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PLAY IT UP

Our winning Playspace entry is featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine! Philadelphia has long lead the nation in progressive stormwater management design and now the city can also lay claim to generating designs that lead to innovative play spaces. This article from the LAM has the story. Read more about the competition here:

Landscape Architecture Magazine

BY DANIEL JOST

A palette of possible play spaces by Studio Ludo and Roofmeadow calls for natural materials including salvaged tree trunks and rainwater. A yearlong design campaign in Philadelphia promotes the value of recreation.

From the July 2016 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Today, young children spend much of their time in schools and child-care centers, but these places rarely offer rich outdoor environments for unstructured play. That’s a problem, says Sharon Easterling, the executive director of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children. Such play is not just a leisure activity. It’s how children learn. “Good early-
childhood education is really hands-on, play-based learning,” she says.

Over the past year, the association and the Community Design Collaborative in Philadelphia have partnered to bring attention to the important role that play—and thoughtfully designed play environments—can have on children’s intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development. As part of an initiative called Infill Philadelphia:Play Space, they created an exhibit, brought in speakers, hosted a charrette, and sponsored a…

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Winning Waterloo Through Nature Play

When the Community Design Collaborative debuted its second INFILL competition – “PlaySpace,” featuring nature play as a theme, we were intrigued. Three years ago our team won the first INFILL competition, which featured cutting-edge stormwater-management innovations. This Playspace competition presented another opportunity for us to test our theories on urban green infrastructure and greenspace.
The Waterloo Recreation Center in Norris Square – one of three sites featured in PlaySpace – inspired us. Our first team meeting was launched with a cacophony of observations, conjectures and inspired ideas about the site.
Waterloo Recreation Center’s vast pavement and aging infrastructure were familiar to us from our decades of work in green urban design. Moreover, the strength and commitment of the Norris Square Community compelled us to bring some of our technical expertise to the table.

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Existing conditions at the Waterloo Recreation Center, Philadelphia, PA.

More than five hundred hours later, we had undertaken numerous design charrettes (with collaborators Studio Ludo and Space for Childhood), we had interviewed community members, experimented with new rendering software and with nature printing techniques, and we had conceived numerous stormwater and infrastructural design innovations. One of our team members even had a child during the competition!

 

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Rebosante team members Charlie Miller, Meghan Talarowski, and Eileen Kupersmith with baby Nicholas who was born before the final competition submission.

In addition to our commitment to green stormwater infrastructure, we adopted a few guiding principles from the outset: (1) We would design natural spaces into this playground without depaving. (2) We would infuse natural elements to rebalance the space and engage all age groups, not just children. (3) The park would celebrate and respect the culture and community.
Throughout the process, we were inspired by the legacy of this park and driven at every turn to make the most of its constraints. In our design 1) outmoded play equipment was renovated to become multi-use play features, 2) the existing concrete pavement was used to siphon rainwater into interactive play features, and 3) and the basketball courts were provided electrical access-points to double as a plaza or marketplace for vendors.

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Our design integrates community, play, water, ecology and material reuse.

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Rainwater becomes a key component of nature play and the ecology of the site.

Water

Climbing structure and water feature details.

To our delight, our entry was ranked first in its class by each of the three deciding juries: the expert jury, community jury AND award jury. Winning Waterloo was no small task, but we’re eager for more. The conversation we started at Waterloo is one we hope to continue.

Our winning presentation can be viewed here.

Final Perspective Rendering_02

Wouldn’t you like to experience Rebosante?

 

On the South Side of Chicago in the Baddest Part of Town

For fans of fall color, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Locally, even just a drive along the New Jersey Turnpike becomes a technicolor assault on the senses. According to the USDA, most of the deciduous forests within the lower forty-eight are currently displaying peak color.

Deciduous forests may be the star of the seasonal color change, but they are not only plant group that is losing chlorophyll and progressing from green to shades of yellow, orange and red. Sedum green roofs are subject to a similar change in color that occurs with the onset of cooler temperatures and shorter days.

