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Read the Philadelphia Sustainability Awards nomination here. For additional info, contact: David Plechner, Design Sales Manager, C.M. Jones, Incorporated,; Office: 610.644.7224.

The 94,000 gsf Colorcon Global Headquarters two-story steel frame structure “houses a cutting-edge 24/7 Tier 2.5 Data Center, Research and Development Labs, and Corporate Headquarters on a suburban site in Harleysville, PA, of approximately 24 acres, net development. Holistically designed through a team effort, Colorcon?s new Corporate Headquarters and Technology Center demonstrates that environmental, corporate and long-term financial benefits can go hand-in-hand through intelligent design strategies. Site strategies include development minimization, a multi-function berm, a re-forested buffer zone, a rain garden, environmentally sensitive site lighting, a vertical green wall and a roof terrace irrigated from roof water run-off. Over 3.5 million gallons of irrigation water were saved, while creating multiple eco-systems which replicate native Pennsylvania forests, wetlands and meadows. Energy efficiency drove the entire building design, which achieves 31% energy savings through architectural, mechanical and lighting systems, remarkable for a building with intensive energy demands from the labs and the data center. Decisions from the basic parti to the tiniest details capitalize on natural light and air, while intelligent measurement of demand reduces the loads and quality mechanical and electrical equipment increase efficiency, (Philadelphia Sustainability Awards, 2008, see below).The Colorcon Global Headquarters outdoor Garden terrace is an intensive greenroof designed as part of overall building design being built to LEED Gold Certification. “The roof garden is irrigated by rainwater collected from the roof and stored under the parking area next to the berm. While providing an employee and visitor amenity (conveniently located near the multi-purpose area and cafetorium), the roof garden imitates the natural rainwater cycle, ?closing the water cycle loop.? This eliminates the need for potable irrigation and aids in storm water management, reducing on-going utility costs. Absorbing sound and vibration, the vegetation provides a different habitat for fauna who favor dry conditions, and the thermal mass of the planting media aids in energy conservation. Next to the employee entrance is a vertical green wall, which reinforces the symbolism of the roof terrace, which visibly demonstrates Colorcon?s environmental commitment,” (Philadelphia Sustainability Awards).

The green roof is comprised of outdoor pavement (Decro Faced EP Henry Village Square 12×12 set over a one inch setting bed). The paver installation was completed over Carlisle waterproofing system completed by JV Heidler Roofing. The actual planting areas are built over the same Carlisle waterproofing system with an additional root barrier and Miradrain layer completed by JV Heidler Roofing. C.M. Jones, Incorporated was then contracted to install 2″ insulfoam (40 psi closed cell) to various depths under the growing medium to lower the overall roof dead loads imposed by the growing medium (7 lbs per inch saturated weight). By adding the foam we required less medium but were still able to achieve the look of full depth planters.Over the foam we then placed Carlisle Miradrain GR 9200 drainage mat with another layer of Carlisle water retention mat over top to serve as a medium separator. We also installed inspection chambers at all roof drains in the planter areas. After all areas were prepped, we install @85 cy of intensive growing medium (expanded shale with less than 6% organic matter) by crane from supersacks. We then installed plantings which were pre-grown in the same medium at the nursery in South Jersey. All that’s to complete will be the drip irrigation system and mulch (not shown in the photos).


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