Weiser Hall

Project
Weiser Hall

Location
Ann Arbor, MI

Award Winner
Diamond Schmitt Architects

Project Team

Architect: Matthew Smith, Diamond Schmitt Architects
Building Envelope Engineer: Chris Van Dongen, Entuitive
Client: Robert Johnston, University of Michigan; Susan Monroe, University of Michigan
Contractor: John Durst, DeMaria
Cost Consultant: Riv Manning, Vermeulens
Electrical Engineer: Yilin Liu, Crossey Engineering Ltd
Green Wall Manufacturer: Alan Darlington, Nedlaw Living Walls
Lead Code Consultant: Joseph Plati, Code Consultants Professional Engineers, PC
Mechanical Engineer: Dominic Ponamte, Crossey Engineering Ltd
Structural Engineer: Karolina Jagielska, RJC Engineers

In transforming this ten-storey tower at University of Michigan for new academic purpose, we saw the opportunity to include four double-height living walls, each one above the next, as the central feature of community clusters that prominently anchor the building and overlook the campus
— Don Schmitt, Diamond Schmitt Architects

Creating a Dynamic Learning Environment for Interdisciplinary Study

The renovation of Weiser Hall repurposes the mid-century ten-storey tower, creating dynamic learning environments for interdisciplinary study and exchange. The renewed building now provides flexibility, daylight, and accessibility with highly sustainable design features.

Columns and ceilings were exposed enlarging open spaces and floors were uniquely configured to accommodate academic, social, and administrative use. Four double-height community commons are stacked at the southwest corner, each featuring biofilter living walls, serving as educational and botanical displays highlighting how biological systems can improve indoor environments.

The living walls provide air quality improvements, actively drawing air through the plant root systems relying on diverse microbial life to eliminate volatile organic compounds without the need for outdoor air ventilation. Plants provide transpiration cooling in the summer and humidification in the winter, further improving the building’s energy performance. Additionally, due to the orientation and sunny conditions, supplemental lighting systems were not required. The walls also have important roles in the acoustic environment of the space. Water trickling through the system generates biophilic sound, which has a great impact on the aesthetics of the space while the plant and rooting material, structurally similar to acoustic tiles, increase sound attenuation.

The inviting green feature provides a focal point for encounters and is symbolic of the sustainable design principles that are as much a part of the facility as providing a coherent and engaging academic environment.

Judges praised the project as an amazing adaptation of interior green wall technology on building renovation in highly visible setting as well as the highly technical implementation.

McArthur/McCollum Building Rooftop Meadow

Project
McArthur/McCollum Building Rooftop Meadow

Location
Boston, MA

Award Winner
Recover Green Roofs
Omni Ecosystems

Project Team

Bee Keeper: Noah Wilson-Rich, Best Bees Company
Client: Julia Musso, Harvard Business School
Designer & Green Roof Installer: Richie Harvey, Recover Green Roofs; Brendan Shea, Recover Green Roofs
Designer & System Manufacturer: Molly Meyer, Omni Ecosystems; Jessica Bourque, Omni Ecosystems
Waterproofing Installer: John Marcone, Gilbert & Becker Co
Waterproofing Manufacturer: Paul Muller, Sika Sarnafil

We hope this self-regenerating roof ecosystem causes people to take pause and reconsider their relationship to the built environment, particularly when they see “rooftop-foraged daikon radishes” on the Harvard dining services menu.
— Molly Meyer, Omni Ecosystems

A Self-Regenerating Roof Ecosystem Along The Charles River

Across seven sections of a multi-tiered roof on Harvard Business School’s McArthur/McCollum building stretches an 11,000 ft2 extensive meadow. The design team searched for an innovative solution that would be light enough to satisfy weight restrictions for the building while showcasing a highly visible and structurally complex roof. The McArthur/McCollum rooftop meadow is the first of its kind in the region.

With an ultra-light media blend that allows for a diverse plant palette capable of growing a huge variety of native species, the meadow is designed to be self-regenerating throughout the years. The plant design takes inspiration from the adjacent Charles River ecosystem and the meadow seed mix unifies the seven roofs while distinct clusters of perennials create distinctive patterning. Honeybee hives are monitored for local pollinator data and a creative irrigation plan secured the seeded media during establishment.

During installation, extreme care was given to the salvage and reuse of building materials, as well as an existing extensive sedum green roof system and maintain the existing heritage structure.

