Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center
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The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photo Source: Yuka Yoneda of Inhabitat, August 2011Project Name: Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center
Year: 2007
Owner: Queens Botanical Garden
Location: Flushing, NY, USA
Building Type: Park
Type: Semi-Intensive, Test/Research
System: Custom
Size: 3000 sq.ft.
Slope: 8%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public
Submitted by: Greenroofs.com

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Architect: BKSK Architects
Landscape Architect: Conservation Design Forum
Landscape/Water Design: Atelier Dreiseitl
Green Building Consultant: Viridian Energy Environmental, LLC
Specialty Construction Administration: Katrin Scholz-Barth, Katrin Scholz-Barth Consulting
General Contractor: Stonewall Contracting Corp.
Design/Build/Maintenance: Landscape Consultant, BDBNYC, Blondie's Treehouse NYC
Installation: Furbish Company
Waterproofing: Henry Company
Growing Medium: Roofmeadow? Type M3
Drainage/Retention: Optigr?n / Optigreen
The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photo Source: Conservation Design Forum at http://www.cdfinc.com/Project?project_id=32 http://www.queensbotanical.org/104244/press/galleryThe Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photos Courtesy BDBNYC/ Blondie's Treehouse NYC
The decade-long, $22 million capital improvement program of the Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center had their grand opening on the weekend of September 29 and 30, 2007. The greenroof at the Queens Botanical Garden covers the underground Helen M. Marshall Auditorium, the largest part of the garden's building, and was designed to take advantage of solar energy, retain and reuse rain water and showcase diverse plant communities.

The artistically crafted greenroof on the center's auditorium slopes down from three stories to the garden's grounds in a seamless blend of architecture and landscaping. Adjoining the energy-generating, photovoltaic-paneled main building, the living roof boasts a diverse blend of 47 native and non-native plant species including Little Bluestem Grass, Prairie Dropseed, three types of Asters, 11 types of Sedums, and many other forbs and grasses. The greenroof is not irrigated.

The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center was designed and certified at the USGBC's Platinum LEED level, and received the Green Building Design Competition Award jointly sponsored by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photos Courtesy BDBNYC/ Blondie's Treehouse NYCThe Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photos Courtesy BDBNYC/ Blondie's Treehouse NYC
The Queens Botanical Garden website (see below) states, "One of the most exciting features of the new Visitor & Administration Building is its publicly accessible green roof. Visitors can walk up the sloping roof to experience the landscape firsthand and see the Garden from above. The 8,000-square-foot roof is planted with a wide variety of primarily native plant species that require minimal watering."

Designed to celebrate the relationship between diverse cultures and the environment and to showcase water management, landscape integration, and energy conservation and generation, the Visitor and Administration Center: reuses graywater for flushing toilets; reduces the project's potable water consumption by 55%; and features waterless urinals and composting toilets. "Thanks to extensive bioswales and a green roof on the auditorium, the project manages all stormwater on site. A water channel, fed by rainwater that cascades off the roof canopy, weaves around the building and through the gardens," (AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, 2008).

Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research collaborates with the Queens Botanical Garden by monitoring the water and energy balances of the Visitor Center's greenroof. "Since April of 2008, the instrumentation installed on the green roof and the roof of the Administrative wing of the building has been logging data about the green roof's weather conditions, soil moisture, soil temperature, soil surface temperature as well as recording data on surface temperature of sample white and black roof surfaces," (Queens Botanical Garden Sustainable Landscapes & Buildings Project page).

Additional thumbnail photos:

The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photo Courtesy BDBNYC/ Blondie's Treehouse NYCThe Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenhomenyc/3537412079/sizes/l/in/photostream/; All rights reserved by greenhomenycPhoto Source: GardenBytes.com: http://www.gardenbytes.com/2009_06_01_archive.html; photograph ? by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center; Photo Courtesy BDBNYC/ Blondie's Treehouse NYC
Queens Botanical Garden is located at 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY; http://www.queensbotanical.org/home, and specifically the Sustainable Landscapes & Buildings Project. Find out all about the building at their interactive Click Your Way Through QBG's LEED? Platinum Project touch screen. The Queens Botanical Garden is open to the public for free on Sundays and Wednesdays after 4 pm and $4 during normal operating hours. Read the August 3, 2011 PHOTOS: We Take a Stroll Up the Queens Botanical Garden's Sloping Green Roof by Yuka Yoneda of Inhabitat. See the profiles from: Queens Botanical Garden; Conservation Design Forum website and PDF; AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects and Sustainable Sites Initiative. For additional information regarding the project and/or BDBNYC, visit http://www.bdbnyc.com or contact Josh Fleishmann at (646) 649-9298 or josh@bdbnyc.com.

Learn about the following companies in The Greenroof Directory:
Optigr?n international AG / Optigreen and Roofmeadow.
 
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