GPW: Tremco Incorporated Headquarters

January 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm Project of the Week: 12/19 & 26/11
Tremco Incorporated Headquarters
Beachwood, OH, USA
9,000 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2010
Owner: Tremco, Inc.
Location: Beachwood, OH, USA
Building Type: Corporate
Type: Semi-Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 9,000 sq. ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Private

Project Description & Details

Tremco Incorporated is dedicated to the development of high-performance buildings characterized by energy efficiency, limited environmental impact and low operating costs. Last year (in 2010) they began a foundation-to-roof renovation of its 40-year-old-headquarters with the goal to transform the building into a showcase of sustainability that would achieve LEED Gold certification.

Tremco’s new 46,000 sf corporate headquarters incorporated numerous sustainable features into its renovation including four types of sustainable roofing systems. The vegetated roof features 46 species with almost 16,000 plants, designed with four different sections to create a variety of low-maintenance plant life and edibles; the new HQ also has a living facade trellis system on several walls on top of the roof. During the renovation, Tremco sent nothing to landfills. Almost 100 percent of everything removed was recycled, reused or burned for energy.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Waterproofing: Tremco, Incorporated
Modular Greenroof System: BioTray Vegetated Roof Delivery System, Tremco Roofing
General Contractor: Tremco, Incorporated
Roofing Contractor: Warren Roofing and Crawford Roofing, Inc.
Design/Build: Tremco Incorporated/WTI
Greenroof Designer: Evan Tozier, Rana Creek Restoration Habitat
Green Facade System: FRP planters and VertiGreen trellis, Tournesol Siteworks

Additional Info

Completely renovated from top to bottom at a cost of $5.5 million, the 40-year old Tremco Incorporated (an RPM Company) headquarters is now a sustainable, high performance building that is energy efficient, has limited environmental impact and operates with the lowest possible life-cycle costs.

Made possible by their parent RPM Building Solutions Group companies and other partners, the objectives were to improve energy efficiency and conserve water; reduce operational costs; provide a safer, healthier facility; and protect the natural environment by reducing our carbon output, lowering the local heat island effect, and recycling and reusing material to keep it from being hauled to a landfill.  Their goal is to become one of the few LEED Gold certified facilities currently located in Ohio.

The wealth of internal expertise of the sister companies was obvious and the project was viewed as a showpiece of their innovative people, services, and products as well as of sustainable construction technology.

“It leverages what we do best: help building owners maintain what they have. That was the driving force behind the company’s coatings business. Since our company was founded, our goal has been to help owners extend the life of their roofs and, ultimately, their entire building. That’s the best form of sustainability, and it minimizes what goes to landfills. We wanted to demonstrate what we could do in a bigger and better way and what better way to walk the talk than with our own headquarters.” ~ Deryl Kratzer, President of the Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance Division in Roofing Contractor, October 2011

Construction best practices that WTI, the general contractor on the project, and its subcontractors followed to increase the project’s sustainability included:

  • Onsite sorting of materials
  • Recycling of all non-hazardous material
  • Chain-of-custody documentation for all off-site recycling
  • Reusing materials as applicable
  • Verifying that materials are certified for LEED credit

You can follow their blog, “Building Green on Green – The Tremco Headquarters Green Transformation” which chronicled the renovation of Tremco Incorporated’s headquarters and continues to report on sustainability concerns for the company.  For example, in October, 2010 Tremco HQ launched a commitment to being a zero landfill facility and as of the end of October, 2011, it had kept more than 190,000 pounds out of the landfill since November 2010.

According to the website, the Tremco HQ renovation’s most noteworthy sustainable features include four types of sustainable roofing systems:

  • Vegetated roof featuring local plants. Low impact lighting and a water capture system are integrated with the roof with a pathway of recycled materials. Signs describe the roof’s features and provide information about the plant palette.
  • The ENERGY STAR ® qualified Rock-It™ roof surfacing system, composed of white gravel set in white adhesive.
  • A white, reflective, single ply system installed beneath a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system.
  • A thin-film rooftop PV system is used to generate electricity for the building.  A second PV system on a white reflective roof will be installed on the South building.

  • A Dryvit Outsulation Plus ® MD exterior wall system featuring Dryvit’s TerraNeo™ finish. The system provides an energy efficient, insulated facade and can be applied directly to the existing slate, eliminating the time and potential waste of removing the facade.
  • High-performance, double pane, tinted windows that exceed minimum energy standards.  Tremco sealants and gaskets are used, along with Tremco’s Proglaze ® ETA (Engineered Transition Assembly) to ensure an airtight transition from window to wall.
  • New sidewalks, with decorative concrete from Increte Systems, are supported by gravel from one of the building’s existing roofs.
  • A 1.8kW rated wind turbine installed on the property helps generate electricity.
  • Numerous interior upgrades such as ADA-compliant restrooms, interior window treatments, elevator modernizations with eco-friendly technology and ADA compliance.
  • Mechanical/Engineering/Plumbing upgrades such as new control system that ensures an accurate operating schedule of HVAC and lighting as well as improved zone control; modifications to the central air handling system to enable variable flow, resulting in significant energy savings; and replacing the cooling tower with a variable speed model that also eliminates the need for water treatment.