The project challenges people to reconsider their relationship to the built environment, changing the paradigm of what a building is capable of, especially when they see “rooftop-foraged daikon radishes” on the menu in the Harvard Dining Hall.

Judges praised this project for its scale, plant palette, and integration into the local ecology, as well as overall water quality enhancement strategy for the Charles River. They also found it to be an excellent application of green roof technology on an existing educational structure.

IAC Sunset

Project
IAC Sunset

Location
Los Angeles, CA

Award Winner
Rana Creek Design

Project Team

Build: Alexander Ramey, Rana Creek Design
Contract Grow Manager: Marta Kephart, Rana Creek Design
Design: Blake Jopling, Rana Creek Design; Matt Yurus, Rana Creek Design; Brent Jacobsen, Rios Clementi Hale; Sebastian Salvado, Rios Clementi Hale; Naseema Asif, Rios Clementi Hale

Beyond Adornment - IAC's Living Wall in the Arid Urban Environment of Los Angeles

Draping 11,000 plants over an existing six-story building, Rana Creek and Rios Clemente Hale Studios created a living wall to revitalize the IAC Headquarters in Hollywood, CA. Suspended at an angle from the building face, the living wall grows along the structure, transitioning from vertical to horizontal, forming a dramatic canopy at the building entrance.

Seeking to create a new urban ecology, the living wall provides a breath of fresh air for pedestrians on the iconic Sunset Strip, and creates habitat opportunities and other resources for regional birds and pollinators. With an understanding of how essential it was to create meaningful links to the local ecology, the planting design prioritized species native to Southern California which can be found in the hills and canyons of Los Angeles.

Vertical troughs are attached to a white brick façade at their highest point and protrude as much as 14' feet at the second floor, creating a garden awning. The grid structure allows light to stream through, while the lines of the lattice create shade down below.

Located in an area of Los Angeles that was once wetland, the building had regular flooding issues in its subterranean garage. As a result of utilizing this resource for irrigation, zero potable water is used and roughly 100,000 gallons are saved per year.

Judges praised this project for its striking visuals, and prominence in a highly visible setting. They also praised the project for having overcome a variety of technical and environmental challenges in designing this project.

Two Old Mill

Project
Two Old Mill

Location
Toronto, ON

Award Winner
Janet Rosenberg & Studio

Project Team

Green Roof Supplier: Sasha Aguilera, Next Level Stormwater Management
Landscape Architect & Green Roof Designer: Janet Rosenberg, Janet Rosenberg & Studio
Landscape Contractor: Dieter Goepfert, D. Goepfert Gardening, Inc

Two Old Mill’s beautiful roof top amenity terrace contains a balance of spaces for relaxation, outdoor entertaining and outdoor cooking, all situated within a lush and varied green roof. The green roof contains a mix of extensive and intensive green roof areas, with some areas having as much as 1200mm of soil, and others employing only a 30mm mixed sedum mat with water retention fleece. The varied planting conditions support a diverse range of grasses, perennials, shrubs and trees. In certain areas, these diverse plantings are layered to maximize the visibility of the different plantings.
— Greg Warren, Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc

Old World Luxury Coupled With Modern Day Must-Haves

Two Old Mill is a signature mixed-use condominium development with the objective of “Old world luxury coupled with modern day must-haves”. Located in the Old Mill neighbourhood of Toronto, bordering the Humber River, the building is surrounded by abundant green spaces, and bringing the feel of these surroundings to the building in a sustainable manner was the main goal of the project.

Two of Old Mill's beautiful rooftops contain a balance of spaces for relaxation, entertaining, and cooking, all situated within a lush and varied green roof. The installation contains a mix of extensive and intensive areas, with some areas having as much as 1200 mm of soil, and others only a 30 mm mixed sedum mat with water retention fleece.

Sustainability and ecological function are important aspects of the building. In addition to sedum varieties, the roof includes 13 different species of grasses, evergreen shrubs, deciduous evergreens, perennials and vines, the varied plantings and soil levels creating a more diverse habitat for local fauna. These diverse plantings are layered to maximize the visibility of the different roof areas. Although irrigated, water comes harvested from rainwater and the majority of the planting utilizes drought tolerant species to limit water use. Additionally, over 50 per cent of the species selected for the project are native to the area. The project met Toronto Green Development Standard Tier II and achieved LEED Gold Certification in 2016.

