Category Archives: Container Irrigation Systems

New Orleans: ASLA, Botanical Garden & Omni Riverfront Hotel

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The ASLA ’16 Expo in New Orleans was a hit! It was good to see everyone, and thank you to those who stopped by our Tournesol Siteworks booth to say hello and see our new product offerings, like the accessory pockets, and our Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood products. There were many architects and landscape architects in attendance, while the sessions allowed learning and collaborating, to take place. We’re already looking forward to next year’s expo in Los Angeles.

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Our booth at the ASLA ‘!6 Expo in New Orleans

While we were in town, we took the opportunity to visit a few projects that Tournesol Siteworks has participated in and we admired the final installations of our products. At the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park, Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects, from Baton Rouge, specified our VGM Modular Living Wall as the arrival to the garden entrance. City Park has been undergoing renovations this past year and the green wall is proudly placed at the new Arrival Garden and Event Court.

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Arrival Garden and Event Court at New Orleans Botanical Garden

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply collaborated with Rotolo Consultants Inc. who installed the beautiful living wall. The full VGM green wall is 1,000 square feet and is a vertical, lush garden presentation which introduces the park entrance to garden visitors.

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VGM Green Wall at the Botanical Garden

Our group also visited the Omni Riverfront Hotel where Forstall Interiorscapes, in New Orleans, specified planters from our Urban Collection in squares and rectangles. Forstall installed the planters after choosing our Metal Matched Paint in the color iron, from our various options of materials and finishes. The MMP Iron color mimics the look of our more expensive metal-infused pots. The MMP painted colors, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time, providing predictability for commercial applications.

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Wilshire Box Hanging Planters at VA Hospital, New Orleans

Another visit was to the VA Hospital in New Orleans where our Wilshire Box Hanging Planters were installed, and specified by landscape architects from Rotolo Consultants Inc. The 45 rectangular hanging planters are in various lengths, yet  all are 18″W x 36″H and cover the parking structure horizontally.

Our sales and marketing team had a great time in New Orleans enjoying the landscape architecture, history, architecture, music, food, culture, and atmosphere. Can’t wait to return!

 

TWIG Benches and Urban Planters in Walnut Creek, CA

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The Pacific Plaza in Walnut Creek, California, is an office property of CBRE which offers tenants unobstructed views of nearby Mount Diablo. Recently, the exterior landscape received a renovation to modernize and refresh the building, and to increase the curb appeal. Gates & Associates Landscape Architecture was the specifier and chose Tournesol Siteworks‘ products for the project.

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White TWIG Benches with Urban Collection rectangular planters

Gates chose our Urban Collection planters with matching container irrigation. Along with the planters, Gates liked our TWIG benches in lightweight GFRC concrete. The three TWIG benches are highly configurable, modular seating that presents a pleasant, casual area in the front entrance of the Pacific Plaza. The installation of the planters and benches was completed by Brightview Landscape Development.

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Round Urban Collection White Planters

Various sizes of our lightweight FRP Fiberglass Urban Collection round planters were arranged, and 15 Urban Collection rectangles measuring 36″ x 24″ x 24″. Inside the white planters, matching CWM Modular Self-Watering Systems reduce maintenance and are designed for use in any large planter, freestanding or otherwise. Reservoir modules are linked together and buried within the pot. The hand-filled reservoir utilizes Tournesol Siteworks’ vacuum-sensor system to precisely monitor the soil moisture in the container, giving plants exactly the amount of water they need.

Gates & Associates also specified our Drainage Control Products, which are used to evacuate planters where no drainage can be tolerated (such as this plaza), provide overflow for excess water, and control drainage. Our Drainage Systems are designed to integrate with our irrigation and containers, yet can also work well with pots or planters from any manufacturer. We now feature a special level of waterproofing (called TourneSeal) for critical applications like this.

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Pacific Plaza Front Entrance

Gates & Associates created a nice, comfortable atmosphere at the Pacific Plaza and we were happy to have been chosen as part of this landscape remodel.

