Extensive Insitutional

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.

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.


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.

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

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.