Watch the 1:56 video Private Logan Square, IL Residence – Project of the Week 12/15/14 from Greenroofs.com on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube and the 2:07 video Green Roofs For Healthy Cities- Small-Scale Residential Award on vimeo made for Omni Ecosystems by Alex Burns for the award-winning private residence. Read the 2014 Small-Scale Residential Award of Excellence profile from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.
When considering a deck, green roof, or a combination of both on their Logan Square neighborhood home, the homeowners decided on a green roof as the best way to take advantage of this otherwise extremely hot, cold, or rainy space typical of the climate in the Chicago area. Plus, they say, the green roof is extremely pleasant to look at.
This residence features an 8-inch-deep Omni Ecosystems™ built-in-place green roof system. The green roof was built layer by layer from root barrier to capillary fabrics, followed by drainage elements and automatic irrigation, capped with ultra-lightweight Omni Ecosystems Infinity Growing Media™, and planted with perennial starts and seeded with Omni Ecosystems Butterfly Mix. At a mere 36 pounds per square foot for its maximum saturated weight, this green roof yields a remarkable flowering meadow and food crops.
The second-floor living room and kitchen and third-floor bedrooms of this home overlook the beautiful green roof over the garage. The green roof covers a black-top roof membrane, and it cools the roof surface and reduces heating needs in the non-air conditioned two-car garage. The homeowners’ office is also below the green roof and says it also the space cooler in the summer as well.
The green roof retains an average of 22 inches of rainfall annually. The green roof is managed through monthly maintenance visits from April to October each year. Maintenance visits include an inspection of the green roof areas and the following tasks: hand weeding, re-seeding, inspecting scuppers, removing debris and checking irrigation system. During the first and last visits of the year, the irrigation system is turned on and off, respectively. In the spring, the growing media is tested via laboratory analysis and appropriate amendments are added based on the nutrient levels.
Plantings such as black-eyed Susans, coreopsis, asters, tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, and kale among many others can be found throughout the growing season. On most spring through fall days, family members open the windows over the green roof meadow, allowing into the home fresh, sweet air from the rich and natural scents of the sweet alyssium and other wildflower meadow plantings. Plants as tall at 4′ above the growing media surface create many layers in the plant canopy to further help dissipate noise transmission. Everyone in the family enjoys the various explosions of color.
“We are creating the places for remarkable experiences and daily interactions with nature – integrated into our busy urban lives. The residence overlooking the Kimball Avenue garage green roof has stunning views of a beautiful and diverse wildflower and food meadow. The family’s two sons regularly harvest food and flowers from the meadow. Every morning, the green roof, like a natural meadow, has a different aesthetic, smell and energy. The improved views and natural plantings mitigate the impact of the black rooftop and inspire the family members’ lives.” – Molly Meyer, owner, Omni Ecosystems.
With this new addition to this beautiful building, the green roof brings local fauna that have long since been pushed out of downtown Chicago. The green roof is home to many insects, including bees and butterflies, and many birds. The Private Logan Square, IL Residence is the recipient of the 2014 Small-Scale Residential Award of Excellence from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.