 

Harlie and Urban Collection Jamboree in Irvine!

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Southern California is booming with business and many office parks are updating their style to remain modern, sleek and appealing. One in particular is the Jamboree Center located in Irvine, CA. Jamboree is an office property of the Irvine Company -a large, privately held real-estate investment company with operations primarily in coastal California. Tournesol Siteworks had the opportunity to participate in the revitalization of this property which provides office space with five high-rises encompassed by plazas.

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Urban Collection Planters and Trash Receptacles in Jamboree Center Plaza

Landscape Architect, Danielle Cleveland, from LPA, Inc., architectural and design firm out of Irvine, CA, specified our products. While collaborating with our sales team on the design, style and color options for the upgrade, Danielle wanted to spruce up the landscape of the plazas.She chose our Urban Collection planters and trash receptacles, and our Harlie Collection planters with matching container irrigation, The installation was completed by Cuesta Construction from Costa Mesa, CA.

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Harlie Collection Planter and UrbanTrash Receptacle

The 24 multi-sized, Urban Collection square planters and 6 trash receptacles were manufactured in our lightweight  GFRC concrete,  specified in Acid Etch texture with the custom color match “Adobe” (Davis Colors). The trash receptacles are complete with matching FRP square trash only lids with a 9″ Dia. hole. Inside the planters, matching CWM Modular Self-Watering Systems reduce maintenance and are designed for use in any large planter, freestanding or otherwise. Reservoir modules are linked together and buried within the pot. The hand-filled reservoir utilizes Tournesol Sitework’s vacuum-sensor system to precisely monitor the soil moisture in the container, giving plants exactly the amount of water they need.

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Urban Collection

LPA also specified 8 planters from our Harlie Collection, designed by LuxxBox, our Australian partners from down under. Harlie holds a cool, prismatic form with a distinct design edge. Our CWC Container Irrigation insert fits inside and is a self-watering system designed to be dropped into tapered round (in this case, but also in square) decorative pots.

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Harlie Collection

Jamboree Center has been modernized by the design inspiration of LPA, Inc. and the professional display by Cuesta Construction, as the plazas continues to revitalize. Tournesol Siteworks is honored to have products at Jamboree and to be part of this project.

Cambridge’s Custom Benches & Planters

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In the heart of Cambridge, MA (formerly Newtowne from 1630-1703), is Kendall Square – an exciting place for the expanding Technology/Biotechnology market. The neighborhood is full of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters rubbing elbows with institutions and corporations including MIT, Google, Amazon, and Twitter, among others. In the heart of Kendall Square is 50 Hampshire Street, holding the largest block of adjacent space in the square. Recently, 50 Hampshire Street underwent a fabulous lobby renovation and new exterior landscape design.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

Local firm CBT Architects collaborated with Boston landscape architect Copley Wolff Design Group to create an extraordinary design which included custom made wooden benches and planters. Copley Wolff specified Tournesol Siteworks for the construction of the planters and 20 custom Boulevard thermally-modified wood benches. The benches were fabricated in Tournesol Siteworks‘ Northern California facility and locally installed by landscape contractors  Brightview (formerly Valleycrest) of Boston.

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The custom dimensions of the Boulevard wood are 72″L x 24″W x 18″H with the wood running the length of both bench sides and tops. Our Boulevard Wood goes through a process which 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 (which is great for Cambridge’s varying weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

Along with the custom benches, we created 11 custom FRP Fiberglass Wilshire Collection planters in rectangular dimensions of 72″L x 24″W x 36″H, and 2 tall square Wilshire collection planters sized 24″Sq. x 48″H. Copley Wolff required that the planters be anchored to the ground, so they specified the reinforced bottom option and pre-drilled drain holes. A planter with a reinforced bottom contains a strong piece of plywood between layers of the fiberglass on the base, which provides a solid panel to anchor to the ground and spreads the load should the planter move.

