Fenway Farms

Fenway Farms

Boston, MA

Award Winner
Recover Green Roofs

Project Team

Client: Chris Knight, Fenway Park
Maintenance/Irrigation Technician: Richie Harvey, Recover Green Roofs
Membrane Installation/Warranty Fulfillment: Peter Chaffee, Chaffee Industrial Roofing
Project Manager: Mark Winterer, Recover Green Roofs
Turf Consultant: Scott Koesterich, New England Turf Store

The beauty in this design is its simplicity. Our goal was to maximize every inch of space on MLB’s oldest park, so we created a modular raised-bed system using square milk crates that fit into perfect rows. The recycled plastic shells provide structure for attaching farm components and are easy to move away from snowdrift-prone areas after the final harvest. We used responsibly-sourced organic potting soil, fabric liners that promote rapid root growth, and an on-demand smart irrigation system that distributes water directly to each plant’s roots. A turf layer protects the waterproof membrane and provides a durable surface for the farmers at Green City Growers who harvest over 5,000 pounds of organic vegetables annually.
— Mark Winterer, Recover Green Roofs

Inspiring the Sports Community to Celebrate Healthy

Linda Henry, wife of Red-Sox owner, John Henry, wanted to support urban agriculture and provide a healthy-food alternative to the standard hot-dog-and-hamburger fare that Fenway has traditionally offered. 

Gate A is located on the corner of Yawkey Way and Brookline Street, and for 100 years, the backside of the third baseline stadium looked down on Gate A's hot roof and air-handling equipment. On April 13th 2015, Opening Day, fans looked down on a sprawling 5,000-square foot rooftop farm. Peppers, kale, and tomatoes replaced black rubber and grey metal; tens of thousands of onlookers couldn't believe what they saw. It has since become the most popular stop on the Fenway-Park tour, and the Huffington Post ranked it the number one great secret spot in Boston.

In order to prevent the soil from blowing off the roof, we used milk crate-planters lined with fabric pots to hold the soil up on the roof. The milk crate square shape maximizes every inch of limited roof space and provides structural support for irrigation lines, trellising, and low tunnels without penetrating the membrane. Drip emitters distribute water directly to the roots and eliminate runoff. GCG harvested over 4,800lbs in 2015, and Fenway contracted planting of the adjacent roof in 2016.

The mission of this project was to inspire the Red Sox community in Boston, New England and beyond, to celebrate health; individually, inspiring healthy daily choices and together, inspiring us to imagine what is possible to bring about healthier communities. With 2.9 million visitors each year, over 5,000 pounds of fresh food harvested each year, and Michelle Obama taking note: “six years ago, I don't think any of us could have imagined that Fenway Park would have a 5,000-square-foot farm on its rooftop to provide fresh produce for its fans;”. Judges praised the project’s ability to connect green roof technology with new audiences, and exceeding typical expectations for sports and commercial institutions.


Rooftop Wheat Prairie

Rooftop Wheat Prarie

Chicago, IL

Award Winner
Omni Ecosystems

Project Team

General Contractor: Bulley & Andrews
Green Roof Designer, Manufacturer, Installer: Omni Ecosystems
Landscape Architect: Studio Gang Architects
Owners Representative: Daccord LLC
Wheat Farming & Processing: The Roof Crop LLC

The unassuming star of this project was the prolific crop of winter wheat which matured into an edible, harvestable grain. The amber waves created a unique pastoral aesthetic for the client, protected the underlying prairie from wind damage, and tasted delicious when milled into pastry flour and baked into cookies.
— Molly Meyer, Omni Ecosystems
With more than fifty species planted on top of a historic building, our mini prairie functions more as a thriving ecosystem than a green roof, creating food and habitat for birds, butterflies, insects, fungi, and now people.
— Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang
Daccord had the pleasure of working with Omni Ecosystems again on this project, and as with our past experience, they did an excellent job showing responsiveness, quality and most importantly creativity. We congratulate them for this award and a job very well done.
— Len Skiba, Daccord LLC

Chicago’s Amber Waves of Grain

The Chicago Wheat Prairie is a unique, picturesque landscape growing three stories above a bustling Chicago intersection.