The Testa Produce green roof, located in the old Union Stockyards complex on the south side of Chicago, is displaying amazing fall color this year.

Sedum and Phedimus in shades of red, yellow and orange

Sedum and Phedimus in shades of green, red, yellow and orange.

Planted in the fall of 2010, this green roof was designed by Roofmeadow for Testa Produce’s corporate headquarters and distribution facility. The green roof includes a 7,500 square foot barrel roof on the face of the building.

Looking east towards the green roof and the face of the facility.

Looking east towards the green roof and the face of the facility.

The 4.00 inch thick profile on the barrel roof has a maximum pitch of 43 degrees requiring slope stabilization of the growing media. A cellular confinement web contains the growing media and is in turn supported by the weight of the adjacent 31,000 square foot flat green roof, without the aid of any fixed anchors to the building structure.

The flat portion of the green roof, which is responsible for supporting the weight of the media and plants of the barrel roof.

The flat portion of the green roof, which is responsible for supporting the weight of the media and plants of the barrel roof.  The mass of the media supported by this roof is over 90 tons.

Custom pre-grown reinforced sedum mats were used to plant the barrel portion of the green roof, and, five years later, the plants are healthy, and coverage is in excess of 90% of the roof area.

Looking north over the barrel roof, the skyline of Chicago is visible in the background.

Looking north over the barrel roof, the skyline of Chicago is visible in the background.

At it's steepest the pitch of the barrel is 43 degrees. This is Roofmeadow's steepest slope supported green roof to date.

At it’s steepest the pitch of the barrel is 43 degrees. This is Roofmeadow’s steepest slope supported green roof to date.

Once a brownfield site, the Testa building is now LEED Platinum making it the first industrial building to achieve that status. The facility also includes the first free standing wind turbine in the City of Chicago, a solar hot water system, recycled concrete, LED lighting and solar tracking skylights.

What was once the baddest part of town is now, because of Testa Produce, the greenest part of town.

Rooftop Perspective

The first day at a new school or job is always intimidating and can sometimes feel overwhelming; however, this was not the case at Roofmeadow. Immediately, it was evident how welcoming and accommodating this company is, and throughout my month here, this never changed. No matter how busy they were, people in the office were always there to offer help and answer my questions.

My name is Emily Tatum and I am in 12th grade at  Moorestown Friends School. I am interested in environmental policy and sustainability and am planning on pursuing both at Johns Hopkins next year. All Moorestown Friends seniors must complete an internship for the month of May, so I chose Roofmeadow due to my interest in sustainability and horticulture. Over the course of my month at Roofmeadow, I worked on several tasks. First, I gathered horticultural information such as light requirements and hardiness level for a comprehensive green roof plant list. Later, I found and compiled images of plants for Roofmeadow’s CHOP and the Perelman Center green roofs. One day, I worked with Jane, Roofmeadow’s Director of Stewardship, to create a Maintenance Manual.

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Skylight and Aquilegia canandensis pictured at the University of Pennsylvania Law roof garden | Photo by Emily Tatum

Towards the end of my internship, Roofmeadow hired a professional photographer to photograph their rooftop garden on the University of Pennsylvania’s Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology in Philadelphia. The day of the photoshoot my internship supervisor, Lauren, Roofmeadow Project Manager, took me to see and walk around several rooftop gardens in Philadelphia, such as those at the Radian, University of Pennsylvania Law, and CHOP. We were unable to walk through CHOP, since it is still under construction, but the other two are mature roofscapes that are open to the public. UPenn Law is one of my favorite roof gardens. With benches, views to the building’s interior, and triangular skylights that provide natural light to the underlying building, this was a spectacular garden.

University of Pennsylvania Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

University of Pennsylvania Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology | Photo by Emily Tatum

We then went to Krishna, and both the garden and building were beautiful. We identified plants such as the Aquilegia canadensis, and then Lauren, Jane, and I posed for lifestyle pictures at different spots around the rooftop. The photos will be used for marketing purposes, such as award submissions and Roofmeadow’s website.

Aquilegia canadensis at the University of Pennsylvania Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology.