All of the planters are outfitted with our CWM Modular Container Irrigation to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

We’re thrilled to take part in this project, just down the street from the 200 Sidney project. The Boulevard wood is coming to Boston!

 

 

Urban on Oak in Walnut?

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Small or large businesses can always use an update to their landscape design. Just 16 miles east of Oakland, CA, lies a cool town named Walnut Creek in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a quaint feeling yet is a modern city with lots of shopping, fine restaurants and family-oriented neighborhoods.

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At 2999 Oak Road, near the Contra Costa Transit Center in Walnut Creek, a new look has emerged. Cleary Brothers Landscape Company, Inc. contacted our partner distributors Imperial Sprinkler Supply, out of Livermore, CA.  Cleary installed Tournesol Siteworks’ Fiberglass FRP Urban Collection planters in the front plaza of the main entrance to the building.

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The sleek, modern and elegantly proportioned lightweight FRP Urban Collection pots and planters add a touch of style to this large plaza. Cleary requested our Urban Collection in square (48″Sq x 42″H), tall (24″Sq x 48″H) and rectangular (48″L x 24″W x 24″H) shapes. Inside the planters, they also installed our CWM Modular Container Irrigation Systems to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

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For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of  T-0 with a Metal Matched Paint (MMP) Iron color. Tournesol’s MMP Iron color mimics the look of the more expensive metal-infused iron finish and, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time – it will continue to provide predictability and stability.

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Under each Urban Collection planter, they placed our matching (depending on the size of the base ) Fiberglass Skirted Saucers in the MMP Iron color and smooth T-0 texture. We are happy this project requested our products and hope the public as well as the building occupants continue to enjoy the new planters.

 

 

Expanding Central Park…

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IMG_6216Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso, IN, that is.

Central Park Plaza is the centerpiece of the revitalization of downtown Valparaiso. It was developed in 2011, with a significant expansion in July 2015.  We were pleased to be able to provide the pots, planters, and trellis for the recent expansion, designed by Shive Hattery of West Des Moines, IA.

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We provided the project with lightweight GFRC Wilshire Collection rounds (36″dia. and 60″ dia.), and Wilshire Screen GFRC rectangles (72″L x 18″W x 36″H). All the planters had to be movable so that the City could relocate them a throughout during the Summer for events held at the park.

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The Wilshire Screen planters needed to provide 12-feet of vertical screening to hide the utilities behind them. The decorative metal screening (see image below) was attached to two 4×6 Tournesol Siteworks VertiGreen trellis panels mounted in landscape orientation on specially engineered brackets. The brackets had to be designed to withstand significant wind loading. The Wilshire Screen planters also used Tournesol’s CWM Modular container irrigation system to make maintenance easy.
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From our latest Email Blast – Renovations & Renewals

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This rooftop renovation just took a walk on the on the wild side! Pennsylvania Building Associates, owners of the property at 1275 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C., needed to hide some mechanical units on their roof. Architect Hickok Cole suggested a green wall to create a decorative “screen.” Gregory Long ofCapitol Greenroofs (who took all the pictures here) worked and James Davis Construction to create this 42′ x 8′ free standing vegetated wall. The image below was taken midway through the summer, approx. 6 months after the initial installation.

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The wall, shown below several months after install, is comprised of 92 vegetatedVGM3-10 modules planted with a mixture of drought tolerant perennials including Heuchera americana, Coreopsis verticillata, Allium, Carex, Pholx and Sedum. Each module has 8″ of growing media, which will provide good insulation for both the cold winters and hot summers of Washington. Capitol Greenroofs opted to use Tournesol’s VGM Media Block on the front half of the module (the front 4″), which they commented allow for a better grow-in.