The Chicago Wheat Prairie is a complete anomaly in aesthetics and general design. It’s the only rooftop in the city growing amber waves of grain. The golden wheat accented by bright wildflowers offers city dwellers a one-of-a-kind visual splendor. To immerse visitors into the wheat prairie, a room of floor-to-ceiling glass windows was constructed in the middle of the roof, offering incredible views from all angles.

In designing this roof, a team of architects and ecologists sowed a crop of red winter wheat into a 4,700-square-foot, 5-inch rooftop prairie. The grain’s purpose was threefold: creating a singular pastoral aesthetic for the client, one that mirrored the Midwestern landscape; providing wind protection for cover crops and wildflowers also growing in the meadow; and determining the extent to which green roofs could address food security issues in urban landscapes vis-a-vis cereal grain production. The proof-of-concept research conducted at this site resulted in the first-known rooftop wheat harvest, which produced 66 pounds of high-quality whole wheat pastry flour from a hyperlocal source, create employment opportunities along the way, and provided a working model for urban grain production.

With more cities incentivizing green roofs, this project takes important steps in shaping the future of urban landscapes. It lays important groundwork for creating a city where rooftops are no longer passive landscapes but spaces for discovery, productivity and resiliency. Judges praised the project for its interesting mixture of agriculture and ecology.


Mountain Equipment Coop Head Office

Mountain Equipment Coop Head Office

Vancouver, BC

Award Winner
Connect Landscape Architecture

Project Team

Architect: Greg Piccini, Proscenium Architecture & Interiors Inc; Hugh Cochlin, Proscenium Architecture & Interiors Inc
Civil Engineer: Sandy Treagus, Mountain Equipment Co-op
Client/Owner: Ken Larsson, Connect Landscape Architecture, Inc
Commissioning Agent: Stantec
Electrical/Mechanical Engineers: Roland Charneux, Pageau Morel and Associates
Energy Consultant: FVB Energy Inc
Environmental Consultant: Golder Associates, Ltd
General Contractor: Ventana Construction Corporation
Green Building Consultant: Corin Flood, Green Building Consulting & Design
Green Roof Landscape Installation: North by Northwest
Landscape Architect: Peter Tapp, Kerr Wood Liedal
LEED Consultant: Jason Packer, Recollective
Membrane Supplier: Homan Roofing Ltd
Roofing Contractor: Metro Roofing
Structural Engineer: Tanya Luthi, Fast + Epp Structural Engineers

The design “completely plays into MEC’s idea that you can have a place with a sense of environment, where you can connect with the context around you.”
— Ron Clay, Proscenium
It includes some wonderful collaborative and social spaces. The project has been tailored to its inhabitants, offering up environmental features as a way to enhance their day-to-day working life. The green roof is not there just to gain a credit, but is a habitable program space for the enjoyment of employees
— SAB Magazine

Excellence In Integrative, Holistic Design

The Mountain Equipment Coop Corporate Headquarters is a 4-story heavy timber building is located on a 101,000 sq.ft. former industrial site, and a highly visible example of a high performance building and landscape:  passive energy, water management, and both interior and exterior amenity for occupants. The landscape and architectural design create a head office that functions as an extension of one of MEC's core values - "sustainability by design".

Objectives include:

  1. Celebration of Rain Water - Located on the original China Creek, the project “daylights” and passively treats stormwater. The ‘blue roof’ captures rainwater for irrigation and non-potable building use. Stormwater is filtered and managed through a series of rain gardens and native water wise plantings. A vertical wall displays rain water falling from the roof to an at grade rain water feature.
  2. Activating the Outdoors - The site is accessibile - located adjacent to a rapid transit station and bike route. A large intensive green roof with panoramic views of the north shore offers leisure space, vegetable planters, and fruit trees for employees and clients. An entry plaza encourages social interaction with custom seating and bicycle storage.
  3. Having a Light Footprint - The LEED® Platinum MEC Corporate Headquarters is a prominent example of a high performance building and landscape: passive energy, water management, and both interior and exterior amenity for occupants.

Overall, the landscape supports MEC's vision of creating a forward-thinking workplace that fosters staff health. The plan provides approximately 8,565 sq.ft of intensive/extensive green roof space (27.5% of the 31,000 sq.ft. building footprint). Judges praised the project’s integration of green roof technology into broader systems such as water management and highlighting a great step in local community design leadership.