Aquilegia canadensis at the University of Pennsylvania Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology | Photo by Emily Tatum

I am so grateful for my internship and experience at Roofmeadow, because I learned so much about plants, rooftop gardens, and how a business is run. Everyone was kind and supportive through my month here, and I couldn’t have asked for a better internship.

BRILLIANT!

It’s May and the swallows are in flight over the largest green roof in the City of Philadelphia.

A view of the Cira Center from the largest green roof in Philadelphia

A view of the Cira Center from the largest green roof in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is known worldwide for more than just cheesesteaks and Rocky Balboa. The Philadelphia Art Museum, the award winning Green City, Clean Water’s program and even the PECO green roof garner interest and respect beyond the city line, and for good reason.

A view of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia Art Museum from the PECO green roof.

A view of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia Art Museum from the PECO green roof.

Nine million gallons of water – that’s how much stormwater the PECO green roof has managed since it was planted in December of 2008. Over one acre of succulent plants (planted in 3-inches of light weight media) function as a green infrastructure work horse. The highly engineered green roof media captures at least 60% of the rain that falls on the roof, storing it in the root zone. The massive network of groundcover plants soak up this rainwater reserve and ultimately evaporate the excess water into the atmosphere. This process, evapotranspiration, is the mechanism through which green roofs cool the rooftop atmospheric temperature and protect the city’s waterways from combined sewer overflows and damaging erosion from high storm runoff flows. Rainwater, drainage, roots, evapotranspiration – Brilliant!

The environmental benefits of green roofs in urban environments are legion, but the visual impact of a landscape on structure – the view offered to the surrounding buildings – is a benefit that cannot be measured but should not be understated.

Many Center City buildings have a view of the PECO green roof.

Many of Center City’s prominent buildings have a view of the PECO green roof.

The PECO green roof is being maintained by Roofmeadow Services, Inc., launched by Roofmeadow earlier this year.

Roofmeadow Services, Inc. working the PECO green roof.

Roofmeadow Services, Inc. working on the PECO green roof.

The deeper beds and planters host a selection of native perennials some of which are just ready to open and start a green roof bloom show.

Indigo ‘Blue Smoke’ bud about to bloom.

Indigo ‘Blue Smoke’ bud about to bloom.

A beautiful Taraxacum, commonly referred to as Dandelion.

A beautiful Taraxacum, commonly referred to as Dandelion.

Phlox subulata in full bloom.

Phlox subulata in full bloom.

This green roof includes a helipad!

This 42,960 square foot green roof includes a helipad!

A view of the Cira Center South Tower, still in construction.

A view of the Cira Center South Tower, still in construction, from the neighboring PECO green roof.

SHOW AND TELL

Roofmeadow has been kicking around on rooftops since 1997, and, in that time, we have come across some curious finds. Because the winter chill has slowed our construction work, we thought we’d take some time to mine our photo archives and share a few unexpected finds with you.

WILD KINGDOM

Wildlife of all sorts tops the list of treasures on green roofs. Perhaps our favorite is the peacock on the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA.

Extensive green roof with fancy fowl

Extensive green roof with fancy fowl.

As you might suspect, given the chance, birds will favor a cool green carpet over a flaming hot black rubber roof. Killdeer in particular are partial to green roofs.

Killdeer and chick on a large Chicago green roof. Killdeer are partial to green roof media as a nesting habitat.

Killdeer and chick on a large Chicago green roof. Killdeer are partial to green roof media as a nesting habitat.

It’s always a thrill to spot a finch in the city.  This finch photo below was captured in Philadelphia on The Radian green roof on Walnut Street during a routine inspection.

Finch feeding on Echinacea purpurea seed head.

Finch feeding on an Echinacea purpurea seed head in Philadelphia, PA.

Predators stake their claim on green roofs too. While performing a routine maintenance visit Megan Welsh-Meier of Higher Ground managed to catch this hawk in the act of settling down to a meal.

Hawk with a freshly caught rabbit in its talons at the Howlett Hall Ohio State University  green roof. Image by Megan Welsh-Meier.