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The VGM modules were hung on the frame using  stainless steel mounting rails, and the the entire custom 4″ and 6″ tube steel support structure was mounted to the concrete roof deck. Capitol Greenroofs installed a fertigation system with a Dosatron injector and a 55 gal. barrel that holds water soluble fertilizer. The fertilizer, by Plantex Solutions, is 17-5-17 and contains several different micronutrients. The system is run off a Hunter controller, and each row of the living wall has a remote zone controller. While this is relatively complex, it points out the need to have an experienced professional collaborating in the design, and performing the installation and maintenance.

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Capitol Greenroofs also incorporated our FRP Wilshire pots along with CWM modular container irrigation system (seen to the left and to the right of the living wall) to create an instant oasis on the rooftop. Tournesol is proud of our ability to provide a “one-stop-shop” for both designers and contractors greening a rooftop.

 

Chicago Road Trip!

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Things are happening in the Windy City! This summer I had the chance to spend several days traveling with our regional sales representative Brian Mitalo, visiting customers, specifiers and distribution partners. I was greeted by spectacular summer weather, an interesting, dynamic business environment, and one of the greenest cities that you’ll have the chance to visit. The landscaping throughout the Downtown area is really spectacular – you can tell that the city has made landscape maintenance a priority. The plantings along Michigan Avenue, the Millenium Park, flower baskets and hanging planters adorning every outdoor cafe – these people are serious about making the city green.

One of the companies we met with has been responsible for a number of green roof installations throughout the Midwest, including several huge projects out near O’Hare airport. Kurt Horvath and colleagues at Intrinsic Landscaping have installed several projects using Tournesol material, including a TerraScreen interior living wall at Pirch Interiors in Chicago and several large lightweight planter projects. They mentioned that things have got so busy quoting projects this spring that they have had trouble keeping up. Nice to hear our customers are keeping busy!!

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As I was driving to another appointment, I happened upon a project that had just been installed with our VertiGreen 3D Modular trellis system at a Mariano’s grocery store. The installation had only been installed the week before – but it looks terrific!

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It might not look like much yet, but within a few years, the vines should cover the trellis nicely. To get a perspective on the change, a few pictures below of another Chicago project – the Rivers Casino project. The first picture was taken several months after installation three years ago. The second was taken this summer.

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Brian and I spent a good deal of time talking about our new Boulevard structural wood tiles and decking as we were meeting customers. The architects at Wolff Landscape Architecture (located right near the river) were excited about the concept, but stressed that it would need to be Class A fire rated (it is!).  Up to that point, they’ve only ever been able to specify ipe because of this requirements. They do a lot of roofdecks in wood, so they’re looking forward to using it.

We also spent some time with one of our local distributors, Mark from Lake Street Supply. They are the closest shop to downtown, and have great relationships with all the contractors working down there. Mark has built a fantastic business by being willing to try new things and find new products for his customers. We appreciate that in him – he thinks that Boulevard could be an exciting new product for them.

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We took some time for fun, too. This view from the John Hancock building  shows just a few of Chicago’s many green roofs. In total, there are over 350 vegetated roofs in Chicago providing more than 5 million sq. feet of green roof coverage.

On our way out of town we caught up on another installation from last summer. The city installed hundreds of large concrete planters around the entrances on the departures level. They are both decorative, as well as serving as a force barrier.  To keep maintenance to a minimum, each one is outfitted with our CWM container irrigation system. The plants look terrific – as do plants all over the city.

ohare web 1ohare web 2It was great to be in the field and see what’s going on with our partners and customers. I could see from their activity levels that the construction market in the midwest is really gaining steam. We’ll continue to work to be part of it!!

 

The Town of Dedham – Plant, Preserve, Promote

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Dedham, originally called Contentment, was founded in 1635, when the General Court granted land south of the Charles River to twelve men. The fertile grassy meadows of the Charles River provided an ideal spot for the new settlement of Contentment, now Dedham.”  Today it continues to grow thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers known as The Friends of Dedham Civic Pride.

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This non-profit group is “dedicated to improving the overall physical and aesthetic appearance of Dedham.” This years’ projects include sidewalk and traffic landscaping, sidewalk curb appearance and durability, addition of new bicycle racks and a tree planting and parks improvement program.