Bridgepoint Active Healthcare

Bridgepoint Active Healthcare

Toronto, ON

Award Winner
Stantec Architecture / KPMB Architects / HDR Architecture / Diamond Schmitt Architects / PFS Studio / MBTW Group Landscape Architects

Project Team

Planning, Design, & Compliance: Stuart Elgie, Stantec Architects
Planning, Design, & Compliance: Mitch Hall, KPMB Architects
Design, Build, Finance, & Maintain: Rodel Misa, HDR Architecture
Design, Build, Finance, & Maintain: Greg Colucci, Diamond Schmitt Architects
Landscape Consultant: Brad Keeler, MBTW Group
Structural Engineer/LEED Consultant: Kathryn Edwards, Halsall Associates/WSP Canada
Contractor: Darius Zaccak, PCL Constructors Canada
Mechanical Consultant: Brad Bull, Smith + Anderson
Electrical Consultant: Brandon Hayes, Smith + Anderson
Building Envelope Consulant: Mark Brook, Brook Van Dalen & Associates
Developer & Equity Investor: Brian Budden, Plenary Group
Client: Marian Walsh, Bridgepoint Health Foundation

The design intent for Bridgepoint Active Healthcare was to connect with nature and community and to inspire patients and staff. This commitment extends right to the rooftop. The garden terrace there provides a sanctuary for healing, where people can enjoy the natural setting and extraordinary views of the city skyline and feel they are part of the world around them.
— Greg Colucci, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects

The Restorative Power of Good Design

Bridgepoint’s goal is to teach, coach and inspire chronic care patients to “live well” and to be active participants in shaping their own treatment and health outcomes. With an average patient stay of three months, there was strong impetus to design a built environment that facilitates recovery and wellness. Bridgepoint Active Health Care is the manifestation of the belief in the restorative power of good design.

From animated public spaces to intimate private ones, the building connects community and landscape with patients and staff. Panoramic views of the Don River Valley within every patient room, open terraces at the roof level, mid-tower and at grade levels provide broad visual engagement with the surrounding community, parklands and landscape.

Spaces for rest and therapy include the large ground floor terrace adjacent to food services, a therapy pool with picture-windows overlooking the park and a wheelchair-accessible meditative labyrinth patterned on the one at Chartres Cathedral. An accessible, therapeutic green roof terrace on the 10th floor extends the therapeutic benefits of nature vertically and offers active horticultural therapy. Patients can participate in a gardening program of engage in self-directed rehabilitation. People practice walking on the gentle slope, build strength in wheelchairs by moving up the gently sloped ramp or by climbing stairs.

A 4-year post occupancy evaluation was specifically developed to evaluate the impact of the design on patient health and well being. By blurring the distinction between private and public property and providing public circulation continuously around a fully glazed exterior, the facility is highly permeable. Staff and patients feel connected to nature, to the city and consider the hospital to be a place of wellness. Patients feel safer, are more cheerful, are comforted and are more satisfied with their stay. They feel they have more opportunities to visit with others, perceive improvements in their mental health and are more confident in their mobility. The judges praised this project’s use of green roofing for patient recovery and human health treatment and accessibility as well as the use of deeper root profile plants in the meadow roof and integration of small trees.

Edmonton Federal Building

Edmonton Federal Building

Edmonton, AB

Award Winner
Nedlaw Living Walls

Product Supplier & Designer: Dr. Alan Darlington, Nedlaw Living Walls
Product Supplier & Designer: Randy Walden, Nedlaw Group
Designer: Peter Streith, Kasian Architecture
Principal: Oliver San Agustin, Kasian Architecture
Job Captain: Les Poon, Kasian Architecture
Contract Administration: Susana Lui, Kasian Architecture
Principal Design: Bill Chomik, Kasian Architecture
LEED Coordinator: Esther Rivard-Sirois, GRP Kasian Architecture
Project Manager: Rob Mulyk, Kasian Architecture
Project Administration: Jennifer Tucker, Kasian Architecture

As well as being an aesthetic element, this biofilter is also a functional piece of machinery, improving indoor air quality. It actively removes pollutants from the air, generating over 1,500 cfm (700 litres per second) of virtual fresh air. That’s enough ‘fresh’ air to supply two thirds of the needs of over 150 people. And this virtual fresh air is generated using up to 90 per cent less energy than conventional air treatment systems.
— Dr. Alan Darlington, Nedlaw Living Walls

A Case Study in High Efficiency

The Bio-filter Living Wall system at the Edmonton Federal Building is the focal point of the large glass public atrium, the newly added grand entranceway into this rejuvenated historic building. The living wall and associated water feature provide a calm and serene environment in the busy public space. The vibrant layered and organic pattern of the plants makes the wall a work of art, and provides a foil for the otherwise angular and clean-lined space.

