“Vertical Garden City, Singapore” by Tan Puay Yok

November 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I received my copy of Dr. Puay Yok Tan’s new book Vertical Garden City, Singapore, 2013 a couple of weeks ago, and Wow, it is awesome!

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Although clearly focused on the beautiful tropical island nation of Singapore, 192 pages of gorgeous color photos of skyrise gardens beautifully illustrate vertical and horizontal examples of greening from across the world.

“Singapore is a modern, cosmopolitan city that is claiming its place as a global city of the world. This has emerged amidst dramatic transformation of its landscapes since its founding at the start of the 19th century. This is only possible through a deliberate approach of actively reinstating greenery to replace natural spaces that have been inadvertently lost during urbanisation.

The emphasis on urban greening as a cornerstone of Singapore’s urban development approach continues today. One key strategy it has adopted is to green up its vertical spaces as the new frontier of urban greening. In little more than a decade since the idea of skyrise greening was actively promoted in the city, numerous skyrise greenery installations now dot the city’s landscapes. Several are striking architectural marvels, while others help to silently blend the buildings with its environment. How did the groundswell occur? What were the policy considerations and instruments used to promote the concept to the building industry? What more can and should be done?

Vertical garden city, Singapore describes the skyrise greening movement and efforts in Singapore, and profiles selected projects in the city that exemplify innovation, creativity and the boldness to try new ideas. This book also explores how an ecological perspective can help to derive more functions from skyrise greenery. It is a valuable resource to those who want to know more about Singapore’s efforts in greening its vertical spaces.” ~ Urban Redevelopment Authority

With forewords by one my own favorite green architects, Emilio Ambasz and Dr. Tan Wee Kiat of the amazing Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, Puay Yok acknowledges many early influences including Ian McHarg along with former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who in 1963 lead the first tree planting day in his nation and started the Garden City movement.

“Mr. Lee Kuan Yew started a rapid urban greening programme and an urban planning approach in which greenery received equal, if not more, emphasis than the expansion of buildings and infrastructure.” ~ Tan Puay Yok

Five decades later, Singapore truly is a tropical City in a Garden.

I’m pleased to say that Puay Yok asked me to contribute to his book, along with Dr. Manfred Köhler and Steven Peck.  I wrote “Worldwide Trends in Greenroof and Green Wall Implementation,” where I spoke about the Top 10 general categories of trends that we here at Greenroofs.com have been observing over the past decade or so.  Thanks, Puay Yok, for this honor!

Topics include typologies of skyrise greenery, research and development, key policies, and prospects for the future, which Puay Yok says “The Way Forward is Up.”

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A large selection of Singapore’s thriving installations and signature sky gardens can found including: The Skypark at Marina Bay Integrated Resorts, School of Art, Design and Media, Solaris, Universal Studios Singapore, Marina Barrage, T3 Changi Airport, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, School of the Arts, The Pinnacle@Duxton, Reflections at Keppel Bay, Sky Gardens House, Gardens by the Bay, and many more. (Not surprisingly, over the years we have highlighted all of these in Haven Kiers and my Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design!)

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Available for purchase, you can either pick one up at the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore, or through the mail – find out more here.

Thoughtfully presented and flawlessly published, Vertical Garden City, Singapore is not only a stunning coffee table book, its presentation of Singapore’s legacy of building green infrastructure and urban biodiversity conservation makes it an essential addition to your living architecture library!  Wouldn’t it be great if all governments could follow suit?

