Category Archives: Products

Cordell Hull Parking Garage, Nashville, TN

We’ve been involved with the recent renovation of the Cordell Hull state office building in downtown Nashville, TN. The building, originally built in 1954, was completely renovated and a brand new parking structure added over the last two years. The building, named for Franklin D Roosevelt’s Tennessee-born Secretary of State, is attached to the Tennessee state capitol by a tunnel, and houses the offices of all state legislators.

We’ve provided planters for this project in two phases. The first, provided by our partners at Ewing Irrigation and installed by Southern Creations, was delivered in April of 2017. We delivered 8 of our largest fiberglass Urban Collection planters, the UR-7200 (6′ square). They were in our Tier 2 color MMP Aluminum, and were ordered with our CWM container irrigation system.

The second, decidedly more exciting part of the project was just delivered at the end of March. The greenroof on the top of the parking garage was installed by our friends at Greenrise Technology, who also sent us these pictures. We received an email about 3 weeks prior to the scheduled shipping date informing us that we were working against an absolute turnover deadline (liquidated damages, for those in the business). Our El Paso facility, where the product was produced, worked it out so that we would be able to make sure we got the product there several days ahead of schedule. We came down to the wire, but we made it.

We delivered the ten lightweight fiberglass UR-7200 units (again in MMP Aluminum color), three days before the deadline. According to Ray Derbecker, president of Greenrise:

It all worked out perfectly.
We finished on time and blew the minds of the crowd of Tennessee State Senators who were serious doubters along the way.
Your planters are beautiful.
Thanks for everything.

 

We have several more exciting projects coming up with Greenrise that we’ll look forward to showing you once they go in. They do some amazing rooftop work in projects around the country!

Pre-cast Bioretention Planters Filter Stormwater

We’ve got some great images of a bioretention planter project that was installed in Mountain View, CA. We’ve been working with designers for some time on these kinds of projects, so it’s about time we can share some images!

Scuppers drain to surface plantings

The project, 1101 W. El Camino is a  newly constructed 52-unit condominium community located in the heart of downtown Mountain View, CA, which happens to be the home base of Google. The project is designed by Jett Landscape Architecture + Design, and installed by Regis Contractors.

California (and much of the West Coast) has introduced stormwater quality requirements on large new construction projects, commonly referred to as C.3 Stormwater guidance. This requires that all water coming off constructed environments be filtered through bioswales and bioretention areas to improve water quality. You’ve probably seen these kinds of filtering areas within parking lots and around buildings. You can learn more about the requirements at this website.

Note walldrains entering planters above

One common strategy used by architects and landscape architects is to introduce bioretention planters onto the structure of the building, which otherwise would have taken up footprint at ground level. These planters have traditionally been very large, cast-in-place concrete areas susceptible to waterproofing and drainage failure. They need to be large to filter the substantial amount of stormwater draining off the roof and exposed areas. Tournesol Siteworks has been working with designers for several years on developing pre-cast bioretention planters that serve the same function.

Walldrains at either end flow through all four planters

Typically a bioretention planter is at least 42″ deep, which allows for 12″ of gravel, 24″ of filtering soil media, and 6″ of freeboard area to accommodate the drainage from the drain lead. You can get an idea of how this works in the images above and below.  Drainage from the pre-cast planter may be channeled out by a plumbed drain line (as seen above), or may be drained from a scupper to a on-ground planting area.

Stormwater drains into planter

Pre-cast biorention planters are typically made of lightweight GFRC concrete. The live loads on the sidewalls of these very large planters typically demand the rigidity and strength of concrete (although we’re investigating the use of FRP fiberglass right now). The units may be used individually, or ganged together to filter a larger area.

Tournesol Siteworks has been developing, with input from our design customers, strategies for connecting planters, both together and to typical drainage plumbing. The product compares very favorably, both in terms of footprint and ease of installation, with both cast-in-place concrete and build-in-place CMU construction.  Because these are becoming ever more common, we’re putting our project teams to work on these projects on a regular basis.