Judges praised the project for its varied landscape, lush and vibrant palette and ability to provide multiple benefits to this urban site.

Southside Soapbox

Project
The Southside Soapbox

Location
Chicago, IL

Award Winner
William McDonough + Partners

Project Team

Architect of Record: Karl Heitman, Heitman Architects Inc
Civil Engineers: William Loftus, Spaceco Inc
Contractor: Adam Miller, Summit Design + Build LLC
Design Architect: Roger Schickedantz, William McDonough + Partners
Greenhouse Manufacturer/Installer: Jeff Warschauer, Nexus
Healthy Material Assessments: Jay Bolus, MBDC
Hydroponic Equipment Provider: Patrik Borenius, Green Automation
Landscape Architect: Keith Demchinski, Norris Design
Renewal Energy Consultant: Matt Herman, Buro Happold
Rooftop Greenhouse Operator: Viraj Puri, Gotham Greens
Solar Tree Vendor: Desmond Wheatley, Envision Solar
Structural and MEP Engineer: Arun Garg, KJWW

William McDonough + Partners’ factory design for Method’s South Side Soapbox honors a positive relationship between people and the natural world. Our introduction of Method to Gotham Greens has resulted in a building like a tree or even an orchard. It produces oxygen, absorbs carbon, purifies water, produces food and transforms solar energy. It is wonderful to see businesses collaborating to help people have beautifully clean, healthy places to live, work and even grow food!
— William McDonough, William McDonough + Partners

A Symbol of A Community’s Revival

Method Home's new manufacturing facility, located in the historic Pullman neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, provides a host structure for the Gotham Greens greenhouse on its roof. The first factory to open on the south side in nearly 30 years, the building serves as a symbol of the area's revival, bringing needed jobs to the community.

The building and landscape achieved a LEED Platinum rating for the use of renewable energy, including an on-site wind turbine, management of stormwater, incorporation of sustainably sourced building materials, and contribution to a livable community.

Method and Gotham Greens came together as a result of a joint goal to envision the “factory of the future”. That vision included a large rooftop greenhouse, defining the aesthetic of the building and introducing the concept of a "clean factory." Once a design sketch was proposed, Method found a partner in Gotham Greens, who built and operate the greenhouse.

Gotham Green's 75,000 ft2 rooftop greenhouse was the largest in the world at the time of construction and overlooks a green canopy over the entryway. The urban greenhouse was incorporated with the purpose of creating buildings modeled on natural processes through industrial agriculture. Located in a food desert, Gotham Greens further supports the local community by making regular donations to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Judges praised this project’s impressive approach to roof-based agriculture and contextual design. They also spoke highly of the project’s excellent example of living architecture integrated into a larger high-performance building and site.

Altadore Eco House

Project
Altadore Eco House

Location
Calgary, AB

Award Winner
Green T Design

Project Team

Architect: Bob Thornton, Studio T Design
Designer/Builder/Maintenance: Kerry Ross, Green T Design
General Contractor: Peter de Roy, Peter Built Construction

An Ecological House for an Active Family

With a love of plants, animals and their environment, a veterinarian couple sought to develop an ecologically-designed custom house for their active family. Located in Calgary’s Altadore community, this newly built single family home includes four extensive green roofs across the house.

Designed for passive solar, the house uses space and energy effectively and efficiently. The orientation of windows provide natural light and winter warmth; while in the summer the overhangs and glazing create the shading necessary to keep comfortable interior temperatures.

The loose-laid green roofs are located adjacent to private living spaces, creating opportunities to bring nature closer to sleeping areas. Different plant communities were used for each roof; a grass roof which serves as a bedroom screen; a perennial garden on the upper courtyard; a chive meadow on the back roof; and a wildflower meadow on the bicycle shed. The roofs help mitigate stormwater runoff locally by reducing the amount of sealed surfaces, as well as providing additional opportunities urban wildlife habitats.

The geometry of the house was designed to create south-facing sloped roofs for a 3.3 MW array of solar panels and lower flat roof portions for green roofs. A protected courtyard at grade and the front-facing green roof above resulted in favourable microclimates for outdoor living spaces and produces lush growth of flowering perennials on the green roof.

Judges praised this project for its visual accessibility both inside and out, as well as the drive to create such a highly sustainable and efficient single family home.

