Initially planted in mid May, 2004, when completed, this green roof will be the largest green roof in North America after the Ford River Rouge plant. This 350,000 square foot Roofscapes-designed green roof will sit atop the new HHMI research campus which is built into a hill designed by Raphael Vinoly Architects. This project will house medical researchers and who will be provided with access to the latest instrumentation an equipment to further their work. The approach from the south will be over a veneer meadow, which will completely conceal about 60 percent of the building. Parking, as well as meeting areas, amenities, and critical research areas will all be overlain by this landscape. The north side of the building features three descending terraces, with cubic glass enclosures and a collection of 19 elevated roof gardens. In total, over 85 percent of the main building complex will receive vegetated covers.
The sweeping, curvilinear earth-sheltered building supports a large Roofmeadow? Type IV: Meadow 1 with a variety of meadow plants. Most of these covers will be not be actively irrigated. Rather, passive water retention, combined with a dual-media planting system will be employed. However, as appropriate to execute the design, base-level trickle irrigation will be included. This type of irrigation is intended to reduce maintenance requirements, minimize demand on water resources, and avoid nuisances associated with spray or drip irrigation systems. Twenty-two courtyards, irrigated from below using the efficient Optigreen (Optigr?n)? base-level trickle irrigation system, support perennials for the passive recreation of the research staff.The objective of the green roof design is to provide a reliable, secure and robust landscape that will allow this immense building to fit comfortably into the surrounding landscape.