Bioretention planters ganged together at the top and the bottom

The planters shown here all use custom decorative brass hardware. Tournesol Siteworks has developed standard non-decorative solutions for both connecting planters as well as drainage.

Detail of custom brass scuppers (by others)

1101 W. El Camino is an excellent example of this type of use of on-structure bioretention – we’ll look forward to providing you with more applications using this same solution soon!

Goodyear Ballpark – Spring Training!

The scheduler at our Union City facility, Angel Rodriguez, just got back from a little R&R in Arizona over spring break. While there, he went to a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark, in Goodyear, AZ. The ballpark is the spring training home of the Reds and the Indians – of course he was going to watch the Giants, who played the Indians that day. He’s a big 49ers and Giants fan!

Like just about everyone that works here, he pays special attention to the site furnishings wherever he goes. He thought he recognized the benches and trash receptacles. Sure enough, they are the Pacifica Collection benches, paired with the Esplanade Collection round receptacles.

We asked around at our facility in Port Orchard, WA, where the benches were produced, and they looked up the project. They were originally produced in 2008 and were installed prior to the 2009 season – so almost 10 years old! Two images below show the benches, receptacles, and our B-5 Collection bollards that were used on the project as well, photographed shortly after installation.  Angel reports that they are a) comfortable, and b) still looking great after ten years!!
When you work at Tournesol, you pay attention to these things – there is nothing more important to us than making sure that the product is performing successfully for the owner!! Thanks, Angel, for the photos.

Thermally-Modified Wood Planters – Before & After

This week, we’re looking back or giving a “second look” at a project Tournesol Siteworks took part in over a year ago. We’d like to show the weathering and patina of our Boulevard Thermally-Modified Wood planters over time, and to share how we’ve expanded one product line by offering the Boulevard Wood Mixed Media Planter options.

In Concord, CA, the Willows Shopping Center received a remodel two years ago. Many architects, contractors, and landscape architects were called to help beautify specific sections of this shopping center and modernize the area for the community. One project involved upgrading the exterior of Fuddruckers restaurant. Johnson Lyman Architects, out of Walnut Creek, specified Tournesol Siteworks’ Boulevard Thermally-Modified Wood Planters for the front entrance of the restaurant (shown above).

Photo taken 11/2016

Our Boulevard wood planters were installed by Lenzi Incorporated, out of Stockton, and arranged as a decorative barrier along the length of the dining area (shown in the installation photo above). Each planter is 48″L x 18″W x 36″H and was beautifully planted with various succulents. The wood planters are produced from Boulevard thermally-modified wood which goes through the thermal-modification process.  This 100% natural process changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood, and creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay.

Photo taken 11/2017

Technically, Boulevard Wood shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods but is ecologically-friendly. The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption and makes Boulevard wood more resistant to warp, twist and other movement. Over time, weathering will reveal the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color.  Above is a photo of the same planters taken one year later, showing the weathering and beautiful patina of the Boulevard wood.

Boulevard Thermally-Modified Wood Planter with Stainless Steel plank – Mixed Media option

Since this installation, Tournesol Siteworks expanded on the Boulevard Wood planters products; now offering options of swapping out one or more wood planks with planks of different materials, providing designers with more options to beautify spaces. The image just below shows a Boulevard Wood planter with the Mixed Media Panel option.

Boulevard Thermally-Modified Wood Planter with Weathering Steel Panel- Mixed Media Option

We can create wood planters with choices of either Stainless Steel Brushed No. 4, Weathering Steel (shown above), Powder-Coated Steel or lightweight GFRC concrete planks. We’re here to help make your next project a success – Successful sites start here!

