Awards of Excellence 2018

Weiser Hall

Weiser Hall

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

McArthur/McCollum Building Rooftop Meadow

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

IAC Sunset

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

Two Old Mill

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

The Southside Soapbox

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

Altadore Eco House

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

Teck Acute Care Centre

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

Nova Scotia Community College Centre for the Built Environment Green Wall

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.