In the Edmonton Federal Building project, landscape and urban design were extremely important. The exterior of the building features numerous green roofs and an extensively landscaped plaza featuring local and native plant species. Utilizing a green wall within the building seemed the next logical step to ensure that the objectives so carefully considered on the exterior of the building also translated into the interior.

However, this living wall is not only aesthetic; it is also a working element of the building’s mechanical system. Air is actively drawn through the wall of plants, where biological components degrade pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene into harmless constituents of water and carbon dioxide. The living wall also filters fine particles such as dust and spores. Once these processes have occurred the air is distributed back to the space mechanically. The living wall also contributes to the humidity levels of the atrium space contributing innovation points to the LEED Gold certification goal.

The judges felt that this project presented an excellent integration of living wall technology into the public space of the building in both a functional and beautiful way.

Credit: Kasian & Nedlaw Living Walls

Credit: Kasian & Nedlaw Living Walls

Alberta Ecoroof Initiative

Alberta Eco-Roof Initiative

Calgary, AB

Award Winner
Green T Design

Designer: Kerry Ross, GRP, Green T Design
Designer: Bob Thornton, Studio T Design
Supplier: Marie-Anne Boivin, Soprema
Supplier: Trevor Sziva, Soprema
Contractor: Stephen Teal, GRP, Flynn Canada
Building Owner: Neil Ubi, Innovate Calgary
Building Owner: Dave MacKillop, Innovate Calgary

The Alberta Ecoroof Initiative project is the green roof that I have worked most with. It has evolved over time and my understanding of its characteristics and benefits has grown. I intentionally call it an ecoroof because it is not green all of the time; the changes in the colours, the varying blend of plant species over the seasons and the habitat it created has been an interesting wonder to observe.
— Kerry Ross, GRP, Green T Design

A Showpiece of Research and Function

An organization and building that houses a mixture of tech start-ups and likens itself to an ecosystem sprouts green roof habitat to deliver ecosystem services. The project serves as a key component to Innovate Calgary's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, but also serves as an example of clean technology. The green roof provides a tangible example to educate staff and visitors and it acts as a tangible resource for peers in the field of living architecture.

It was ten years ago this summer that the first phase of planting was undertaken on top of the link building that connects two wings of the Alastair Ross Technology Center in the University of Calgary Research Park.

This project distinguishes itself from other green roof projects as being the only known green roof in Alberta to feature different systems side by side, varying by type and depth of growing medium, and plant species selection. In addition to the various systems trialed here, a two year stormwater study was performed which demonstrated the effectiveness of green roofs to retain runoff.

By using a variety of planting systems and monitoring their progress, we have been identifying types of systems and species that thrive in the Calgary climatic region, noting successful outcomes as well as shortcomings. The installations serve as a green roof botanical garden.

Credit: Bob Thornton

Credit: Bob Thornton

Williamsburg Condominium

Williamsburg Condominium

Brooklyn, NY

Award Winner
New York Green Roofs

Head Designer, Installation Project Manager: Adam Schatz, New York Green Roofs
Co-Creation Direction: Chad Gessin, Condo Board
Waterproofing Provider: Michael Balaban, Siplast Engineered Roofing Systems

Bright, playful plant palettes and awe-inspiring views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn’s industrial past instill the vaulted courtyard and rooftop of this condominium with a sense of environmental connection and quiet beauty.
— Adam Schatz, New York Green Roofs

A Return of Williamsburg’s Natural Systems

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is currently a hotbed of real estate development. Most of the neighborhood suffers from a serious lack of green infrastructure. In 2011 New York Green Roofs (NYGR) was contacted by the condominium board of a large complex at125 North 10th Street and asked to follow up a major waterproofing rehabilitation to transform the existing rooftop spaces into something of a dream for the residents. Two distinctive six story buildings on the north and south sides of the property are connected by a vaulted courtyard walkway so that the condo works as a whole. With 86 units of owners to please, NYGR kicked-off the design phase by setting up a "co-creative" public meeting to hear about goals and desires for the green roof. A short list of elements to be included in the overall functional program was produced based on feedback and distributed to the tenants. Common themes included the importance of integrating the green roof with the existing garden sculptures, organizing plenty of space for entertainment and meals, creating sitting/lounge areas, and retaining open spaces for children and dogs to play. Surveys showed that the most important aspect of the renovation was to simultaneously create a greener environment and increase the property value of the residence with the project.