Creative Alternative to CMU Planter Walls

While travelling the great Northwest, I stopped at a Courtyard by Marriott in Portland, OR. There on a terrace overlooking the Columbia river, much to my surprise, was an older installation of  Stonewear lightweight concrete product. Along with a turnkey fountain and a large number of pots were some of the original Stonewear planter walls. The planters that they created were so large that they held four full-sized trees!  While I’d seen images of this type of install, we haven’t done one since taking over the company in 2015.

The walls are manufactured in lightweight GFRC concrete, in our standard Barcelona fountain style. They are adapted from our monumental fountain construction, and are available in straight, corners and radiused pieces. Typically these walls are set on a concrete slab base poured specifically for this purpose, including drainage and irrigation sleeving.

The walls consist of three parts – a decorative outer wall, a structural inner wall, and a seat cap. The outer and inner walls are set in place, screwed together, then the seat cap adhered to the top. This installation was at least 15-20 years old (as you can see by the size of the trees), so it makes a durable and attractive alternative to building a CMU wall on site.

If you are interested in finding out more about alternatives to CMU built-in-place planters, speak with your Tournesol Siteworks salesperson.

Hotel Del Coronado Beautified by VGM Living Wall

The Hotel Del Coronado is an historic hotel that stands beautifully and majestically on the coast in Coronado, CA. Recently, green wall products from Tournesol Siteworks were chosen to help beautify the hotel entrance. From the hotel’s website,

Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Hotel del Coronado is an American treasure with more than a century of stories to tell. The Del’s visionary founders, Elisha Babcock and H.L. Story, dreamed of building a seaside resort that would be “the talk of the Western world.” Since then, the resort has become a living legend, visited by celebrities, dignitaries and U.S. presidents.

Photo by Coronado Island Visitor Guide

Hotel Del Coronado contracted with landscapers from BrightView Landscape Development out of San Diego. For the project, the hotel wanted to create a living wall that would essentially beautify the view seen from the porte cochere. Prior to the project, if you turned around while standing at the front entrance, the view was not as attractive as the hotel desired (viewing the parking lot and vehicles).

Brightview reached out to collaborate with our partner Good Earth Plant Company, also from San Diego. Jim Mumford, from Good Earth, chose Tournesol Siteworks’ VGM Modular Living Wall System. He has worked with our VGM system quite often and states, “it’s my favorite for situations like this.” Jim says he doesn’t “have to worry that the VGM living wall will blow over.” The green wall is free-standing, and “people walk by the location of the green wall which is exposed to the elements, but the mounting brackets are sturdy” and able to withstand high traffic areas.

For the green wall, Good Earth utilized 140 VGM3 planting modules. Each module is made from 100% recycled plastic, attached to stainless steel rails with mounting brackets. They also utilized over 250 VGM Media Block for the soil and landscape fabric on the back side of the wall to keep it moist and to shade it from the beating sun  during hot, sunny days. The modules were grown in at Good Earth’s facility prior to installation to provide instant, complete coverage for the living wall. With the VGM System, root growth isn’t limited by restricting cells or baffles so plants grow healthier and stronger.

However, there were a few hurdles Good Earth had to overcome prior to installation. Since the hotel is a historic landmark and iconic property, the Coronado City Design Counsel got involved to ensure the choice of plants and look of the green wall wouldn’t be too contemporary for the iconic property. The counsel carefully chose the exact plant varieties, sizes, styles and colors. This delayed the installation process and extended the usual three-month period for seven months. Prior to installation, the plants inevitably had to be trimmed but were installed in only one day!

Another hiccup was the large fire hydrant toward the middle of the wall. It had to remain, but the design of the living wall had to be designed around the fire hydrant. It wasn’t the look they were expecting but the size of the VGM modules mandated the space needed to encompass the hydrant.

Good Earth continues maintenance of this living wall, which is the key to keeping the green wall growing and lush. We’re thrilled that our VGM Green wall was chosen to help beautify this amazing, historical hotel – this green wall looks fantastic!

