|Even without its 14,559 square foot living roof, the 251 East Medical Center in Webster, TX was green from the beginning. At the project's inception, Developer and General Contractor, Jacob White Construction of Houston, wanted the building to stand apart from all other commercial buildings in the Houston area. This wasn't going to be your typical three-story 48,000 square foot medical building. Completed in January 2007, 251 East would be the first LEED Gold certified building this side of Austin. The Jacob White Construction Company was awarded the following for the 251 East Medical Center: Houston Business Journal's Landmark Award 2008 and the Texas Water Development Board's Rain Catcher Award for Fall 2007.|
One of the green elements includes a self-replenishing irrigation network consisting of 700 linear feet of concrete culverts leading to an underground storage cistern, built beneath the parking lot. The cistern holds 175,000 gallons of rainwater, enough to supply the facility's entire irrigation and grey water needs, inside and out, reducing city water needs by 70%.
Perhaps the most impressive and ambitious part of the project was the green roof complete with gardens, walking paths, and a lush landscaped area. At 14,559 square feet, it was the largest green roof in Texas and possibly the entire southwest at the time. The sheer size presented some concerns.
|After evaluating, mixing, and matching hundreds of products and combinations of products, they finally discovered a combination that not only delivers an R68 insulation rating, but costs a fraction of a conventional system and is much quicker to install. The unique green roof structure began with a 4" layer of rigid foam insulation board with protective coating applied to the concrete /steel roof structure. Next, a 60-mil. reinforced waterproofing membrane was loose-laid over the foam board and was loose-laid to the roof sidewalls and drain assemblies.|
Finally, the EnkaRetain & Drain, manufactured by Colbond Inc. of Enka, North Carolina, drainage/water retention composite was installed directly on top of the waterproofing membrane. With the structure in place, a 9" soil mixture was specially developed by a local soil consultant who took into consideration proposed plant materials, water retention needs, and the wet weight limit set by the engineers. The specialized soil mass ensures plant growth potential and survivability.
Energy usage delivers hefty savings. The material cost savings alone was in the neighborhood of $250,000. Approximately 73% of all rain that strikes the roof is retained in the green roof to sustain the vegetation growth, while the excess (approximately 24,000 gallons a month) is transported to the roof drains that direct it to the underground cisterns for storage. That reclaimed water is used for everything from irrigating the grounds to flushing the toilets.
On September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike went across the building as a strong Category 2 hurricane with 120+ mph winds and 11 inches of rain. As you can see from some of these photos taken less than 7 days after Hurricane Ike, there was no impact on the greenroof nor the building. Cheyenne I (251 East Medical Center) now has a twin located next door. Completed in 2009, Cheyenne III (253 West Medical Center) has been certified LEED-CS Platinum.
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|Cheyenne I (251 East Medical Center) is located at 251 East Medical Center Blvd, Webster, TX 77598. Read Linda Velazquez's Sky Gardens Blog post on Cheyenne I and III as the Greenroofs.com Project of the Week for 3.28.11 here. See the "Texas' largest green roof - 251 Medical Center Blvd" video on YouTube, where the developer, Jeff Mickler, says the greenroof is available to view, but by appoinment only. Visit the 251Medical.com website to schedule a visit.|
See the Week of April 4-10, 2008 "Developers strike LEED gold with green medical ofice complex" from houston.bizjournals.com and the 2007 "Jacob White Construction Company Wins Texas Water Development Board's Rain Catcher Award for Fall 2007" press release. Read the entire case study from Colbond.
Contact the following professionals to learn more: Jeff Mickler, President of Jacob White Construction Co.: www.jacobwhitecc.com, 281.286.6666; and Joe Webb of Webb Architects: 713.522.8544. Learn about Colbond in The Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.
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