The resulting semi and intensive green roofs provide a beautiful, ecological experience when moving between buildings and when gathering together. On the south roof a series of gently rolling mounds and a colorful palette grasses and flowering perennials mimic landscapes that look and function as in the wild: robust, diverse, and visually harmonious, with views of the Williamsburg Bridge and sunsets over the Manhattan skyline to boot. The vaulted courtyard pass through is a hybrid of both wild and cultivated plant communities. Industrialization drove most nature out of cities years ago. This project brings back Williamsburg's natural systems that thrive within our built world. The judges praised the beauty of this project and its maintenance strategy to ensure continued project health and viability. The judges also highly praised the plant palette variety used in this installation.

Breathe Wall

Breathe Wall

Grand Rapids, MI

Award Winner
LiveWall, LLC

Project Team

Designer, System Manufacturer, Plant Supplier, Installer: Dave MacKenzie, LiveWall, LLC
Business Developer: Amber Ponce, LiveWall, LLC

The largest graphic includes a windblown pattern of color in which white flowers spell Breathe O2 and symbolize the air. The green patterns, above and below, represent the forests and fields. And, the yellow in the upper right hand corner symbolizes the sun, which fuels photosynthesis, which yields oxygen. This vital process happens within the leaves, and therefore ‘Breathe’ also features leaf-shaped graphics of Michigan native trees, including catalpa, oak, beech and maple.
— Dave MacKenzie, Artist

The Fusion of Art and Nature

Entitled ‘Breathe’, this living art project at ArtPrize®, the world’s largest publicly voted art contest, is home to more than 3500 plants and reaches over 20 feet tall at its peak and stretches 150 feet long.  

Using the LiveWall® system as the canvas, the entry surrounds and buffers the noise and odors of the city around it.  ‘Breathe’ was inspired by the idea of restoring the built environment to a more natural state and restore balance to urban settings by reintroducing vegetation lost during urbanization.  16" wide planters were serviced by a spray nozzle which delivered rain-like irrigation to the plants contained within across the 1500 square foot wall with drain holes at the bottom of each planter.

In the first summer, a palette of over 70 different species created an abstract art piece.  After the annuals had been spent by colder temperatures, they were replaced with perennials. The following summer, sections of the wall were planted with 700 square feet of herbs, greens and vegetables. 

That fall, the remaining edibles were harvested, and prefabricated panels were added to the wall to create curvilinear extensions again transforming the structure into a work of art.  The installation was specifically designed to challenge and inspire each viewer to think differently about the constructed world—about how that world might look and feel if integrated with nature.

Berry Architecture Office

Berry Architecture Office

Red Deer, AB

Award Winner
Berry Architecture + Associates

Architect & LEED Consultant: Berry Architecture + Associates
Landscape Designer: Living Lands Landscape & Design
Mechanical Engineer: Reinbold Engineering
General Contractor: Shunda Consulting & Construction
Electrical Engineer: Acuity Engineering & Consulting Service Ltd

Doing what was right for the environment was the first goal of this redevelopment project for Berry Architecture & Associates. We wanted to create a pleasant oasis for our staff and our clients where they could be surrounded by a little bit of nature in a downtown urban setting.
— George Berry, Owner, CEO, Berry Architecture + Associates

A Little Bit of Nature in a Downtown Urban Setting

Completed in 2011, the Berry Architecture + Downey Roth Hrywkiw Fidek LLP building was a complete revitalization and modernization of a run-down 1950’s bowling alley in downtown Red Deer, Alberta. The green roof, planted in 2012, enhances this downtown neighborhood both aesthetically and environmentally adding a variety of flowering plants and grasses to the area including canada buffalo -berry, prairie onion, wild flax, and wild bergamot.

Students cultivate vegetables and herbs from seed in the greenhouse that are transplanted into raised planting beds. With the help of teachers and parent volunteers the students at P.S. 6 Eco-Center grow fruits, vegetables and herbs for the school cafeteria's salad bar. They collaborate with the cafeteria staff to develop recipes for the produce grown on the roof.