Hawk with a freshly caught rabbit in its talons at the Howlett Hall Ohio State University green roof. Image by Megan Welsh-Meier.

Although we assume that this rabbit in the hawk’s talons met its unfortunate end on the ground, we suspect hawks hunt on rooftops too. We hear that in Nashville, Peregrine falcons hunt for doves on the Music City Center green roof.

Dove feathers as evidence of falcons hunting and feeding on a green roof.

Dove feathers as evidence of falcons hunting and feeding on a green roof.

The Music City Center green roof is just under 4.5 acres.

A run-in with a fox on the SAP Expansion green roof (zoom in on the picture below) unnerved Tim, one of our civil engineers, until he realized his beady-eyed foe was, in fact, made of rubber and installed to scare off geese. (Disaster averted!)

A fake fox on a Newtown Square, PA green roof.

A faux fox on a Newtown Square, PA green roof.

When you amble onto the serene roof atop the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, you’ll catch your breath when you come face to face with the golden goat.

A fiber glass goat named Frejya on the America Swedish Institute green roof.

A fiberglass goat named Frejya on the American Swedish Institute green roof in Minneapolis, MN.

Green roofs foster biodiversity in the insect world too. Stewarding green roofs rewards you with unexpected and delightful opportunities to spot praying mantises, dragon flies, singing crickets, butterflies and, of course, bees (though, not as many as we’d like to see!).

Praying Mantise in Chicago on a green roof during construction.

Praying mantis on a Portland, OR green roof during construction.

9UPenn School of Nursing Fagan Hall_S.Fabry

Dragon fly on a Heuchera in Philadelphia, at a University of Pennsylvania green roof. Image by Suzanna Fabry.

An Orange Sulphur Butterfly on the Music City Center green roof in Nashville, TN.  It is unusual to spot this species that far south.

An Orange sulphur butterfly on the Music City Center green roof in Nashville, TN. 

A beehive on the Chicago City Hall green roof.

Honey bees swarm their Chicago City Hall green roof hive.

PLANT INVADERS

Stewarding green roofs involves management of plant volunteers – some are welcomed; others are not. Among those that have hitchhiked their way across the USA, we’ve been surprised by stands of corn, weed (yes WEED, which we promptly removed) ferns and native perennials on extensive roofs.

Volunteer Sensitive fern and moss on the Temple University Architecture Building in Philadelphia, PA.

Volunteer Sensitive fern and moss on the Temple University Architecture Building in Philadelphia, PA.

Volunteer Great blue lobelia with Bumble bee at the Krishna P. Sign Center for Nano Technology at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, PA.

Volunteer Great blue lobelia (a native perennial) with Bumble bee at the Krishna P. Sign Center for Nano Technology, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.

A CLASS ALL BY THEMSELVES

Among all the flying creatures we have witnessed on green roofs, perhaps none tops this behemoth co-star of the NBC TV series, Allegiance. The helicopter perched on the PECO green roof in Philadelphia, PA is featured on the Allegiance episode that airs this Thursday at 10:00 p.m. Tune in to see our green roof’s starring role!

The Allegiance crew on the PECO green roof filming an episode that will air this week!

The Allegiance crew on the PECO green roof filming an episode that will air this week.

IN SEARCH OF EVIDENCE

Roofmeadow prides itself on its technical expertise and commitment to evidence-based design. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough evidence out there.

Before going any further, perhaps a few words about the importance of evidence-based design are in order. After all, the modern green roof industry is about 15 – 20 years old. If evidence-based design were so important, wouldn’t the evidence be everywhere and obvious by now?

Designs informed by performance data result in green roofs that are less likely to fail and that require fewer interventions. Why does this matter?

  1. Green roofs typically are a sizable investment, justifying designs that minimize costs associated with failure (e.g., leaks, plant death, compromised drainage).
  2. To comply with the federal Clean Water Act, some jurisdictions have approved green roofs as methods to keep stormwater out of the public sewer system and waterways. A failed green roof isn’t doing its job.