Teck Acute Care Centre

Project
Teck Acute Care Centre

Location
Vancouver, BC

Award Winner
Connect Landscape Architecture

Project Team

Architect: Clint Diener, ZGF Architecture; Frank Capistrano, HDR | CEI
Civil Engineer: Mike Kompter, Hub Engineering
Code Consultant: Michael J. Van Blokland, LMDG
Electrical Engineer: Paul Fritz, SMP
Landscape Architect: Ken Larsson, Connect Landscape Architecture
Landscape Contractor: Jeremy Miller, Houston Landscapes
LEED Consultant: Laura Hudson, Edge Consultants
Mechanical Engineer: Sean Lawler, AEI
Owner: Lynn Wong, Provincial Health Services Authority
P3 Construction & Financing: Pat Duggan, AFFINITY Partnerships (Ledcor & Balfour Beatty)

Sun-filled, colourful, peaceful, wondrous: these are not descriptions traditionally associated with a hospital experience, but they are essential to the care of children - and therefore a major consideration in the creation of the new TACC
— Ken Larsson, Connect Landscape Architecture

Holistic Healing for Patient, Community, and Environment

The overall vision for the Teck Acute Care Centre at the BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital embraces design and innovation supporting holistic healing - not only at the patient level, but also to the larger community and natural environment. Three key principles informed the landscape design.

Healing environments through evidence-based research demonstrating that access or views to nature has proven to lessen hospital stays. Patient-oriented environments foster healing by providing introspective and active spaces, promoting wellness and offering therapeutic functions at a variety of scales. The landscape design references and celebrates natural systems. Plants, wildlife, water and natural sounds all contribute to alleviating stress for patients and family.

Regenerative landscapes and the promotion of ecological health is accomplished through extensive and intensive living roofs, an irrigation reduction strategy, and a landscape design appropriate for a healthcare setting that adapts to dynamic climate, social and economic environments. The design anticipates growth and changing uses in addition to seasonal changes.

Finally, the spirit of place, symbolically responding to British Columbian ecological types moving from the ‘Forest Floor’ concept at the lower levels to a ‘Mountain Meadow’ on the roof decks. Public art is distributed throughout the exterior environment, providing opportunities for discovery, joy, and reinforcement of natural themes.

Described as a leading-edge example of living surfaces supporting a healing environment, judges praised the project for its inventive variable gardens exhibiting a range of green roof applications and excellent example of integration of living surfaces into site composition.

Nova Scotia Community College

Project
Nova Scotia Community College Centre for the Built Environment Green Wall

Location
Halifax, NS

Award Winner
Outside! Planning & Design Studio

Project Team

Growers, Planters, & Design Consultant: Tim Amos, Kingstec Campus NSCC
Irrigation: Greg Keddy, Rousseau Irrigation
Project Coordination & Design: Sue Sirrs, Outside! Planning & Design Studio
Structural Engineering: Roy McBride, BMR Structural Engineering

A Living Building Teaching Tool for Cold All Seasons

Starting in 2008 as a two-year research initiative to see if permanent living walls could be sustained in cold climates, this 1000ft2 structure has not only survived but thrived in a Canadian Zone 5 coastal climate, and is the first permanent, exterior cold-climate living wall in Canada. 6o plant species were tested and five structural prototypes were developed before the design was settled on.

The living wall is a regular part of Ivany Campus tours and is used as a tool to teach students sustainable design techniques. Located at the college’s front doors, the wall is highly visible and engages the broader community, communicating the message that there are alternate ways to build.

Project success was based on two key design drivers, free lateral root run, ensuring plant roots are never confined; and early development of a deep root system, encouraged by watering deep within planting baskets encouraging roots to reach deep into the soil medium. Rhizomatous plants were sought afterwards to provide a contiguous vegetation cover.

Irrigation and over-wintering were key concerns and addressed by installing two irrigation systems. The primary system turned out to be more complex than needed and was adjusted to a simple pump from the roof-water collection tank. Water gravity feeds through the top of the wall to the lower levels and ongoing maintenance is been provided by a group of dedicated college staff.

Judges praised this project for its spirit of innovation and willingness to learn and adapt to traditionally inhospitable environments for the technology.

VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre

Project
VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre

Location
Vancouver, BC

Award Winner
Connect Landscape Architecture

Project Team

Acoustics: BKL Consultants Ltd
Green Roof Advisor/Supplier: Jelle Vonk, Zinco Canada
Architect: Jim Huffman, Perkins + Will Canada
Building Envelope: Sophie Mercier, Morrison Hershfield
Civil Engineer: RJ Binnie & Associates
Client: Harry Jongerdon, VanDusen Botanical Garden; John Ross, Vancouver Parks Board
Construction Manager: Rebecca McDiarmid, Ledcor Construction
Landscape Architects: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander; Ken Larsson, Connect Landscape Architecture, Inc
Landscape Contractor: Jeremy Miller, Houston Landscapes
Living Roof Consultant & Supplier: Ron Schwenger, Architek
Mechanical/Electrical: Goran Ostojic, Integral Group
Membrane Installer: Metro Roofing
Membrane Supplier: Soprema
Structural Engineer: Duane Paibroda, Fast and Epp

The Musqueam people like all Aboriginal people throughout the world lived in harmony with nature. We have respect for all life: we respect the plants that provide the medicines that heal our body; give our body nourishment through the foods that we eat; that clean the soil and water; and clean the air that we breathe.
— Jeri Sparrow, Musqueam Elder, Opening Prayer Speech

Reconnecting People to Modern Environmental Concerns

The state-of-the-art Visitor Centre re-connects people to the environmental issues of the 21st Century including water and energy conservation, re-use and recycle, beauty of our native plant ecology, and a healthier way of building and design. The overall scope was 5 acre site master plan including a 16,000-ft2 green and blue roof.

Inspired by the form of a native orchid leaf, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre forges a unique relationship between architecture, landscape, and ecology to create a landmark facility. The dynamic roof is the cornerstone of the building’s water conservation strategy with six individual undulating roof petals; two blue roofs for water collection and solar hot water tubes and four petals planted with living roofs. The restorative planting strategy is inspired by the Pacific Northwest Coastal Grassland communities featuring custom fescue grasses with native perennial bulbs and sedums. 100 per cent of site runoff is managed on site for a net zero water runoff facility.

The roof itself is shaped and divided like the orchid leaves. The green roof was carefully planned to reflect the Pacific Northwest Coastal grassland community and includes over twenty species of native plants, bulbs, and grasses. The unique undulating roof planes simulate rolls and hummocks with gentle slopes of 5% to near vertical grades. The variety of solar orientation creates multiple opportunities for grassland/bulb plant communities.

Green roof runoff is directed to an existing stream, enhanced infiltration beds, and wetlands in addition to underground cistern. Key sitelines were established from the main arrival bridge, upper terrace, restaurant, and street and throughout the gardens to reinforce the importance of the roof to the image of the project. The project is certified for LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge (LBC) 2.0. The judges praised the project’s connection to greater site systems and integration of ecology and technology.

Hedgegate House

Project
Hedgegate House

Location
Sea Ranch, CA

Award Winner
AE Design

Project Team

Architectural Photographer: Jonnu Singleton
Growing Media Supplier: Joe DiNorscia, Rooflite
Owner/Architect/Construction Manager:Janet MacKinnon, AE Design
Rainwater/Graywater Systems and Green Roof & Irrigation: Kevin Heston, AE Design
Stormwater, Graywater, and Living Roof Design: Paul Kephart, Rana Creek Design
Structural Engineer
: Ivan Lee Welte, I.L. Welte & Associates

By raising the native meadow to a living roof, Hedgegate softens the foreground and preserves the public view of the California Coastal National Monument
— Janet MacKinnon, AE Design

A Biophilic Residence Along the Pacific

Hedgegate is located on the west side of California Highway 1 on the scenic, north Sonoma coast. From the highway, the view to the Pacific Ocean and the California Coastal National Monument is protected by legislation to preserve this natural wonder for public appreciation. The protective legislation placed significant controls on the design of Hedgegate. The structure was limited to 1300 square feet and the height limited to 16 feet above above the coastal meadow. The limited conditioned space interdigitates with protected outdoor spaces and the ready access to the exterior on both the ground floor and upper (main) level encourage outdoor living.

William Browning’s work on the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design provides a vocabulary to discuss the design architects intuitive integration of “spatial configurations in Nature commingled with patterns of Nature in the Space and Natural Analogues.”