A unique feature of the green roof is the flowing stream which provides habitat and support for birds and insects. Staff and clients enjoy the pleasant setting of this natural retreat through a variety of social events including barbeques and green roof parties, as well as meetings and lunch time gatherings. Three raised planters provide fresh herbs and vegetables for the staff who take turns caring for the gardens. The gardens and stream are watered exclusively through the grey water system. Stormwater is collected in holding tanks located in the mechanical room on the main floor. That stormwater is then used to water the garden planters, refill the stream as needed, and even provide water to on-site toilets. All non-vegetable plants are indigenous species which do not require watering. Since the renovation, the runoff discharge rate and quantity values have decreased by more than 25%.

One goal of the green roof was creating a bio-diverse habitat for wildlife with an emphasis on indigenous pollinators by providing food with a wide range of indigenous plant species, as well as flowing water and perching and nesting sites. Other goals were to decrease the impact of rainwater run-off on the municipal water system and to improve the air quality of the urban environment by installing the roof on a formerly plant-free site.

Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Philadelphia, PA

Award Winner

Green Roof Consultant: Roofmeadow
Property Owner: University of Pennsylvania
Architect/Landscape Architect: WEISS/MANFREDI
Civil Engineer: Stantec Consulting
General Contractor: Gilbane Building
Green Roof Construction/Maintenance: G.R.A.S.S.
Roofing: E.D.A. Construction Company

A Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

The Meadow Roof is a prominent feature of the building, attracting individuals and groups eager to enjoy time on the rooftop amenity space. Surrounded by floor to ceiling etched glass walls on three sides and a clear glass railing open to the city on the fourth side, the Meadow Roof is also visually accessible from corridors and conference rooms. A second larger green roof includes native perennials and grasses planted alongside the building’s air handling and HVAC equipment. This larger sedum roof may is a storm water management workhorse.

Both green roof areas feature a diversity of planting that includes a number of native species that attract a variety of birds and pollinators. During the first year after planting, completion annuals (Gaillardia pulchella) germinated among the pre-grown Sedum mats. In the second growing season, the annuals emerged again, this time along with biennials and young perennials (Echinacea pallida).

Runoff water from the adjacent deck irrigates the Meadow Roof, which also is supplemented with a base-level capillary irrigation system during dry periods. The upper, non-greened roof runoff nourishes the two deep Meadow Roof bioretention tree pits, with supplemental irrigation during dry periods. The Sedum Roof manages the runoff from the adjacent rooftop HVAC equipment, the surrounding 15 foot parapet, and impervious paver walkways. The green roofs assure cost-effective compliance with Philadelphia’s Stormwater Regulations, reducing stormwater site fees by 27%. Additionally, integrating hydraulically independent biorentention cells into the extensive Meadow Roof obviated the need to replace the ground level detention basins with a more costly ground measure to both pre-treat and detain runoff.

Credit: Peg Woolsey

Credit: Peg Woolsey

Midtown High Rise

Midtown High Rise Green Roof

New York, NY

Award Winner
New York Green Roofs

Landscape Architect: HMWhite
Architects: Gertler & Wente
Structural & Wind Load Engineers: Urban Tech
Membrane Manufacturer: Kemper System
Lighting Designer: Atelier Lumiere
Carpentry: Riverside Builders

This project was carefully engineered to knit with the building’s infrastructure, to prevent potential wind uplift, accommodate significant weight restrictions, and support a sophisticated, multiseasonal plant palette tolerant of extreme growing conditions. Its primary role as an amenity space for a thriving corporation, combined with its positive ecological impact, redefines what is possible when creating a contemporary terrace garden in a dense urban environment.
— Amy Falder, Partner, New York Green Roofs

A Green Respite for Manhattan Office Workers

Transforming a corporate office building into a lush green oasis in midtown Manhattan, this vegetated roof offers staff of a booming realty company an unusually peaceful respite amidst the constant movement of a bustling city. 7,000 square feet of living roof and integrated decking establishes a buffer between a busy officespace and one of the densest urban environments on the planet. The design provides a visual on ecological succession of a changing landscape as it incorporates a mostly extensive mix of meadow grasses, flowering perennials, and low growing succulents. Observation of seasonal progression is enhanced with a few flowering trees and spring blooming bulbs.