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: July 8, 2011

July 10, 2011 at 8:47 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 from July 8, 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 this week, July 8th 2011 on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is Universal Studios Singapore, built in 2010.  Asia’s first movie-theme park, Universal Studios Singapore is a casino-resort off the south coast of the island nation.  It’s an integral part of Resorts World Sentosa, and celebrated its grand opening on May 28th of this year.  Among the make-believe world of movies, roller-coaster rides, theme dining and shopping, the Park also has dealt with down-to-earth issues and has sustainable green features including solar panels and green roofs, which were extensively integrated into the theme park’s concept and design, showing its firm commitment to energy conservation and responsible environmental management.  Totaling  about 35,000 square meters, the massive green roofs provide an insulating shield against Singapore’s tropical temperatures, helping to cool building interiors and their immediate surroundings, mitigating urban heat island effect as well as contributing aesthetically to the  ambiance  of the park.  Elmich Green Roof was used as the wide structural spans of the immense roofs with their VersiDrain ® 25P water retention and drainage layers, EnviroMix ® GRs and VersiCell ® structural drainage and insulation cells.

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

What’s New“

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

–  KISSS America’s Water Efficient Product Is “Smart” For Smart Irrigation Month.

–  Over at the Sky Gardens Blog, check out Linda’s latest posts: Enter the International Skyrise Greenery Awards 2011 by August 1!  GRHC Awards of Excellence Submissions was due this week on July 6th, “Roofmeadow Creates Philly’s First Bus Shelter Green Roof,” and our GPW as well as Greenroofs.com’s “TWIR” on GreenroofsTV.

–   “Upcoming Events“

– July 9th: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is having an Introduction to Rooftop Urban Agriculture Course in New York, New York and another one on July 11th in Toronto, Canada.

– July 9th-12th: is the 2011 Association of Horticulture Professionals (OFA) Short Course in Columbus, Ohio.

– July 14th-15th: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is having a Green Roof Boot Camp in Kansas City, Missouri (101 and 201 courses only).

–  And don’t forget our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 – Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design conference and expo is coming up next month, August 23rd & 24th online around the world!  Registration information coming soon!

–   “In the News“

–  Katherine Scott of 6abc.com invites you to “Take a tour of PECO’s green roof.” The 45,000 square foot green roof on the eighth floor of the PECO Building is the largest ever installed on an existing building in Philadelphia. Liz Williamson of PECO says they “made a very definite decision to choose plants that were drought resistant or drought tolerant.” Such plants include 12 different species of sedums, which have a root system that help retain moisture and are low-growing and low-maintenance, ornamental grasses and perennials, all of which are growing locally in Pennsylvania. You can go directly to 6abc.com to watch their news story about the greenroof.

– Amy Zimmer of DNAinfo talks about “Upper East Side Co-op Builds Rooftop Garden For Children.” Plymouth Tower co-op resident Sheila Tendy in Manhattan had a vision about letting children of the building learn about food by getting their hands dirty, planting and taking care of fresh herbs, hot peppers, eggplants, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and strawberries themselves. She says, “It’s just a matter of realizing you can grow things in small quantities and grow food for yourself. It’s not that difficult. A ‘farm’ could be a 6-inch pot on your windowsill.” Tara Reddi, another parent in the building, who runs several Plymouth Tower kids events, long dreamed of doing a garden for the co-ops’s kids; and says “The best thing has been planting with the kids and having them discover how wonderful it is to put their hands in the earth and plant something and watch it grow.”

–   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 July 8th, 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: Universal Studios Singapore

July 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 7/4/11
Universal Studios Singapore
Singapore
376,737 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2010
Owner: Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd
Location: Singapore
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 376,737  sq.ft.  
Slope: 1%
Access: Inaccessible, Private

Project Description & Details

Universal Studios Singapore, an integral part of Resorts World Sentosa, is a casino-resort off the south coast of Singapore occupying almost 124 acres.  Amid the make-believe world of movies, roller-coaster rides, theme dining and shopping, down-to-earth issues in the Park were not ignored.  Sustainable “green” features including solar panels and nearly 35,000 M2 of green roofs were extensively integrated into the theme park’s concept and design, showing its firm commitment to energy conservation and responsible environmental stewardship.  Resorts World Sentosa received the Singapore Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark District GoldPlus Award.