The Hedgegate design provides abundant visual connection with Nature as well as non-visual connections: the sound of surf, the bark of seals, the caw of crows and seagulls, the call of California quail and the smell of grasses and salt air. The sounds of flowing water from the rain room provide the analogue to a native stream. The unimpeded view of the Pacific Ocean and shoreline whitewater yield a prospect both stimulating and inviting. In contrast, the back corner of the rain room, its green walls and flowing water create refuge from the circulation of the household and natural elements. The view from this back corner expands to a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean providing the mystery and anticipation of more beyond the refuge. Entering and exiting Hedgegate stimulate the senses with variable airflow and temperatures. The numerous angles, skylights and open roofs provide changing conditions of light and shadow. The native plants lifted to the roofs reflect the local coastal meadow. As one climbs the stairs into Hedgegate, more of the living roof becomes visible, then the green wall appears, and finally when the top of the stairs, the view opens and one looks down, from the safety of solid footing, 15 feet into lush vegetation and flowing water of the rain room. A slight turn of the head to the left, and the first glimpse of the oceanic views draws one further into the living space with the promise of more.

Built during a severe 5 year drought, it was important to maximize use of all available water. The rainwater/stormwater from the roof, retaining wall, rain room, and driveway, is collected for irrigation of the living roof and graywater is collected for irrigation of the ground landscaping. The judges praised this project for its integration both into the site’s ecology, as well as the region’s broader cultural goals.

Bertschi Living Building Science Wing

Project
Bertschi Living Building Science Wing

Location
Seattle, WA

Award Winner
GGLO

Project Team

Architectural Design: Chris Hellstern, KMD Architects
Civil Engineering: Colleen Mitchell, 2020 Engineering
Food Systems Consultant: Brook Sullivan, Back to Nature LLC
Geotechnical Engineering: Dave Cook, GeoEngineers
Landscape Architect: Mark Sindell, GGLO
Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing: Hollis Heron, Rushing
Preconstruction/Construction Services: Stacey Smedley, Skanska
Public Relations Services: Megan Hilfer, Parsons Public Relations
Structural Engineering: Quantum Consulting Engineers
Sustainability Consultant: Chris Edlin, O’Brien and Company

Thanks to the Restorative Design Collective, the Bertschi Living Building Science Wing is a model for sustainability in construction, and has challenged our industry to push for more net-zero buildings in our region and beyond.
— Chris Toher, Skanska
The Living Building Science Wing will allow students to expand upon current components of the science and sustainability curriculum, such as rainwater harvesting and solar energy. In addition, students will learn about passive ventilation, net-zero water and net-zero energy consumption, concepts that will push their thinking and understanding decades into the future!
— Brigitte Bertschi, Bertschi School
With the integration of sustainability into our curriculum, we encourage students to become engaged as thoughtful stewards of local and global communities,” said Founder and Head of School Brigitte Bertschi. “This science building will truly bring learning to life, offering an unparalleled educational experience to not only our students but the greater community in Seattle and beyond.
— Udo Reich, Bertschi Board President
This project proves that empowering the children, whose ideas were integrated through the design, can really make a difference.
— Brigitte Bertschi, Bertschi School

A Model For The Way We Approach The Built Environment

The Green Wall was designed as an integral component of The Bertschi School Science Wing, with a primary role of meeting the Water Petal requirement of the Living Building Challenge. Located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood, the project was one of the first in the world to pursue the Living Building Challenge v2.0 criteria.

This non-profit elementary school science wing was collaboratively designed with the students and designed pro-bono by the entire design team. A 20-kilowatt PV system produces all of the electricity for the building and allows students to participate in real-time monitoring of the building’s energy use and solar power production. All the water needed for the building is collected and treated on site. This is done through a variety of methods including cisterns for storage, an interior green wall which treats grey water and a composting toilet to treat black water. The most important aspect of the project is that all sustainable features are visible and functional to students to learn ecological concepts that can become intrinsic values for future generations.

The Water Petal of the LBC requires 100% of stormwater and building water discharge to be managed onsite. Greywater from the classroom sinks flows down the drain, through an initial filtration system (Aqua2Use filtration units) and then is pumped to the green wall with distribution through an embedded (red list compliant) drip irrigation system. The plant material, selected for its hardiness, tolerance of low light, and ability to absorb water from the soil, uptakes the greywater and disperses it through evapotranspiration. The wall is a key feature of the Eco-haus, designed as a demonstration space to meet the ‘Beauty’ Petal which includes imperatives for Beauty + Spirit and Inspiration + Education. An education facility for pre-k through 5th grade, each of the sustainable systems is expressed, through design, as a visible living learning tool for the students, who measure and monitor performance of the green wall, rainwater harvesting cisterns, and other key features of the building.