So, the hunt is on . . .  who is collecting evidence of that “secret sauce” that makes green roofs work and last for the long haul? Here are a few of our most respected favorites:

The Chicago Botanic Garden

While many botanic gardens have installed green roofs to support their own green roof performance studies, none rival the efforts of the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Landscape Architecture Magazine’s January 2015 issue (available in stores now) includes a feature article titled “This is A Test,” written by Roofmeadow’s own Lauren Mandel.  The article describes the Chicago Botanic Garden’s five-year plant evaluation study of native and non-native perennials, grasses, and Sedum, planted in varying green roof media depths within two green roof areas.  The botanic garden’s in-house scientists have been collecting data on cultural adaptability, disease and pests, winter hardiness and ornamental quality. The researchers will evaluate plant performance relative to media depth and compare results to the performance of the same plants on the surrounding ground plane. This research has been underway since 2009 and the findings will be released in May 2015 in the botanic garden’s forthcoming Plant Evaluation Note.

Tim Ressler and the January 2015 issue of LAM, which includes the feature article "This is a Test" by EAT UP author Lauren Mandel.

Tim Ressler and the January 2015 issue of LAM, which includes the feature article “This is a Test” by EAT UP author Lauren Mandel.

The University Contingent

Roofmeadow always has kept abreast of the groundbreaking green roof research conducted at Pennsylvania State University. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a research unit of The University of Texas, has been pioneering research on the design and plant palettes for hot-climate green roofs and is one of the founders of the SITES™ Rating System.  Other universities that have contributed mightily to North America’s collective green roof knowledgebase include Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, University of Toronto, Villanova University (stormwater management focus, mainly), University of Washington, University of Maryland, Stevens Institute of Technology, Portland State University, and Columbia University.

 Oh, and, uh, Roofmeadow, of course!

At Roofmeadow, we doggedly seek out collaboration opportunities to test our theories and hypotheses (we have to keep reminding ourselves that we aren’t a research institution)! Over the years, we’ve amassed an impressive research pedigree in our own right:

  • Collaborated on the instrumentation design and monitoring of the green roofs on Chicago Walmart Store No. 5402 (largest monitored green roof in the world) and Portland Walmart Store No. 5899
  • Collaborated with Geosyntec Inc. and SAP to monitor the performance benefits of logic-based water level controllers in base flood-irrigated turf green roofs
  • Developed and implemented an innovative monitoring strategy to measure stormwater performance and evapostranspiration rates on St. Joseph’s University Science Center (in collaboration with Villanova University)
  • Designed and installed prototypes for flat and sloped green roofs at the Euro American Nursery in Bonsall, CA that feature local mineral materials, regional succulents, and a low-rate basal capillary irrigation system
  • Designed and implemented an ultra-lightweight green roof system featuring ceramic media at the Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Developed in-house testing methods including a fabric puncture-resistance test that better reflects field conditions and a direct measurement of fabric capillary potential (the Ressler Index) to inform irrigation design
  • Examined the benefits of amending green roof media with carbohydrates (specifically molasses) to encourage micro-biological activity and promote plant health (in collaboration with Emory Knoll Farms)*
  • Designed and installed a prototype living wall based on a French model emphasizing woody perennials, to inform plant selection and media design for future full-scale installations
  • Collaborated with Diadem USA to conduct tests in the US of a first-of-its-kind fall arrest system that is imbedded in green roof cover and requires no structural attachments
  • Evaluated long-term effects of freeze-thaw cycling on green roof media by measuring the distribution of silt and clay in field samples
  • Developed field procedures to quantify media amounts required to achieve finished grades in terms of in-place field densities (in collaboration with Skyland USA)
  • Refining approaches to increase diversity to extensive green roof plant communities by over-seeding with native annuals and perennials (in collaboration with several institutions)

*Spoiler Alert: We could not demonstrate that the molasses improved plant performance.

Photo of a Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center green roof test  plot from the Center's website.

Photo of a Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center green roof test plot from the Center’s website.