The irrigation design incorporates advanced water conservation practices and technologies keeping the water below the surface of the vegetated roof so that evaporation, wind overspray and mist or surface run-off is mitigated. Water is applied directly to the plant's root zone, where it is most efficiently available for uptake by plant roots.

The project is a wrap-around terrace that exists outside of an owner-occupied commercial office space - all of the employees have views of the vegetated roof from their office windows and access to the green roof for use at their leisure. Staff members are allowed to visit any area of the roof and may choose to lounge on any of the floating decks, each of which is connected via stepping stones that meander through the vegetation. This rolling meadow exists in stark contrast to the pedestal paver hardscapes that exist on the terraces below and above, and it creates a visual landmark that is viewed by thousands of tenants occupying nearby high rises lining 3rd avenue. Located 17 stories above the street in an urban canyon of Midtown Manhattan, the project design accommodated the extreme growing conditions of its surroundings in a windy, concrete and glass jungle. It is anticipated that the roof will not only enhance the experience of its users for years to come, but will also serve as a representation for progressive ecological design in the built-environment, reflecting what we can do make our cities more liveable, efficient, and sustainable.

P.S. 6 Eric Dutt Eco Center

P.S. 6 Eric Dutt Eco Center

New York, NY

Award Winner
MKM Landscape Architecture PC

Architectural Design: Downtown Designworks Architecture PLLC
Landscape Contractor: Windsway Construction LLC
Structural Engineer: Murray Engineering
MEP Engineer: Beitin Assoc.
General Contractor: Hilt Construction

MKM collaborated with The Downtown Group on the design of this unique rooftop facility and year-round science classroom for Elementary School PS 6 in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This intensive green roof and outdoor classroom offers numerous hands-on learning opportunities for students, and serves as a model for all schools on how to optimize productive and educational programs on otherwise under-utilized roofs.
— Anne Vaterlaus, Director of Design, Mark K. Morrison Landscape Architecture PC

Setting a High Bar for Environmental Education

When P.S.6’s beloved science teacher Eric Dutt suddenly died in 2007, leaving his dream of arooftop garden and greenhouse unfulfilled, the school community rallied around the idea of bringing his dream to life. Located atop a three-story building on Madison Avenue and 81st Street, and just a few blocks away from Central Park, P.S.6’s intensive green roof became a logical link in New York City's ecosystem. Seen from above, the lush green island of the green roof blends with street canopies and provides a welcome break in the prevalent rooftop blight. The rooftop includes an intensive green roof with individual planting zones for each school grade, a green wall, a greenhouse classroom, 16 solar panels, a composting center, a weather station, a picnic area, an outdoor classroom and a turtle pond powered by a windmill. The landscape areas are divided into distinct plant analogues that include emergent species within the pond, drought tolerant grasses to simulate a meadow, and bog species around the pond and dry stream-bed. The green roof is a Wildlife Habitat site certified by the National Wildlife Federation.

Students cultivate vegetables and herbs from seed in the greenhouse that are transplanted into raised planting beds. With the help of teachers and parent volunteers the students at P.S. 6 Eco-Center grow fruits, vegetables and herbs for the school cafeteria's salad bar. They collaborate with the cafeteria staff to develop recipes for the produce grown on the roof.

P.S.6’s green roof construction and ongoing use have become a testing ground for green roof integration into NYC’s public school system. Issues such as P.S.6’s structural building modifications, accessibility, and integration of green roof environment into science curriculum are examined by the staff of all NYC schools interested in pursuing green roof installation. In addition, P.S.6 green roof hosted city-wide free NYC eco-school workshops, such as "How to Create Wildlife-Friendly Schoolyard Habitats".

The garden, tended by the schoolchildren, school staff and parent volunteers, has flourished. "The shade garden fills in beautifully, and the green wall is thriving", says Allison Godshall, a P.S.6 environmental science teacher. Simone Braga, one of the participants of the Eco-Schools workshop hosted in June of 2013, has described the P.S.6 green roof oasis: “The flowers, the water dripping inside vases, birds drinking from everywhere, and grapes too! I forgot that I was in a very busy city.”

The Eric Dutt Eco Center inspires faculty, students and their families toward scientific discovery and exploration of the natural world and serves as a model for green roof opportunities available to public and private schools.