Elmich Green Roof  was used as the wide structural spans of the immense roofs and fast track construction of the Park demanded that the system selected must be light and easy to install.  Elmich Green Roof comprises a VersiDrain ® 25P water retention and drainage layer, a geotextile filter layer and EnviroMix ® GR, a primarily inorganic soil-less lightweight planting media and drought-tolerant plant species that require little maintenance. For the metal roofs, VersiCell ® structural drainage/insulation cells were used to fill the space between the metal ridges to create a level flat surface first, on which a separation sheet was installed. For the concrete roofs, waterproofing is provided by a fully adhered layer of root-resistant Evalon PVC/EVA terpolymer membrane. An irrigation system is incorporated for use during the initial plant establishment and to provide regular irrigation and fertilization on the roofs, especially essential in prolonged periods of drought.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Developer: Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd
Architect: DP Architects Pte Ltd
Landscape Consultant: ICN Design International Pte Ltd
Landscape Contract Owner: Nature Landscapes Pte Ltd
Green Roof Specialist: Elmich Pte Ltd
Designer & Manufacturer of VersiCell ®, sub-soil drainage modules: Elmich Pte Ltd
Supplier of VersiDrain ® 25P, water retention & drainage trays: Elmich Pte Ltd
Supplier of EnviroMix ® GR, soil-less lightweight planting media: Elmich Pte Ltd

Additional Info

The reported $4.32 billion Resorts World Sentosa offers something for everyone, from business travelers to families in search of the ultimate holiday, and certainly to sustainable design fans looking for a greener vacation!

This unique travel destination is home to six hotels, spa villas, the world’s largest oceanarium – Marine Life Park – Asia’s largest column-free ballroom (which seats 7,300 guests), and the first and only Southeast Asian Universal Studios theme park with its multiple lush yet equatorial hardy  greenroofs.

In early 2010 Resorts World Sentosa had a soft-opening, with four hotels and the Universal Studios Singapore, among other features.

The region’s only world-class movie theme park just celebrated its official grand opening on May 28, 2011, and its red carpet event was attended by famous Hollywood and Asian celebrities including Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Vicki Zhao and Paula Abdul.

Unseen by the celebrities and most visitors to the park, except for roller-coaster riders, a real green carpet is rolled out everyday on the rooftops of the park.   Amid the glitz and glamour, approximately 377,000 sf of lush vegetated roofs provide beyond just a touch of green to the resort – they offer a cooler environment both inside and outside the buildings.

“The resort integrates three key elements – water, greenery and built form with careful detailing in the articulation of the facades, the use of a palette of natural materials and colours, extensive planting and the consistent treatment of sun shading devices such as overhanging pitched roofs, covered walkways, awnings, trellises and latticework to fuse the resort with the tropical climate context. ” ~  Roof & Façade Asia

The Elmich Green Roof system provides a barrier against tropical temperatures.  The top photo below shows the installation of the  VersiCell ® structural drainage/insulation cells which will  fill the spaces between the roof’s metal ridges to create the flat planting level, and the bottom shows theVersiDrain ® 25P water retention and drainage layer:

Aside from eco-friendly design, other corporate sustainability efforts have included participating in Earth Hour 2011 – according to the  Resorts World Sentosa  blog,  at the stroke of 8.30 pm on March 26, “the resort dipped into limited electricity mode – with landscape, canopy and non-essential lightings as well as water fountains in areas all across the resort turned off.”

Just a couple of other sustainable initiatives include:

* Lowering energy consumption from air-conditioning across the resort through the use of extensive canopies to reduce ambient temperature and energy-friendly eco-coolers:
* Trees that were preserved during construction of the resort (122 of them!) have either been replanted or recycled into benches at the Festive Walk.


Find out more on Resorts World’s corporate social responsibility efforts here.  I wish we could have seen some of these spectacular Universal Studios Singapore greenroofs  when we visited the lovely island nation of Singapore last November!  Singapore has some incredible greenroofs, for sure, and it’s hard to beat the sheer quantity found here within the  Universal Studios Singapore:

And finally, for the kid in all of us, watch this spectacular action packed video on YouTube introducing Resorts World Sentosa by clicking 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.