Evidence-based design is in Roofmeadow’s DNA.  We will continue to explore questions that are important to improving green roof design.  We choose to remain critical of received knowledge until we test assertions for ourselves.  Roofmeadow has more experience with more types of green roof assemblies than any other American company and we welcome engagement from the outside as we work to improve the foundation of green roof design.

A Killdeer on the largest monitored green roof in the world, Walmart Store No. 5402.

A Killdeer on the largest monitored green roof in the world, Walmart Store No. 5402.

THE WORLD IS FLAT

For centuries we’ve accepted that the world is round – well, most people have, anyway. Interestingly, a tiny minority of hold-outs maintain the world is flat and, in some respects, I actually agree with them.

In the context of the water cycle, the world is flat for city dwellers. The water cycle in an undeveloped non-urban environment relies on infiltration of rainwater hundreds of feet deep into the ground where aquifers are recharged and trees are nurtured. The meticulous rhythm of life.

Water infiltration in urban landscapes might reach six to ten feet at best. In cities, aquifers are replaced by subways, tunnels and power infrastructure – all of which do better without regular baths.

A depth-limited urban environment.

A depth-limited urban environment.

If somehow more rain fell in the forest than the cities, then all would be well. Without the opportunities for deep infiltration and massive uptake by plants, how can we manage all that city rainfall?  That is the million dollar question being addressed by Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program. Obviously no simple answer is available. Right now, the go-to solution appears to be massive underground ballroom-sized tanks to hold water. Sexy isn’t it? Why try to mimic a woodland water cycle with these expensive grey infrastructure cisterns? Even with these cisterns, too much rainwater is still ending up basements or in already-overwhelmed treatment plants.

Perhaps we city dwellers would do well to evaluate our relationship to water from a more two-dimensional perspective. Think like a flatlander. If all that rainwater can’t move vertically, then let’s allow it to move horizontally.  Go downtown and experience water all around you: trickling down from green roofs into sidewalk planters; seeping through a planted alley into a backlot raingarden; climbing up tree trunks to shady tree canopies. There are a million ways to celebrate the water that falls in pocket oases all around the city. Big cisterns always will have a place in city water management, but let’s not disregard the power and beauty of celebrating water as a resource and utilizing it on our city surfaces.

A depth-limited urban condition.

A depth-limited urban condition.

A depth-limited urban environment that celebrates the power of water and plants.

A depth-limited urban condition that celebrates the power of water and plants.  Image by Roofmeadow.

To live more harmoniously in our cities, let’s embrace the fact that our world is flat.

Music City Center’s Big Green Roof

Last week was a big week for sustainability in Nashville. Nashville’s new convention center, the Music City Center, garnered the Special Recognition award at 2014 Cities Alive conference.

The urban hub includes an array of 845 solar panels, LED lighting, a 360,000 gallon rainwater cistern and, of course a four acre green roof.  Just by existing, this living building generates 271,000 kW per year; channels rainwater to flush 500 toilets and irrigate the site landscape, and annually prevents 3,382,767 gallons of rainwater from entering the city’s sewer system. By optimizing sunlight and shade, insulating materials, and a high performance HVAC system, this building imposes a 20% smaller burden on the electrical grid than a similarly sized building.  Walls, fabrics, woods, carpets and coatings were selected to improve indoor air quality.  Of course, the Music City Center recycles (almost everything!), and leftover food and registration materials are donated to non-profit organizations.  “Waste” is just not in their lexicon.

Alas, this is a green roof blog . . . and this green roof is more than just a pretty roof. Aside from managing massive amounts of stormwater and generating huge amounts of electricity, the roof is now recognized as a colossal living, breathing logo for the Music City Center.

Rooftop guitar body with solar panels and green roof frets.

Rooftop guitar body with solar panels and green roof frets.

If you ever find yourself in Nashville airspace, you really can’t miss the monstrous rooftop guitar body with green, living sound waves undulating out to the roof edges. That’s a pretty expert bit of city-wide product placement!

Blue Angels in the airspace above Music City Center.  Photo courtesy Greenrise Technologies.