During renovation for the greenroof, they took it down to the deck and installed a system including a two-ply vapor retarder, insulation, a TPA (Tri-Polymer Alloy) adhered membrane, engineered growing media and plants, as well as Tremco’s own Bio-Tray Vegetated Roof Delivery System.

Interpretive signage identifies the plants and describes benefits and the system, among other issues:

Craig Nelson, vice president of construction operations for WTI, said that the R-value for the vegetative roof is above 100.

The 46 different kinds of plants on the roof also include edibles – herbs and fruits such as basil and blueberries that the company is using in its own cafeteria.

Walkways were made from slate recycled from the original mechanical room wall facades, and low-impact lighting was installed so the walkways could be used in the evening.

Tournesol Siteworks‘ FRP planters and VertiGreen trellis were employed for the living walls which support freestanding plantings within the roof garden as well as attached to building walls, providing areas to camouflage unattractive mechanical systems and feature beautiful plantings.

“This renovation gives us an exceptional opportunity to show our commitment to sustainability to our customers, staff, suppliers and others,” says Randy Korach, president of Tremco Inc. in, October 2011.

In addition to an 84% reduction in natural gas usage, a 43% reduction in electricity, an Energy Star rating between 85 and 90, and far better use of water resources, the Tremco HQ has also become a teaching tool for customers.  The lobby display shows actual performance and an upper level classroom for AIA-approved courses contains a cross-section of the vegetative roof.  You can also recieve a CD-ROM that shows how the structure was transformed and explains the technologies involved.

See the Tremco Headquarters Sustainable Renovation video (5:28) below on Tremco’s YouTube Channel:

The greenroof is featured in the 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar in the month of November and is the film location of Ralph Velasquez’s Keynote Address, “Corporate Social Responsibility – The Who, What, Where, When and How” from our inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011:

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: Casa Feliz Studios

October 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm Project of the Week: 9/26/11
Casa Feliz Studios
San Jose, CA, USA
5,375 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2009
Owner: First Community Housing
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
Building Type: Multi-Family Residential
Type: Extensive
System: Custom
Size: 5,375 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Inaccessible, Private

Project Description & Details

Casa Feliz is a multi-award winning affordable housing project that is LEED NC Gold certified. The brainchild of First Community Housing, a San Jose affordable housing developer known for its innovative green-building practices, it’s located on a tight 0.34-acre infill site near downtown San Jose. Casa Feliz Studios provides 60 units of high-quality affordable housing for extremely low-income tenants – 35% of the studios are set aside for tenants living with developmental disabilities.

There are five distinct living roof areas at Casa Feliz. The large two top floor living roofs, one of which is planted beneath a 16-kilowatt photovoltaic array, are planted with a mixture of annual and perennial grasses and wildflower species that do not require irrigation. The native plantings are designed to attract insects, birds and butterflies, including the Bay Checkerspot, an endangered butterfly native to the area. Tremco’s biodegradable modular greenroof system, BioTray™, provides immediate erosion control and thermal resistance. The integrated system of living roofs and at-grade bioswales retain up to 80% of stormwater on site.


Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect: Rob Quigley Architects, FAIA
Contractor: Branagh, Inc.
Civil Engineer:
Carroll Engineering
Living Roof Consultant:
Rana Creek
Landscape Architect:
Cottong & Taniguchi
Energy Consultant and Commissioning Agent:
Guttmann & Blaevoet
Structural Engineer:
Living Roof Monitoring:
Tremco Inc.
LEED Consultant:
Simon & Associates
Modular Greenroof System:
BioTray™ by Tremco Inc.

Additional Info

Completed in spring 2009, First Community Housing and Rob Quigly Architects designed Casa Feliz Studios to replace an aging residential hotel near downtown San Jose; the project serves extremely low income tenants (20 to 35% AMI) with 21 units for residents with developmental disabilities. On-site tenant support services are provided and facilitate communication between residents and property management and all residents receive a free annual Eco Pass for free bus and light rail travel within the County.

“Partnering with the city and the local community, First Community Housing sought to meet a dire need in the city by constructing maximum density SRO units in a central location, with amenities designed to help residents connect to the community.” ~ Home Depot Foundation 2008 Awards of Excellence Affordable Housing Built Responsibly Case Study

At less than a half acre, the infill site required a creative and efficient design. Four stories of housing are located over a single level of below-grade parking for 22 cars; the 59 units average 255 square feet.

Because the residents of the community, living in a combination of deteriorating apartment buildings and Victorian-style houses, were worried about the potential appearance of the building, a series of community meetings were scheduled.

In order to ease concerns, in all seven different design charrettes were held for ideas and input and included the architect, landscape professional, sustainability experts, engineers, the rest of the project team, along with the local residents.

During preliminary design of this 4-story, 25,000 square foot building, First Community Housing was confronted with a requirement to replace and upgrade the existing public storm sewer to a 100-year flood capacity at a cost of approximately $300,000.

Analysis of Casa Feliz indicated the greenroof would actually cost less long-term than installing off-site stormwater-management improvements that would have been required otherwise by the City.

