Project of the Week for February 8, 2016: Cira Green at Cira Centre South

February 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm

By Linda S. Velazquez Publisher


Cira Green at Cira Centre South
Philadelphia, PA, USA
52,000 sf. Blue-Green Roof

Project of the Week Cira Green

Photo ©Albert Vecerka/Esto

Project Description & Details

Located in the University City District of Philadelphia, Cira Green at Cira Centre South is the city’s first elevated park and part of developer Brandywine’s 2.7 million square foot mixed-use Cira Centre South neighborhood. Tucked between the Evo Tower and the FMC Towers, Cira Green is a 52,000 square foot oasis perched 11-stories atop a parking garage, offering much needed open public green space with amazing views of the Philadelphia skyline and the Schuylkill Riverfront. Designed by Roofmeadow, Cira Green has a unique water storage system beneath its sloping lawn, swaying meadows, and the pavers on the roof: Cira Green is also Philadelphia’s first blue-green roof, which can route stormwater to the green roof areas.

Project of the Week Cira Green

Cira’s innovative blue-green roof design provides a higher level of stormwater performance than conventional green roofs. Thin detention cisterns, dubbed “pancake cisterns” by Roofmeadow, placed below the paving, capture rainfall and release it gradually to the adjacent planted areas via a system of Sutro weirs. The combined blue-green design both regulates flow rate and treats runoff prior to discharge from the roof. Moreover, integrating the park programming with stormwater management strategies avoided the cost of building additional at-grade measures to collect and treat runoff associated with the paved areas on Cira Green. Rooflite® growing media was engineered specifically for the different types of green roofs included in this project including large lawn areas, a meadow, and planters with trees and colorful perennials and vines. VersiCell drainage underneath was provided by Tournesol Siteworks. By artfully integrating an unobtrusive stormwater management strategy into this extensively paved, high-traffic park, Brandywine and the design team created a new standard for city living which leverages the roof plane for unparalleled amenity spaces that also aggressively manage stormwater.

See 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 Cira Green

Photo ©Albert Vecerka/Esto

Project of the Week Cira Green

Year: 2015
Brandywine Realty Trust
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Building Type:
52,000 sq.ft.
Accessible, Open to Public

Project of the Week Cira Green

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Erdy McHenry Architecture, LLC
Owner/Developer: Brandywine Realty Trust
Landscape Architecture, Blue-Green Roof Design & Stewardship: Roofmeadow
General Contractor: Hunter Roberts Construction Group
Civil Engineer: Pennoni Associates
Structural Engineer: Tim Haahs and Associates
Waterproofing: EDA Contractors, Inc.
Growing Media: rooflite®
Drainage: VersiCell
Drainage Supplier: Tournesol Siteworks
Construction and Maintenance: Sean’s Landscaping
MEP Consultant: AKF Engineers
Photography: 2 Photos ©Albert Vecerka/Esto; Roofmeadow; rooflite; Brandywine Realty Trust

Project of the Week Cira Green

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Cira Green at Cira Centre South 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 March 23, 2015: Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

March 24, 2015 at 2:35 pm Project of the Week: 3/23/15


Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology
Philadelphia, PA, USA
9,480 sf. Greenroofs


Project Description & Details

Demonstrating the University of Pennsylvania’s leadership in the emerging field, the LEED Gold certified Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology is a premier $91.5 million state-of-the-art research and teaching laboratory facility. The 78,000-gross-square-foot facility houses several multi-user experimental laboratories critical to advanced research and development in nanotechnology, woven together by collaborative public spaces that enable interaction between different fields. Defined by a 1.7-acre central campus green at a new gateway to the campus, the building also features a courtyard, public galleria, a forum space, high-profile conference rooms, and two green roof spaces.

Responsible as architect and for site design, WEISS/MANFREDI focused the laboratories around a new central quad. This convergence of architecture and landscape at the heart of this project provides a new indoor/outdoor open space for interaction, allowing panoramic exterior views, opening the sciences to the University landscape, and making research activities highly visible. The green roofs crown the 68-foot cantilevered volume – one lower, partially accessible intensive roof with native plants, and one upper extensive roof with sedums. They are considered a “miniaturization” of the building’s courtyard. The Roofmeadow Type III Savannah Intensive Vegetative Roof Assembly was installed utilizing 3 inches of drainage media with varying depths of growing media planted with assorted sedums and native trees, perennials and grasses.

The Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology is the 2015 Recipient of the Institute Honor Awards for Architecture from the AIA.