Blue Angels in the airspace above Music City Center.  Photo courtesy Greenrise Technologies.

The green roof’s sine wave topography — evocative of the Tennessee hillside, required some muscular engineering (which Team Roofmeadow was proud to provide). Pitches range from 16% – 25%, requiring integrated slope stabilization measures.

A view up a steep Sedum slope.

A view up a steep Sedum slope on the Music City Center green roof.

The extremely lean 2.5-inch thick green roof profile weighs in at only 17.5 pounds per square foot (at its heaviest) and is designed to maximize the time water flows horizontally through the root zone before exiting at the drains, reducing irrigation requirements.

The thin profile is sloped to maximize the time roots and water have contact.

The thin profile is sloped to maximize the time roots and water have contact.

Base capillary irrigation evenly distributes water, notwithstanding the laws of physics which otherwise would leave and rooftop hills parched and the valleys soaked. Pre-grown Sedum mats helped to protect the roof from wind uplift and scour.

This elegant and hardworking landscape embodies the spirit of Nashville’s progressive stormwater policy.

Visible from surrounding buildings, the monolithic roofscape offers seasonal variation through broad swaths of color: yellow and pink in the spring, green in the summer and red and russet in the fall.

Roofmeadow would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the rest of the team who made the green roof on this Nashville icon a reality:

tvs design: Architect

Greenrise Technologies: Green roof contractor

Sempergreen: Pre-grown Sedum mat provider

Sika Sarnafil: Waterproofing provider

The view from a neighboring building.

The view from a neighboring building.

The LEED Silver building also garnered the 2013 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award.  The award winning roof is home not only to plants but to grasshoppers, praying mantises, butterflies, moths, bees, doves and hawks.

A grasshopper at home on the Music City Center green roof.

A grasshopper at home on the Music City Center green roof.

LOOK OUT AND BE WELL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA HOSPITAL

Think about the last time you were laid up, sick – or worse, in the hospital. Even if your healing required aid from others, instinct probably directed you (or at least your attention) outdoors – to help you heal yourself.

View from a patient's room at the UVA Hospital

View from a patient’s room at the UVA Hospital.

Studies suggest that the restorative experience of nature imparts a sense of freedom and a connectivity to something larger. In this state, the mind-body instinctively boosts mood, self-esteem and focus and reduces stress. The soul in its natural state – in nature – is fueled.

Green roof pyramids echo the shape of the skylights.

Green roof pyramids echo the shape of the skylights.

Healing places tap into this phenomenon, and Roofmeadow is honored to have shared this particular healing mission with the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. For its new hospital expansion, the University sought a green roof that would be visible from patient rooms. Our design team responded to Charlottesville’s terrain of winding rivers, agricultural fields, and wooded hills. The design abstracts this imagery into patterns with distinctive and seasonal contrasts of foliage color, texture, height and bloom. Strategic hardscape – narrow curbs, edgings, decorative aggregate – add crisp lines which add clarity to the visual pattern.

A distinct pattern provides visual interest.

A distinct pattern provides visual interest.

Every time you look upon this dynamic roofscape – morning or evening, summer or winter — shadows, wind, and seasonal foliage and blooms create a new experience. Sedum pyramids extend the pyramid skylight pattern. Like sundials, all the pyramids – green or glass – generate a dance of shadows across the roof that changes in unison throughout the day. Extending from a blue glass aggregate river, bands of ornamental grasses move in the wind, animating the roof with fluctuating texture and movement.

Ornamental grasses will mature and provide horticultural and visual interest.

Ornamental grasses will mature and provide horticultural and visual interest.

A beautiful design is lost without the expert contractors and quality materials that bring it to life. During construction, green roof installer, Greenrise Technologies, and Sedum mat provider, Sempergreen, collaborated closely with Roofmeadow to make this vision a reality.

Greenrise and Sempergreen on site during construction.

Greenrise and Sempergreen on site during construction.

To the patients at the University of Virginia Hospital, Team Roofmeadow says, “Be well.”

BE WELL!

BE WELL!

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