Services Administration’s roofing program, were to provide thermal and moisture protection; conserve energy and the environment; reduce utility costs; and help attain energy security by meeting Energy Independence and Security Act requirements.

In testing the roofs’ structural integrity, it was determined that part of the Rich’s portion could not support a vegetated roof; it was changed to a white, 60 mil Tremco “Cool Roof.” But the two Tremco vegetated roofs are highlights of the buildings with planting plans designed by Tremco Roo?ng’s Mary Ann Uhlmann. Installed by Greenrise Technologies, more than 198,000 colorful sedums, delospermas, native cacti, alliums and more were planted 3 per sf and are set in 4″ of growing media from ItSaul Natural. The combination of roofing systems is meeting the project goals, providing such benefits as a lower installed cost than planned, cutting heating and cooling costs, reducing stormwater runoff by more than 600,000 gallons, and reducing the strain on rooftop HVAC equipment. The collaborative efforts of the National Building Contractors team and the GSA designed a vegetated roof system that not only reduced greenhouse gas emissions but also recycled 80% of the existing roof material including the pavers, waterproofing membrane, and rigid insulation.

Find more photos and additional information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.


Year: 2010
Owner: GSA
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Building Type: Municipal/Government
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 68,000 sq.ft.
Slope: 2%
Access: Accessible, Private

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Original Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
GSA Architects: Roland Royster and Steven Moore
General Contractor: National Building Contractors
Engineer and Roof Consultant: Michael E. Clark, MEC&A
Waterproofing: Tremco
Greenroof System: Tremco
Senior Field Advisor: Jim Lohmann, Tremco
Horticulturalist and Greenroof Designer: Mary Ann Uhlmann, Tremco
Vegetative Roof Project Manager: Scott McGaughey, Greenrise Technologies
Growing Media, Plant Installation, & Maintenance: Greenrise Technologies
Growing Media: ItSaulNatural
Plant Supplier: Saul Nurseries


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

Video & Project of the Week for September 15, 2014: Southface Eco Office

September 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm Project of the Week: 9/15/14


Southface Eco Office
Atlanta, GA, USA
2,000 sf. Greenroof


Project Description & Details

Built by a consortium of construction firms using widely available, off-the-shelf products, materials and technologies, the Southface Eco Office is a three-story structure with a rooftop greenroof. It was officially opened in 2009 after receiving its ENERGY STAR label, as well Platinum LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and EarthCraft Light Commercial certification – a regional green building designation specific to the Southeast. It also meets The 2030 Challenge launched by the non-profit group Architecture 2030. The Eco Office is noted for its average energy cost of less than $25 per day.

Designed by Lord, Aeck & Sargent after an inter-disciplinary design charrette, the Southface Eco Office is an 8,300 square foot environmentally responsible building project showcasing some of the innovative green building technologies available in today’s market. The Turner Foundation Green Roof on top of the third floor expands the office space into a rooftop patio with a spectacular view of downtown Atlanta. It’s home to a custom vegetated roof system using waterproofing from American Hydrotech, drainage from JDR Enterprises, growing media from ItSaul Natural, and a variety of Sedums, Delospermas, Talinums, and Hens and Chicks supplied by Saul Nurseries. It boasts a 6.4 kW photovoltaic array salvaged from a BP gas station, and a 1,750-gallon rainwater collection cistern. For over 30 years, Southface has been the U.S. Southeast’s non-profit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities.

Southface hosted the Atlanta Green Roof Symposium on September 15, 2014.

Year: 2008
Owner: Southface Energy Institute
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Building Type: Non-Profit
Type: Extensive, Test/Research
System: Custom
Size: 2,000 sq.ft.
Slope: 4%
Access: Accessible, By Appointment


Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Lord, Aeck & Sargent
Landscape Architect: ECOS
Plant Supplier: Saul Nurseries
Growing Media: Mr. Natural, ItSaul Natural
Waterproofing & Green Roof System: American Hydrotech
Drainage: J-DRain by JDR Enterprises
Contractor Consortium: DPR, Hardin, Holder, R.J. Griffin, Skanska and Winter
Irrigation: Rain Bird


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Southface Eco Office Project of the Week Video below or see it on our greenroofs.TV on YouTube:

Click here to see the entire profile and learn more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

2014 is the Year of Action – Plan, Engage and Network!

January 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Happy New 2014 to everyone in our greenroof and greenwall community, and to your families as well!


While implementing (and breaking) our New Year’s resolutions and planning for the new year, the world has also been dealing with some challenging freak weather lately.

As in other areas of the southern United States, here in the metro Atlanta area we just experienced a devastating near complete shutdown of interstates and highways after Tuesday’s snowfall – in fact, the governor issued a state of emergency for the entire state of Georgia.  Due to the snow, heavy traffic and sheets of ice, motorists were inching by or stranded for hours on hazardous roads, children had to stay overnight at schools (reports say about 8,000 students across Georgia and Alabama woke up yesterday in school gyms or on buses), and we have experienced thousands of accidents.  At present, there are still hundreds of abandoned cars all over the roadways.


