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Additional Resources

See here to read the project profile with additional photos and drawings from Lord, Aeck & Sargent.

The intensive greenroof of Zoo Atlanta’s Conservation Action Resources Center (ARC) was designed by Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture and built by Holder Construction Company. CLR Design provided landscape architecture services and Pike Family Nurseries supplied all the plants for the project. The ARC rises from the land eastward, and the west side of the greenroof is flush with the original grade. The 16,000 square foot “living roof” is the result of the vision of Dr. Terry Maple, the Zoo?s President and CEO. He desired a building that would both blend in with the surrounding landscape and provide an ecological tool for educating the public in conservation biology. “The ARC links Georgia’s children with the natural world via advanced technology such as interactive learning stations and satellite tracking,” (Ed Santos, Atlanta Zoo Horticulturalist, 1998).A liquid applied, hot rubberized asphalt roofing system was placed over the concrete slab roof deck. The roof has a custom blended soil depth of 18 – 24″, with a large variety of plant material, and an approximate maximum saturated weight of 105 pcf. The organic design of the greenroof further includes a 3,400 square foot coiled and copper shingle clad center roof, which rises from the ARC in the shape of a snake.

The Zoo horticultural staff selected many foliage and flowering shrubs along with perennials and flowering vines, and placed a jute mesh covering as erosion control, a weed barrier, and as a moisture retainer (Landscape Architect and Specifier News, November 1998). Linda Velazquez visited the building in early March 2000, and due to the high ratio of herbaceous perennials, there were mostly evergreen shrubs providing winter interest. The groundcovers and vines come alive as spring progresses, and plant material includes Wax Myrtle, Sweetshrub, Butterfly Bush, White and Purple Coneflowers, Cardinal Flower, Beautyberry, Common Verbena, Coral Honeysuckle, and Carolina Jessamine, among many others. Due to the ARC?s high visibility factor and the porosity of the soil mix, a built in irrigation system was installed and operates between two to six times a week as necessary.


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