Intended to be a model for the way we approach the built environment, the project is open for weekly tours by neighborhood residents, parents, and design professionals and has received thousands of visitors in the short time that it has been open. The judges praised the project’s connections to water and research, varied plant palette, as well as its integration into a larger system.

Fenway Farms

Project
Fenway Farms

Location
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.

Fenway_Farms_By_Recover_4.jpg

Rooftop Wheat Prairie

Project
Rooftop Wheat Prarie

Location
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.

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1516 West Carroll Ave Roof Farm

Project
1516 West Carroll Ave Roof Farm

Location
Chicago, IL

Award Winner
Omni Ecosystems

Project Team

Architect: Lynsey Sorrell, Perimeter Architects
Farm Marketing & Operations: Tracy Boychuk, The Roof Crop LLC
General Contractor: Kirk Bacastow, LG Construction
Green Roof Designer, Manufacturer, & Installer: Molly Meyer, Omni Ecosystems
Owners Representative: Paul Clausen, Clausen Management Services
Roofer: Andy Moglieniki, AB Edwards

The roof farm epitomizes Omni’s mission to create resilient landscapes that are beautiful and that create social and ecological solutions. Serving as a hands-on classroom, hyper-local food source, native pollinator pathway, and peaceful workplace respite, the rooftop farm elevates the possibilities of living infrastructure systems.
— Molly Meyer, Omni Ecosystems
I’ve marveled watching this rooftop grow— not only as an ecosystem, with a more impressive array of crops establishing every year— but as a space for fellowship and community.
— Tracy Boychuk, The Roof Crop
1516 West Carroll represents the best of what Perimeter Architects strive for in every project: innovation, collaboration, great design and clever solutions. The roof system is so light and flexible, engineering the roof was far less complex than with other systems on the market but the results are incomparable.
— Lynsey Sorrell, Perimeter Architects

A Pioneer In Chicago Urban Agriculture

The Commercial Rooftop Farm is a fully-functioning, commercial-scale rooftop farm located on the West Side of Chicago. The roof produces an impressive yield of 44 different crops in more than 100 varieties including green beans, potatoes, radishes, turnips and raspberries. Every week during harvest season, produce from the roof is picked, processed and packaged on-site before it’s sold to nearby restaurants and consumers, and served in locally-sourced dishes.

The site features four roofs, three of which are farmed commercially, and one 1,200-square-foot rooftop lawn used for observation and research. The food meadow is supported by an exceptionally lightweight substrate ranging in depth from 4 to 8 inches. The roof is a polyculture system, combining perennials and food crops to establish a healthy nutrient cycle and generate bountiful harvests. Perennial cover crops, many of which are edible, create a stable and established ecosystem. Seasonal seedling crops, including tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, are added to diversify the rooftop menu.

The Carroll project is laying the groundwork and providing crucial research for these future rooftop farming projects, making it a pioneer in urban agriculture in Chicago. The building below the commercial rooftop farm houses three education-focused non profits. Two of these are after-school programs which incorporate the farm into much of their programming, teaching lessons in ecology, biology and food production and using the green roof as their classroom. Urban youth with little to no knowledge of agriculture are provided invaluable exposure to a fully-functioning farm. Select students who wish to continue their education are offered summer employment with the green-roof company. The third organization is a coalition of Chicago chefs who create food and nutrition programming for local schools. Rooftop produce is occasionally used in their classroom demonstrations and lessons, and the farm collaborates with this group

Fruits, veggies and florals harvested from the farm are purchased by nearby food cooperatives, consumers and restaurants which use them in locally-sourced dishes. The farm grows more than 100 varieties of crops including peppers, raspberries, melons, cucumbers, kales, apples and more. Harvests are conducted weekly, making the roof a viable and reliable source of hyperlocal food. Judges praised the project for its integration of urban living and agriculture as well as its array and diversity of food production.

Mountain Equipment Coop Head Office

Project
Mountain Equipment Coop Head Office

Location
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.

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Bridgepoint Active Healthcare

Project
Bridgepoint Active Healthcare

Location
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

Project
Edmonton Federal Building

Location
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

Project
Alberta Eco-Roof Initiative

Location
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

Project
Williamsburg Condominium

Location
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

Project
Breathe Wall

Location
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.