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

New! Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology is featured in’s brand new 2015 Wallpaper Projects Gallery – download yours for free.

Year: 2013
Owner: University of Pennsylvania
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Building Type: Laboratory Facility
Type: Extensive & Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 9,480 sq. ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Private



Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Greenroof System Provider & Consultant: Roofmeadow
Green Roof Contractor: G.R.A.S.S. and EDA Contractor
Architect & Site Design: WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
Greenroof Design: WEISS/MANFREDI
Civil Engineer: Stantec Consulting
General Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
Photography: Albert Vecerka/Esto Courtesy of WEISS/MANFREDI; Roofmeadow


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology 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.’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: April 13, 2012

April 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from April 13, 2012 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and welcome to “This Week in Review” for April 13th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the  Green Wall Ferrara, built in 2009 in Ferrara, Italy. This project entailed converting a garden space in the courtyard of a private estate and there was little room for a traditional garden, which led the designers to plant on the walls.  The Optigreen Living Wall Garden system was installed and a beautiful vertical garden was created, resulting in a very soothing effect.

The core unit of the Optigreen Wall Garden system solution is a high-grade, substrate-filled aluminum cassette system which can be planted on site.  The horizontal suspension rails support the Wall Garden elements which are hooked into the rails. The irrigation system is fully automatic with a blending unit for fertilizer and herbicides. Three thousand plants with about 50 different species were planted into this 5 meter high, 120 meter squared private green wall.

–  To learn more about the Green Wall Ferrara,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 18: “Combining Green Roofs with Photovoltaics“ by Roland Appl.

And find the rest of the videos in this series on our GreenroofsTV page and/or our greenroofsTV YouTube channel.

Advertiser Press Releases:

Sika Sarnafil Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Sarnafil Brand Roofing Membrane.

Another Green Roof Boosts Stormwater Management at Loyola University Chicago by LiveRoof.

Industry News

– Communities looking for the most cost-effective options for managing polluted runoff and protecting clean water should choose green infrastructure solutions, according to a report released this week by American Rivers, the Water Environment Federation, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and ECONorthwest.  The report, Banking on Green: How Green Infrastructure Save Municipalities Money and Provides Economic Benefits Community-wide, demonstrates that green infrastructure practices can offer more cost-effective solutions relative to traditional infrastructure approaches.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 18: Combining Green Roofs with Photovoltaics,” and “’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: April 6, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  Don’t forget going on now through April 22nd is our “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest! So make sure to like our Facebook page, if you haven’t already, upload your greenroof photo and then get your friends and family to vote for it daily!

– April 14th-17th: is the American Planning Association (APA) National Planning Conference, in Los Angeles, CA.

– And April 17th: is the Green Roof Science Symposium, at Columbia University, in New York, NY.

– “In the News“

–  Matthew Camp of The Alestle, talks about “Unseen green grows on SIUE rooftops.”  He says several buildings at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are becoming a part of a greener tomorrow with the additions of rooftop gardens.  Civil engineering professor and acting environmental program coordinator, Susan Morgan, says there are currently three buildings on campus that have the gardens and there are several more planned for the future.  Biology professor Dr. Bill Retzlaff [one of our contributing editors] says the typical green roof may cost $11-50 per square foot, SIUE’s gardens are at the cheaper end, and “since 2004, more than 100 students have worked on the project.  SIUE is a leader in green roof research in the United States.  They are one of the five or six bigger institutions that conduct research on green roofs.”

Mechanical engineering professor Serdar Celik says they don’t use traditional soil for the roofs – they have been experimenting with different inorganic rocks and different varieties of sedum, and also that the students do experimental testing and theoretical analysis.  They take temperature readings, measurements of stormwater runoff weight, solar radiation, plant coverage, and more.  Celik also says that since we are aware of the global warming issue, the rooftop gardens are one of the solutions toward environmentally friendly sustainable design standards.

– Sandy Bauers of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reports on “Philadelphia embarks on green stormwater management.”  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the go-ahead to Philadelphia’s $2 billion plan to manage its stormwater with green methods like porous pavements, green roofs, and planting more trees.  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said “the city has earned a place as a national and global leader on sustainable innovation and clean water protection.”  She joined Mayor Nutter and other officials at the Fairmount Water Works to sign the agreement for a 25-year plan that has been described as one of the most innovative and ambitious in the nation, it will transform how the city looks but more importantly how the city handles its stormwater.

Other cities like Syracuse, Cleveland and New York will be following in Philadelphia’s footsteps, and hopefully they’re the first of many cities around our country to enhance their cities and beautify their streets.  Later this month, a nonprofit water sustainability organization, the Clean Water America Alliance, will name Philadelphia one of the six national 2012 prize winners for its stormwater plan.