 

Superb Solutions for a Stunning Sacramento Rooftop

Recently, Tournesol Siteworks had the opportunity to be part of an outstanding rooftop project at The Sawyer in downtown Sacramento, CA. This multi-use building comprises offices, stores, luxury urban apartments, and the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel.  The rooftop on the 3rd floor has a stunning view overlooking Golden 1 Center, where the Sacramento Kings play.

When landscape architects from Rios Clementi Hale Studios approached the design, they wanted to transform the rooftop into a comfortable lounge area with a pool for residents and tenants to enjoy. First choice was cast-in-place concrete walls filled with greenery, shrubs, and flowers, as well as concrete planters with trees in the center. Rios Clementi’s design goal was to attach two different cantilevered benches (one shown in the image above), and two different cantilevered bar counters, to the concrete wave walls, as well as make lounge seats atop the planters.

Rios Clementi specified our products, yet Swinerton Builders Self-Promotion Division installed the project. In turn, Swinerton reached out to engineers from Tournesol Siteworks to bring this custom design to life. Our engineers needed dimensions of the concrete walls so they collaborated with a site scanning firm that used a laser to scan the area. The laser captured the exact dimensions of the lounge planters (shown in the image above) and the curved walls. From there, Tournesol engineered a structural system that would achieve the aesthetics the designer desired, be structurally sound and easy to install.

The wood benches, bar counters (shown in the image above) and lounge planters were manufactured from Boulevard Thermally-Modified Wood, as well as over 1,000 Structural Wood Tiles surrounding the planters and pool area (shown in the image below). The wood goes through a process that changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly. The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. The hardware and structural mounting units for the benches and bar counters were made of heavy-duty stainless steel.

Beneath the wood tiles, Swinerton installed our VersiJack Adjustable Support Pedestals to allow for rapid drainage, easy accessibility to the waterproofing membrane and concealed services below. Along the outer edge of the rooftop, Rios Clementi specified our Wilshire rectangular planters manufactured in FRP Fiberglass  of multiple sizes. Inside the planters, Swinerton installed our Drainage System to pump water out of the planters when necessary, rather than providing planter drain holes . The planters surround the outer perimeter of the deck, as well as act as dividers configuring separate spaces using living plants (shown in the image below).

This stunning roofdeck is a great example of collaboration, team work, design and function. This project was completed in a very short amount of time which made the designers, specifiers, owners and tenants very happy. We were thrilled to be involved in such an outstanding installation and to provide the solutions with our product offerings.

Downtown Boulder Lively with Downtown Planters

Downtown Boulder, CO, is a beautiful area surrounded by mountains and encompassed by trees. A few years ago, CBS Sunday Morning named Boulder “The happiest place in the United States.” The city has recently been undergoing some changes to modernize the curb appeal, and to freshen up the look and feel of the city for residents and tourists alike. At One Boulder Plaza, Tournesol Siteworks was specified by landscape architects from Studio Terra, out of Boulder, who collaborated with our distributor partner Streetscapes, from Denver.

One Boulder Plaza is a large plaza which spans the entrances to shops and dining, and includes a large space for entertainment and social gatherings. Studio Terra and Streetscapes chose our Downtown Collection planters to separate areas of the plaza, and to decorate various doorways and building walls.

Our Downtown Collection planters offer a wide opening and a tapered bottom, distinctive curve and soft corners with a classic appeal for the plaza; 60 planters were manufactured in lightweight GFRC concrete which is sturdy, but without the weight.

When picking the texture, Studio Terra considered the high traffic areas where the planters would be placed, and the wear and tear they would sustain. Our Tier 2, Acid Etch texture is a durable finish that can easily be refinished and repaired onsite. This detail was very important to the maintenance crew in order to keep the planters looking fresh.

The Downtown round planter sizes varied overall: 20 planters are 36″Dia. x 24″H, 24 are 42″Dia. x 36″H, 5 are 48″Dia. x 24″H, and 11 are 60″Dia. x 24″H. Studio Terra and Streetscapes chose three colors, Shadow, Shark and Sandbox, that are dispersed between the sizes and added a stunning presentation to the plaza.

