Music City Center

Music City Center


Project: Music City Center Green Roof – 191,425 square foot green roof
Location: Nashville, TN
Award Winner: Award Winner: Roofmeadow (Designer, Construction Oversight, and Maintenance) & Greenrise Technologies (Construction & Maintenance)

Architect: TVS Design
Waterproofing Manufacturer: Sika Sarnafil, Inc.
Plant Provider: Sempergreen
PV System Provider: LightWave Solar
General Contractor: Bell/Clark

“The green roof design combines clever engineering and construction techniques to provide a striking aesthetic and environmental feature, enthusiastically embraced by the Music City Center team and the city of Nashville. The project owes its existence to the vision of the architect, TVS Design and the collaborative efforts of Sika Sarnafil, the waterproofing provider; Sempergreen, the plant provider; Roofmeadow, the green roof engineer; and the construction and maintenance contractor, Greenrise. “ Charlie Miller, principal & president, Roofmeadow.

Towards a More Innovative University

The Music City Center is a focal point for conventions, meetings and green infrastructure in the new capital of the mid-south. This ambitious project features a futuristic design that incorporates a cool vinyl roof with a large extensive green roof area and a large array of solar panels, all visible from some of the surrounding buildings. This project sets the standard for sustainable design in the region. Nashville has long been known as a destination for music and entertainment in the mid-south region and now it is a destination for fans of sustainable design.

The decision to build this 2.1 million square foot structure on the fringes of downtown near an area known as the “gulch” was met with some resistance from the local environmental community. It was highly desired to incorporate numerous sustainable design features including a 191,000 sq. ft. extensive green roof within the 755,000 total roof area. The goal was to facilitate storm water management and mitigate the urban heat island effect in conjunction with a highly sustainable cool vinyl roof system. A large array of solar collection panels was also desired to reduce energy consumption.

The roof is designed to simulate the rolling hills of Tennessee. In order to achieve the affect the design team crafted an undulating roof with slopes that vary from almost zero to 25%. Where slopes exceed 16% (9 degrees) supplemental slope stabilization of the green roof was provided in the form of slope cleats fasten to a geogrid mesh. Additionally, the weight of the green roof on one side of the hill can support the weight on the opposing side. The rooftop hills increase the visibility and visual appeal of the roof.


Currently Nashville has no regulations requiring green infrastructure or financial incentives to encourage green infrastructure. (The city intends to make on-site retention of stormwater mandatory where possible.) None the less, based on modeling, this voluntary green roof installation is expected to reduce the annual runoff volume by 2.6 million gallons.

This roof is subject to a rigorous Stewardship Program which includes written and photographic documentation of all maintenance activities. The green roofs’ evolution is being tracked overtime so that all decision regarding amendments and additions are informed by a detailed history of the covers health and performance. Observations and hypothesis are regularly shared with the client and all members of the design team.

Green Infrastructure Design Charrette

About Green Roofs

by Steven Peck
GRHC founder/president

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