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

– Send us your green articles, videos and images to and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, being a member of our network on LinkedIn, and subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube!

– This has been This Week in Review for  April 13th, 2012  on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see you next week!

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

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

~ Linda V.

GPW: Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central

December 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm Project of the Week: 11/28/11
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central
Philadelphia, PA, USA
5,000 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2008
Owner: Free Library of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Building Type: Library
Type: Semi-Intensive, Test/Research
System: Custom
Size: 5,000 sq. ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

Consisting of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Free Library of Philadelphia is one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in the city with more than six million visits annually.

Part of Mayor Michael Nutter’s green initiatives and the first on a city-owned building, the four story Beaux-Arts Parkway Central Library’s green roof demonstration project is divided into two areas flanking the east and west sides of the central roof terrace above the main entrance. 100 cubic yards of  rooflite ® growing media support more than 5,400 plants. Sedums include Murale White Stonecrop, Blue Cadet Creeping Sedum, and Blue Spruce Stonecrop along with grasses such as Blue Grama, Feather Reed Grass, Blue Fescue, and Prairie Dropseed. The accessible green roof offers informative signage and a beautiful view of central Philadelphia from the terrace.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect: Moshe Safdie and Associates
Architect: Kelly Maiello
Landscape Architect: Lager Raabe Skafte Landscape Architects
Greenroof Consultant: Peter Philippi, Green Roof Service, LLC
Roofing Contractor: U.S. Roofing
Growing Media: rooflite ® Extensive MC, Skyland USA
Planting Installation: Galbally Landscaping
Project Manager: Jim Pecora, Free Library of Philadelphia
Lead Project Coordinator: Fredda Lippes, City of Philadelphia
Moisture Retention Mat, Drainage Board, Root Barrier & Protection Fabric: Carlise

Additional Info

The City of Philadelphia is fast becoming a very green-oriented city due to Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the efforts of many.  The City is currently working on a $2 billion stormwater plan to rethink  the way the city deals with rain.   And, their Stormwater Management Practices Design Guidelines include specifics on greenroofs.

“The 25-year plan, which has been hailed as a national model, envisions green roofs on office buildings, porous pavement on city streets and parking lots, and plants and trees with tubs of gravel below ground to hold water and stall runoff in a storm.” ~ of June 2, 2011

See the most recent version of the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual (Version 2.0 revised 4/29/2011).

Specifically pertaining to greenroofs, the City  offers up to $100,000 in business tax credits.   For more info, download the Business Privilege Tax Application for the Green Roof Tax Credit, Philadelphia Code § 19-2604(8).

The Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central is located on Logan Circle at 19th and Vine Street in Philadelphia and the greenroof project was initiated by Fredda Lippes, RA, LEED AP, Dept. of Public Property and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability for The City of Philadelphia.  The Library’s greenroof was designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates, the Library’s nationally-renowned architect of the Parkway Central Library’s expansion project and numerous other high-visibility living roofs (such as the Vancouver Public Library).  Sustainability and green building practices are being incorporated into the new 180,000 square-foot addition, and the Library is seeking a silver LEED designation for the new building.

“I want to commend all of those involved in making this vision a reality.  This project is another example to cities across the country of what can happen when many different sectors – government, business and non-profits – work in partnership towards a common goal.” ~ Mayor Michael A.  Nutter

Completed at a cost of $200,000, the greenroof is mostly an extensive design with some semi-intensive areas varying from a 6″ to 12″ soil depth range.   Located on the south side of the building and accessible off the 4th floor of the Skyline room, the Library greenroof terrace offers spectacular views of downtown.

Staging for the construction of the greenroof included closing of the streets by police.   Here you see the rooflite ® supersacks of growing media being trucked in:

By the way, rooflite ® says that it takes the crane operator to unload each sack in about 3 seconds!

Monitoring of the roof has included temperature recordings:

“The summer roof temperature prior to the green roof installation was recorded as 128 degrees on the ballasted areas to 170 degrees on the exposed black EPDM – the green roof surface would average approximately 30-40 degrees less than the ballasted area.” ~Delaware Valley Green Building Council

Informative signage was an important factor for The Free Library of Philadelphia to help educate the public on the many benefits of greenroofs:

“Every Great City Needs a Great Library!” ~ The Free Library of Philadelphia

Watch a short (1:51) construction video by The Free Library of Philadelphia below:

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.