“Tennis courts like a sauna” and “extreme heat.” – After 2013’s recently being declared Australia’s hottest year on record, Melbourne experienced three consecutive days of extreme heat above 40°C during the recent Australian Open.  Some spectators, ball kids, and tennis players became ill or fainted during these sizzling hot days when temperatures reached up to 109°F (43°C) .  To avoid heat stress they placed bags of ice on their heads and necks between points and the scorching heat even halted play.


Results of global warming?  Maybe.  At least these are examples of some major temperature extremes in just the first month of our new year!

On Tuesday, here in the U.S. we watched President Obama’s fifth State of the Union address before Congress. Just a couple of his economic proposals regarding climate and energy highlighted working with states and communities on climate change resiliency and cutting pollution plus urging our Congress to end tax benefits for the oil industry and use revenues to invest in advanced vehicles that use cleaner fuels.  Awesome.

Obama says let’s make 2014 “a year of action.”  Certainly we cannot continue to heavily depend on high-carbon fossil fuels but must continue to strive towards a sustainable approach to drive innovation and embrace clean renewable energy solutions.

In our greenroof and wall world we all, too, must take a look at how we conduct business and how we can make it better – more profitable, more sustainable, more inclusive.  What are you doing within your organization to lower costs, increase sales or open up areas of debate?  Share your 2014 stories and strategies with us – we’d love to share your experience through a Guest Feature Article or blog post here on Sky Gardens.


Here at we have been brainstorming ourselves.  We sat down to plan: our activities for Earth Hour and Earth Day (should we bring back our Love the Earth, Plant a Roof Photo Contest?), which conferences we will attend (possibly Grey to Green in Toronto in June; World Green Infrastructure Congress, Sydney in September; Qingdao International Ecocity & Green Roof Conference in China in October; CitiesAlive in Nashville in November), and think about what we want to accomplish and how can we best maximize our time, serve our community, and continue to change to reflect the evolving needs of our readership.


We are convinced that information sharing and open communication are key to a vibrant, growing living architecture industry.  As markets continue to open up across the world through private and public support, opportunities abound – locally and globally.

Along those lines I just wrote a chapter in the upcoming book entitled Green Cities around the World to be published soon by PRONATUR (a Spanish rooftop agricultural group head by Dr. Julian Briz and Dr. Isabel de Felipe, member of the World Green Infrastructure Network or WGIN) and WGIN itself.  It’s entitled “Greenroofs & Greenwalls in the New Millennium: The Influence of the Age of Technology through Online and Social Media.”

I present an overview of how the advancement of greenroof and wall design, construction, and the industry itself has flourished since the turn of our new 21st century with the advent of the widespread use of the Internet, through its innate entrepreneurial spirit, and the continuing rise of information technologies.


Did you know that, according to Internet World Stats, by December 31, 2000 the Internet had 360,985,492 users worldwide and by June 30, 2012 the amount had exploded to 2,405,518,376 users?  Our views of culture, social relationships, and how we interact in the world of e-business have forever changed through electronic media and smart devices.   The Internet has altered the way we do business forever – surfing the net has become a way of life around the world.


And, as most people know, social media is no longer an emerging new world in cyberspace, but an exponentially growing online reality of fantastical proportions.  The impact and importance of social media and how it is changing the landscape of both the personal and professional worlds cannot be overstated.  Here are some recent figures of the most widespread social networking websites used to create new online business contacts and friendships with people who share similar interests:

Facebook  (1.26 billion users as of December, 2013);
LinkedIn (259 million users as of October, 2013;
Twitter (500 million total users as of October, 2013):
Google+ (540 million monthly active users as of October, 2013):
Pinterest (70 million users as of July, 2013;
Tumblr (216.3 million monthly visitors as of May, 2013):
Flickr (87 million users as of March, 2013);
and Instagram (more than 75 million monthly active users as of December, 2013).


This brings me to planning for our third virtual conference, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2015: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture.  We firmly believe this platform is the future, a synthesis of technology and social media – education, entertainment, and social networking – interacting directly with people across the world in our highly targeted community.  We’ve been searching for a new, lower cost medium to be able to broadcast the amazing video content provided by so many brilliant individuals and hard working organizations and further engage everyone in lively video, audio and text chatting.


While strategizing new relationships and collaboration partnerships, we continue to investigate out-of-the-box ideas and certainly welcome your input for an even greater, fun and vibrant virtual summit in 2015.  Next month we’ll start airing our 37 videos from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013.  We hope these keynote, panel sessions, and individual videos will inform and inspire you!


2014-AnjuliandNickyinSnowLet’s make 2014 a year of taking new actions: plan your business and marketing strategy along with your educational and personal growth goals; engage your friends, associates, and peers to help you execute your plans; and network with new social endeavors, online and in real life!  If you’re not already connected with us, do so.

Stay warm (or cool), and try and have fun, no matter the circumstances.

I hope to see you at a physical conference or chat online soon!

~ Linda V.