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Additional Resources

Read the November, 2008 Guest Feature Article Modern Green Roof Technology Literally Shipped from Germany! by J?rg Breuning. Learn all about Celebrity Solstice here, and download their Press Release of 01.18.08. Read the write up in Wikipedia, and see the project profiles for the Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse, and see the orginal profile of the Celebrity Solstice here when it only had graphics. Learn more about the following companies in The Greenroof Directory: Green Roof Service LLC; Optigr?n international AG / Optigreen, and Skyland USA LLC.

When Celebrity Solstice launched in December, 2008, vacationers found that the grass really is greener on a Celebrity Cruises vacation. The ship presented an industry first on the top deck of the ship: real, growing grass, set in an innovative new country club environment known as ?The Lawn Club.? The half-acre Lawn Club on Celebrity Solstice invites guests to enjoy bocce ball and croquet, practice their putting, picnic with a basket of wine and cheese, or simply feel the grass between their toes, while sailing the oceans of the world. The area also features the Hot Glass Show, another first in the industry, developed in collaboration with The Corning Museum of Glass; the Patio on the Lawn; the Lawn Club Shop, and the Sunset Bar.

?We want our guests to experience the unexpected, like the thrill of sinking a putt on a freshly manicured lawn in the middle of the ocean,? said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. ?The experiences on and around the lawn exemplify what we aim to achieve: to recognize, celebrate and indulge our guests in style.? And Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises said, ?Everything about the Celebrity Cruises brand is authentic. Our vision for a completely genuine experience demanded nothing less than real grass, and we sought out the right innovation to make that vision a reality.?

Achieving that reality was no easy task. Celebrity worked with design firm Wilson Butler Architects to design the entire club area, then engaged a team of greenroof specialists, landscape architects and irrigation specialists along with turf and soil scientists at the University of Florida. In April, 2008, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruises awarded Green Roof Service LCC (J?rg Breuning and Peter Philippi) the contract to design, engineer, install and maintain the green roof. Together, they conducted extensive research and tested a variety of grasses to determine which can withstand the winds, sun, shade and temperature variations that affect the grass and soil at sea.

Other considerations for the grass area covering one-quarter of the uppermost deck of the ship included the ability of the grass to tolerate foot traffic, irrigation and day-to-day care and maintenance of the grass. Even the weight of the grass and soil had to be considered, as well as the water they absorb from the atmosphere and from irrigation. J?rg Breuning shared a quick update mid August, 2010: “The Solstice is now 2 years old and we changed the entire grass once after the first 120,000 guests. The grass ages fast but we have been able to keep it thriving in all climate zones the ships are cruising for about 1 year before it needs to be replaced. Most football and soccer stadiums change their grass 2-4 times a year with probably 10% of the traffic we have. So we are very happy with our design. Heavy storms with nearly 40 ft waves caused some minor salt issues in a few sections on one ship. We are able to replace our proprietary pregrown grass mixture in Florida and in Rome, Italy. More locations (Asia) might come in two years. The entire setup will last as long as the ships’ lifetime – 30 years.”

The Celebrity Solstice received the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities 2009 Awards of Excellence as a Special Recognition. “Although impressive on its own, the Lawn Club stands out all the more for being part of a ship-design philosophy concerned with overall sustainability including elements such as photovoltaics, reuse and refining of oil on board and a water run-off collection tank for the green roof itself,” (read the GRHC profile). Three other Celebrity Cruises ships are slated for greenroof retrofits in the future. The second installation was on the Equinox which sailed in June, 2009, and the third was on the Eclipse, 2010.


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