John Haven, a town resident and a landscape architect with Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture, stepped up to help Dedham Civic Pride with these major improvements. In a volunteer role with the organization, they worked closely with local boards, agencies and civic organization to develop, plan and implement the landscaping projects.

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Thank you, John, for including Tournesol Siteworks in the plan! Throughout town a variety of our Downtown collection pots were used including 24″ and 36″ Rounds and 36″ Bowls. Shark color was specified in a P1 texture. This lightly sanded finish helps the planters stand up to pedestrian traffic. It is less likely to show scuff and dirt marks which keeps down maintenance labor and cost. Each of the planters also includes a CWM Modular container irrigation system that has helped keep the new plants healthy and thriving in the recent Boston heatwave. Our irrigation systems are available for any pot size, and, again, help keep down maintenance and water costs by providing more efficient watering.

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The City of Dedham is just finishing up a 3 year, 6 million dollar streets cape renovation, and the last thing missing were planters and site furnishings. Our planters proved to be just the right scale for the project. Thanks to LeBlanc Landscape Archtiecture for recommending us partly based on their firm’s past experience with Tournesol Siteworks on other commercial projects.

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Congratulations to Dedham Civic Pride on completion of a great project and special thanks goes out to those involved in the “planter project:”

Dedham Square Circle– Amy Haelsen
Dedham Civic Pride– Sue Hicks and Amy Black
Town of Dedham– Jason Mammone and Joe Flanagan

A lightning-fast upgrade: First Street, Downtown Phoenix

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The City of Phoenix recently spent over a half-million dollars on street improvements, decorative sidewalks, new trees and pedestrian-friendly upgrades along First Street in downtown. The goal was to make the area more pedestrian friendly and inviting to convention attendees and tourists.firststreet3*304

The First Street road and sidewalk improvements run from Washington to Moreland Street and include 86 of our SeaCrest Series planters with built-in container irrigation. A similar quantity of pots was required for a different streetscape area as well. The SeaCrest Series is made differently than most other collections we feature here – they are rotationally molded of linear low-density polyethylene plastic (instead of FRP fiberglass or GFRC concrete). This allows us to make the SeaCrest as a double-wall unit, and integrate the self-watering system.

IMG_2674The city contractor who contacted us wasn’t specifically looking for the SeaCrest Series pots.  Instead, they approached us with a very tight deadline to get pots into place. Because a project of this size is made to order, and the FRP and GFRC process is relatively slow (one pot per mold per day), we needed a solution that could be turned around faster. When rotationally molding, we can make up to 5-6 pieces per day. The throughput of the process allowed us to get the project done on time.

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We also had to custom blend the material to match our painted apple color. There are two different ways to match colors in plastic – use an integrally colored base material, or “dry blend” pigment in with naturally translucent base material. The nature of the exposure, abuse, longevity and color consistency demanded we use the more time- and cost-intensive integrally colored material. We received the order on the 10th of the September, and were able to ship the entire project within 30 days – thanks to our hardworking manufacturing team.

The transformation must have helped – First Street has been transformed  into a pedestrian promenade that celebrates food and art in the desert during their Feast on the Street.

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The day that we were taking the pictures happened to coincide with watering day. Given that the city had paid for the benefit of our unparalled container irrigation system, we were curious to see if they were using it. Answer: No.  The young man (below) uses the browse head to water the plants, ignoring the tamper resistant stopper and the reservoir. It is one of the more frustrating parts of our business – you can lead a horse to water, but you just can’t make them drink.  This probably could be laid at our door – maybe we didn’t do enough to train them on the use of the system. Nevertheless, the watering system is tailor-made for a place like Phoenix, and it seems a waste that it isn’t being used.

At least the product design delivers value. The double-wall provides insulation for the plants from the hot desert air, and the durable plastic will hold up to anything that the street throws at it. We were glad to help the city when they needed the material, and pleased it looks so good!

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