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.

Watch Our Trailer for the Cook+Fox Architects Office on the Upcoming Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World™ Episode!

April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

We’ve been working on the second installment of our Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World™ WebTV series for about two years now, and are excited to announce that you can see it here on greenroofs.tv this Friday, April 22, 2011, on Earth Day!

I’ll also be blogging a bit about the actual Making Of the video, filmed on location in New York City and St. Louis, Missouri.

Until then, watch the fun teaser video on our Homepage, the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube, or here below:

Enjoy!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: April 15th, 2011

April 16, 2011 at 5:00 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 April 15, 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 April 15th, 2011 on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the Longdrive house built in 2008 in Long Eddy, New York.  This 4,000 square foot home by Alveary Architects was designed to be an extension of existing trails and paths that wind through this beautiful 63 acre property.  A conversation pit with a large stone fireplace dominates and anchors the center of the house.  Radiant-heated stone floors were used throughout the main level while the master bedroom suite and upper stories were floored with reclaimed wood, which was also used for all interior walls.  Next to the master bedroom is a green house separated by pivoting wood doors providing a tropical retreat during New York’s long winters.  The house is covered by a custom designed green roof complimenting the natural setting and the planted roof on three levels blends into the natural landscape and encourages the wildlife to creep in close to the house.  Also, Longdrive was featured on the cover of our 2011  Greenroofs and Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar!

– To learn more about  Longdrive, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

–   “What’s New“

– Our 2011 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is going on right now, so participate in the fun by submitting a photo on our Facebook page and telling your friends to vote!  You can submit your greenroof or wall photo by next Friday, Earth Day April 22nd, but keep voting until Friday, April 29th and the winner will be announced on Saturday, April 30th!

– We’d like to announce a new Contributing Editor here at Greenroofs.com:  Welcome to John Shepley!  John is co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants based in Street, Maryland and look for his first column coming very soon!

–  Advertiser Press Release:  Green Living Technologies International – or GLTi – has added a Vertical Farming Seminar to its Certification Training: “Food is Not an Option…” The class will provide the knowledge base to implement vertical agriculture ranging from a hobbyist/education to professional grower and for profit opportunity.

GLTi also announces that Certification Training is Available for Registration in Detroit, Michigan.  The GLTi training is much more than a lecture series; it’s also a hands-on demonstration and application comparing apples to apples.  You will learn to compare other technologies!  Both class sizes are limited so register early!

– The NYC Strategic Alliance for Health honored Discovery High School as the first recipient of its Excellence in School Wellness Award at Bronx ceremony earlier this week, on Tuesday April 12th, 2011.  The Excellence in School Wellness Award recognizes the strides that schools are making in creating healthy school environments as a means to prevent childhood obesity and improve academic achievement.  So, congrats to them!

– Be sure to read Linda’s Sky Gardens Blog posts where you can read how the ASLA, or the American Society of Landscape Architects, has been nominated for their new greenroof page as a Webby Award finalist; learn more about our project of the week on the “GPW: Longdrive“ post; see my script on the “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: April 8th, 2011“ post; and, read all about our annual contest with the “Enter the 2011 “˜Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!’ Earth Day Photo Contest“ post – what it’s all about, what you have to do to enter, the requirements, how to vote and more!

–   “Upcoming Events“

– April 16th-17th: Join EPA for Earth Day on the National Mall at Washington, DC.

– April 19th-20th: is the Green California Summit and Exposition in Sacramento, CA.

– April 20th: there is a Garden Roof Course at GOCSI Green Product Show at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, FL.

– And April 22nd: is Earth Day!  Your support enables Earth Day Network to power the environmental movement and ensure a healthy and sustainable planet for all of us.  Your contributions and purchases help mobilize communities, implement environmental education programs and support Earth Day events and actions around the world.  From greening schools in post-Katrina New Orleans to improving water and sanitation services in a refugee community in Ghana, EDN supports and coordinates thousands of Earth Day events worldwide each year.  Earth Day, April 22, is the largest secular holiday in the world, now celebrated by more than one billion people.

– Stay tuned for our latest Sky Gardens – Greenroofs of the World™: The Cook+Fox Architects Office episode in Manhattan, New York coming soon.  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 a new office on Avenue of the Americas at West 20th Street.  Located in the 8th floor penthouse of a former upscale department store, in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District, the new space looked onto a sizable terrace-level rooftop.  Though coated in black tar and formally off-limits, the roof held great potential as a platform for promoting urban sustainability.  For more information about this project profile you can search Cook+Fox in our projects database, or visit this link below: (http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=670)

–   “In the News“

– Preston Moretz of the Temple University News talks about “Sustainability projects advance throughout Temple.”  He says, “At Temple, environmental responsibility is continually being woven through the campus fabric; everywhere from academics, to research, to everyday business practices.”  On the Main Campus, the redesign of Pearson and McGonigle Halls were to include a new upper level, which will feature the installation of approximately five 12-foot wind turbines on the roof.  The turbines could generate between 16-18 kilowatts of power, which will be returned to the building’s power grid, reducing Temple’s energy costs.  Temple’s Ambler Campus is home to the university’s first green roof, which was installed in 2005 through a grant from PECO Energy and occupies three-quarters of the 5,000-square-foot roof atop the Intercollegiate Athletics Field House.

– Tom Oswald of MSU News reports on “MSU students to present green-roof technology at EPA event in Washington.”  A team of Michigan State University students travels to Washington, D.C. to take part in a competition that could get them a federal grant to continue research into technology that would allow green roofs to be used on sloped roofs.  The students, who are in the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction, are participating in the National Sustainable Design Expo, which is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s celebration of Earth Day 2011.  Jeremy Monsma, a graduate student in the SPDC who is heading up the project says, “The majority of residential roofs, especially here in the north, are sloped because of snow,” and “the goal of our work is to answer fundamental questions relating to the performance of extensive green roof systems when applied to more conventional pitched roof systems.”  One of the goals of the team is to develop a construction manual which will assist with all future greenroof installation on steep slopes.

– Elisse Lorenc of Iowa State Daily announces, “Students Society of Landscape Architecture recruits by building green roof VEISHEA display.”  Located in front of the College of Design, SSLA spent 6 months planning and constructing a display to demonstrate the uses of green roofs.  The display has three miniature roofs or modules, each displaying a different type of green roof.  The group hopes to grab students’ attention at VEISHEA, but also alumni to get the word out about green roofs, answering student questions and demonstrating the uses of a green roof.

–   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 April 15th, 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.