 

Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood Deck at Jefferson Platinum Triangle

Beauty is not only on the surface, but also what’s beneath. We find this is true at the Jefferson Platinum Triangle apartments, in the center of the Platinum Triangle in Anaheim, CA. The Platinum Triangle area is becoming the most sought after urban center in Orange County; close to restaurants, transportation, jobs, and entertainment (as well as Disneyland).

Jefferson Platinum Triangle is now an upscale, high-end urban living area. In the planning phase, the owner wanted to strive toward a more sustainable outdoor area, where the residents could meet up for social community time. Landscape Architects with Gillespie Moody Patterson (GMP) from San Diego specified Tournesol Siteworks’ products and designed an amazing amenity deck. GMP specified 250 of our Boulevard Structural Wood Tiles along with our Sliding Wood Tile Fasteners to connect the tiles in place.

Our wood tiles, installed by Woodcrest Grading, are 24″ x 24″ and are produced from Boulevard Thermally-Modified Wood.  The wood goes through a process that changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly. The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. Over time, weathering will reveal the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color.

Along with our wood tiles, they selected our VersiJack Adjustable Support Pedestals; VersiJack are twist-to-adjust height pedestals, needed to accommodate this project for heights from 1-1/2″ up to 11″. The pedestals create a broad, stable base that can support more weight than any other pedestal system. Due to unevenness and slope of the deck base, they required our Platform Slope Correctors which can correct from 0% to 5% slope at 1% increments. Because this type of corrector sits on top of the pedestal, it is faster and easier to adjust to the correct slope, as well as being less expensive than a bottom slope corrector.

The apartment tenants thoroughly enjoy the amenity deck at Jefferson Platinum Triangle, complete with comfortable outdoor lounges, BBQ grill kitchens and sunning areas.  The project came out beautifully and makes us wish we could enjoy it now.

Past Blast: Tacoma’s Dome District Benches & Bollards

Since our acquisition of FairWeather Site Furnishings, (facility located in WA,  which is now our base for metal and wood fabrication) we’ve enjoyed sharing the stories of projects and installations. A few years ago, the City of Tacoma, WA, wanted to improve the amenities in the various city districts, including the Dome District. The Dome District in Tacoma emerged in the 1880’s but was originally known as the East School neighborhood due to a large elementary school. Railroad access eventually transformed the district bringing transportation, cars, gas stations, shops and restaurants. Renamed a few times, “Dome District” stuck when the Tacoma Dome was eventually built.

The dome brought life to the district and many older buildings were revitalized, namely Freighthouse Square. For the Dome District revitalization project, the City of Tacoma wanted benches and receptacles installed along sidewalks and building fronts throughout the district, including in front of Freighthouse Square. 

FairWeather was specified by the City of Tacoma desiring the Tradition Collection benches; Victorian-style benches with refined, full contour seat sections made with Ipe wood (optional) and enhanced by the circular details of the ductile cast iron end frames (shown above). Ipe is a hardwood that works well for exterior use and was useful for this project, since the weather in the Pacific Northwest tends to be fairly wet year-round. The city also wanted three Plaza Collection Steel Strap Receptacles, which are manufactured with open tops, and rings at the top and bottom of the receptacles. Tacoma chose domed tops to finish off the look of the Plaza receptacles which included 35 gallon black Polyethylene Liners.

Later, the City of Tacoma specified our B-5 Bollards which were installed by Gary Merlino Construction Company. Our steel B-5 Bollard Collection features decorative steel bollards with an asymmetrical top and collars for a sharp, distinctive look (shown in the image above).

Of the three mounting configurations available (removable, permanent embed or surface mount) Merlino Contstruction installed the steel B-5 Bollards with a concrete fill cap and heavy schedule 80 steel pipe as permanent embed. The bollards are used for security purposes and force protection on various streets and in front of the dome (shown above).