Atlanta Botanical Garden, Hardin Visitors Center
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The Hardin Visitors Center intensive greenroof at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on September 22, 2010; Photo by Joseph VelazquezProject Name: Atlanta Botanical Garden, Hardin Visitors Center
Year: 2009
Owner: Atlanta Botanical Garden
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Building Type: Non-Profit
Type: Extensive & Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 4500 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public
Submitted by: Ernie Higgins, ItSaul Natural & Greenroofs.com

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Growing Media Supplier: ItSaul Natural
Plant Supplier: Saul Nurseries
General Contractor: Hardin Construction Company
Architect: Jova/Daniels/Busby
Project Manager: Silverman Construction Program Management
Landscape Architect: EDAW
Greenroof System: Garden Roof Assembly, American Hydrotech
Growing Media: Stalite PermaTill®
Windows and Curtain Wall: Kawneer
The entrance to the Atlanta Botanical Garden leads to the Hardin Visitors Center.Close up of the Hardin Visitors Center intensive greenroof at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on September 22, 2010; Photo by Joseph VelazquezThe Hardin Visitor Center newly planted; Photo Source: Atlanta Botanical Garden
Comprising 30 acres (12 ha) in midtown Atlanta, the mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG) is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation and enjoyment, composed of a number of smaller themed indoor and outdoor gardens. At its heart, ABG embraces what it refers to as "sustainability in action," which has, as its goal, the achievement of responsible environmental stewardship, as well as energy and water conservation.

Completed in the spring of 2010, ABG's Green Expansion Plan was a large-scale expansion project which doubled the size of the Garden while modernizing them at the same time. The expansion plan encompassed the construction of a number of new facilities, the most noticeable of which are the new Cascades Garden; the 600-foot-long (180 m) Kendeda Canopy Walk which provides visitors a journey through the treetops of Storza Woods, a forest of mature hardwood trees; the 6-level LEED Gold SAGE Parking Deck; and the LEED Gold Allen and Gail Hardin Visitors Center where guests can receive maps and have basic questions answered from lobby greeters.

"Facing its neighbor for the first time, the Garden enjoys increased synergy with (adjacent) Piedmont Park. The Allen and Gail Hardin Visitor Center provides a beautiful new entry experience for visitors, just steps away from the SAGE Parking Facility. Built to the Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) specifications, this dramatic transparent structure filled with natural daylight is a lovely starting point for a visit. The LEED-Gold certified design includes: insulated glass, wood certified to be from local sustainable sources, natural daylighting and a green roof overhead," (ABG).

EDAW (now AECOM) provided landscape design for the new entrance, parking deck, and Visitor Center. Covering nearly half of its roof area, the spacious 2-story Visitor Center boasts two extensive greenroofs and an intensive Garden Roof Assembly from American Hydrotech which meet grade on the upper level. Also part of the Green Expansion Plan, the garden's previous parking lot was converted into a beautiful Edible Garden featuring an outdoor kitchen, connecting visitors with food and healthful eating. Using a greenwall system from Tournesol Siteworks, the living wall sprouts a wide variety of flowering herbs. See the Atlanta Botanical Garden Edible Garden Green Wall project profile in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.
One of the Hardin Visitors Center's extensive greenroofs as seen from the intensive greenroof above on January 31, 2013; Photo by Linda Velazquez.One of the Hardin Visitors Center's extensive greenroofs as seen from inside the second story Visitor Center on September 22, 2010; Photo by Joseph Velazquez
"Plantings covering nearly 50% of the Visitor Center roof area provide natural cooling, sound insulation, additional garden area for visitors and even new wildlife habitat. Five layers of materials provide waterproofing for the interior and growing medium lends support for the vegetation. Run off is eliminated, as rainwater falling on the green roof is absorbed by the plants," (ABG Green Expansion).

"Environmental sustainability was considered in every aspect of the project, from green roofs and a cistern to harvest storm water for irrigation and water features, to recycled granite curbs. Coordinating with an arborist, workers went to great lengths to prevent damage to trees, critical root zones and tree canopies," Hardin Construction Company Press Release, 2010). The underground 100,000-gallon water cistern harvests stormwater from a seven-acre watershed and provides irrigation for 40% of the new gardens.

The atrium of the Hardin Visitors Center sparkles with the Nepenthes Chandelier, a beautiful work in glass by American artist Dale Chihuly. The Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Garden Theater shows videos and is also a flexible meeting site. The expanded Garden Gift Shop, now doubled in size, offers a wide range of botanical and environmentally sustainable products.

Nestled into a hillside immediately adjacent to the Hardin Visitor Center, the SAGE Parking Facility provides safe parking for both the Garden and Piedmont Park, while releasing land for gardens and functional greenspace. Beautiful planters and trellises overflow with foliage, dissipating the heat-island effect common to asphalt parking lots. "Airborne," a kinetic sculpture by Moto Ohtake, enhances the facility.

With the reorientation of the entry to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Allen and Gail Hardin Visitor Center provides a seamless entrance for guests and increased synergy with Piedmont Park. You can see the inaccessible extensive greenroofs on the left from the second level balcony, and then walk out onto the intensive greenroof outside and stroll the paths. A wide variety of shrubs, grasses, trees, and perennials were designed to provide color and interest in all seasons, and informational signage pertaining to the greenroofs can be found here as well. The beautiful Hardin Visitor Center space is available for private rentals.

Additional thumbnail photos:

The Hardin Visitors Center's intensive greenroofs; Photo Source: KawneerAtlanta Botanical Garden Green Roof Graphic from American Hydrotech; Photo by Joseph VelazquezThe Hardin Visitors Center intensive greenroof on January 31, 2013; Photo by Linda VelazquezThe Hardin Visitor Center's intensive living roof; Photo Source: FlatRoofer.netWinter beauty at the Hardin Visitors Center intensive greenroof at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on January 31, 2013; Photo by Linda Velazquez.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE Atlanta, GA; 30309; 404.876.5859. Visit their website and specifically the Hardin Visitor Center page. Watch the 2:25 Atlanta Botanical Garden, Hardin Visitors Center - Project of the Week 3/21/16 video from Greenroofs.com on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube. Greenroofs.com Project of the Week video photo credits: Courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden, Joseph Velazquez, Linda S. Velazquez, Kawneer, FlatRoofer.net, and Atlanta Botanical Garden, Midtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA-3Oct2010.jpg by Ashish Kaul from Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, India - DSC_0253Uploaded by Snowmanradio, CC BY 2.0 on Wikimedia Commons.

Watch the 17:22 video of February, 2013
Green Infrastructure Design and the Biophilic Effect Keynote Address by Mary Ann Uhlmann from the Greenroofs.com 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit to see some footage of the Hardin Visitors Center greenroof and the Atlanta Botanical Garden Edible Garden Green Wall. See the March 2012 Atlanta Botanical Gardens - Sustainability Case Study by John McGee in the International Journal of Facility Management (also in the Sustainability Guide - US Government Policy Impacts and Opportunities for Facility Management from the IFMA Foundation, 2011) and the project profiles from DTJ DESIGN with Todd Hill when Principal-In-Charge at EDAW/AECOM; Kawneer; and Silverman. Read the June 7, 2013 Visitor center creates seamless entry to garden by Martin Sinderman in Atlanta Business Chronicle and the May 27, 2010 Hardin Construction Company Press Release. See some additional photos from Stalite/PermaTill.

Learn about the following companies in The Greenroof & Greenwall Directory:
American Hydrotech and Stalite/PermaTill.
 
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