Seeking a more sustainable and less costly solution, the project team worked with Rana Creek Living Architecture to design an integrated system of living roofs and at-grade bioswales capable of retaining up to 80% of stormwater on site, such that only a new 10-year event pipe would be required for the storm sewer.

The two large top greenroofs have a custom designed built in place greenroof system, with one half containing the 16-kilowatt photovoltaic array.

The Tremco biodegradable modular greenroof system, BioTray™, was developed by Paul Kephart of Rana Creek and Kurt Horvath of Intrinsic Landscaping. The plants were propagated and transported to the site in coconut coir baskets. Once installed on the building’s lower-level roofs, these biotrays provided immediate erosion control and thermal resistance.

“The owner’s commitment to producing a sustainable building was recognized with a Gold LEED rating. In addition to natural lighting, another priority was the provision of natural ventilation and toxic-free building materials. Green building strategies include sustainable, recycled or regional materials, FSC certified furniture and site benches, water conservation, use of native and organic plants, low flow plumbing fixtures, energy efficient appliances, low-VOC emitting materials, and over 90% construction waste recycling.

The building’s crowning glory is San Jose’s first living roof.” ~ See the entire project profile at Rob Quigley Architects

The architects say that funding sources included the City of San Jose Housing Department, federal tax credits and State of California Multifamily Program funds.

The Home Depot Foundation Case Study says:

“First Community Housing has achieved significant cost efficiencies by maintaining continuity in the design, construction, and overall development process. By integrating green design features from the start and relying on a tested process, very little money was spent on redesigns or contingencies. Long-term relationships with suppliers enabled the project to get discounts and favorable rates.

The more prominent (more expensive) green features were the photovoltaic system and the vegetated roof system. The PV system hard costs were covered by a Workforce Grant from the city of San Jose.

Any additional cost for the vegetated roof was offset by savings achieved in the storm drain system design. Without the vegetated roof, the storm drain system would have needed to be replaced, at a cost of roughly $300,000.

A key strategy for all First Community Housing projects is to conduct lifecycle financing. Up-front investments in energy-efficiency, water-efficiency, and durability are easily justified because they keep long-term management costs down – a critical element for a building projected to serve 55 years.”

Learn more at Casa Feliz Apartments where you can see applicant criteria, download an application, or see the photo gallery.

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.

See the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Agenda, Speakers Page & Trailer!

September 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm

The ever growing demand for sustainable design continues to grow across the world – especially with living architecture, and‘s inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit held online on September 27 and 28, 2011 is truly a groundbreaking event you can’t miss!

Join us as we inform, share, and create a global social media experience for learning and networking via the power of the Internet.   It’s a community destination that will allow you to connect with everyone in our growing community!

Over 50 speakers from around the world are joining us in the Virtual Summit including architects, ecologists, landscape architects, engineers, educators, industry CEOs, product manufacturers and suppliers, botanists, non-profit directors, government officials and representatives from the state of New York, cities of Portland, OR; Chicago, IL; and the Bronx.

We’ve just released our very impressive international speaker line-up for the Virtual Summit 2011 – you can now see the Speakers page and Agenda to learn all about each presenter and their presentations or panel sessions.

Our Keynote Speakers are thinkers, designers, trend setters, eco-luminaries:

“Imagine a world of green:
What are we doing to create organic architecture?”

Here are just a few more of the illustrious speakers we have in store for you:

Rosemarie S. Andolino, USA: The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner will present “CDA Leads the Way for Incorporating Green Roof Space in an Airport Environment.”


Dr. Patrick Blanc, France: The renown botanist and creator of  Le Mur Végétal  will present “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities” with an exclusive interview by Linda Velazquez.


Dr. Nigel Dunnett, UK: The Director of the Green Roof Centre and University of Sheffield Professor will present “Sky Meadows: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Diverse Green Roof Plantings.”


Paul Kephart, USA: The President of Rana Creek and ecological designer will present “Large-Scale Applications of Living Architecture.”


Xianmin Wang, China: The Deputy Chief of the Vertical Greening Academic Group of China Green Building Council; Vice Chairman of the International Rooftop Landscaping Association will present “The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China.”

We’re treating our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 as a production, and now you can see the trailer – it’s fast, fun, and informative and gives you a glimpse of presentations to come.  Watch just a few highlights from our stellar cast of greenroof and greenwall professionals below:

Don’t forget to pre-register by September 9 for the discounted Early Bird rate of only $49 ($25 for students/faculty and government professionals) for access on both September 27 and 28 and 30 days archived on demand through October 28!   Plus, you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to win the first of two Apple iPad2s that we’re giving away.

One random winner will be chosen from the Early Bird Pre-Registrations and one from attendees who have been the most active using the Social Collaboration Network, including all your online chatting and visiting our very important sponsor and exhibitor booths at the Expo Pavilions!

Pre-register or learn more by visiting:

Brought to you by, we’d like to thank to our Virtual Summit Sponsors TREMCO and American Hydrotech and our Exhibitors and Media Partners:

See our Press Release  here.  Join us for the sharing, networking and fun event of the year!

~ Linda V.