Category Archives: High-End Residential

VersiJack Pavers Make a Residence Shine

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Our pedestals are usually specified for commercial installations, yet sometimes we also have the perfect solutions for residential projects. In Bellingham, Washington, we were specified by Molly Maguire Landscape Architecture for a private residence. The owners wanted to build a deck for a few reasons 1) they wanted to have a deck to enjoy for parties, daily living and also relaxing, and 2) to raise the deck and conceal the unsightly concrete with a more polished look.

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VersiJack Pedestals shown during installation beneath the pavers. Photo courtesy of John Sweeney, Northwest Rain Solutions

Molly Maquire worked with Northwest Rain Solutions on the installation. Contractors from Northwest Rain Solutions used our VersiJack Adjustable Deck Pedestals, which are twist-to-adjust height pedestals, needed to accommodate this project for heights from 4-7/8″ to 7-7/8″. 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 contractors also installed our Paver Spacer Tabs to provide the same exact distance between each of the pavers that were laid atop the VersiJack pedestals. To stabilize the pavers on the concrete, Neoprene shims were placed under the pedestals for fine tuned leveling and cushioning.  Alongside the pavers on the deck, Molly Maquire also designed a green roof with low succulents to accent the level of the deck, which can almost be viewed as a deck lawn.

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Completed deck with VersiJack Support Pedestals beneath. Photo courtesy of John Sweeney, Northwest Rain Solutions

The project was challenged by the wet, rainy weather of the northwest but the installation was fairly straightforward and looks wonderful!

Green Walls and Living Walls at Cane Island, Katy, TX

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Cane Island in Katy, Texas, is a new residential complex with 1,100 acres of master-planned community living featuring indoor and outdoor landscape design. AndersonBaron, a full-service planning and landscape architecture firm, designed the landscape environment with modular units for green walls and living walls bringing a new concept of green architecture.

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AndersonBaron specified our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system to climb the large, 15 foot bollards that line the main access road of the entrance to Cane Island. Our partner distributors at Ewing Irrigation and Supply collaborated with Shooter & Lindsey, a commercial landscaping contractor which installed the VertiGreen trellises. Our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system consists of a recycled plastic plant growing module (VGM), set into a double-panel trellis system.

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The plants are grown in the module (either on its own or pre-installed in the trellis), and hung on the wall once the plants are rooted. No separate planter or container is required, so it can be easily used in areas distant from the ground or another planter. The trellis system mounts to the wall with a simple bracket, like the original VertiGreen trellis. Either the plant growing module or the entire panel can be quickly removed for maintenance. In a blog by David Olson, public relations specialist for Ewing, David says they supplied the irrigation products for the bollards and other features. He writes,

“Construction of the bollards began in February 2015, and the first planting was over the summer. Shooter & Lindsey took delivery of the planters and grew the flowers at their offices while the bollards were under construction.”

Also in his blog, David quotes Luis Andrade, Ewing account manager, who stated about the project,

‘It’s a different concept…not just green design, but also modular so it can be changed every year.’

Shooter & Lindsey is growing plants for the bollards that can be switched each season so the plants will always have color and be constantly in bloom regardless of the season.

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Another extremely large and beautiful green wall was installed inside the Cane Island Recreation Center. AndersonBaron chose our VGP Tray-Based Living Wall System design for the two-sided interior green wall. The VGP system offers versatility, easy installation, and a lush, rich-looking living wall. The total dimensions of the living wall measure a whopping 18 feet high by 16 feet wide, standing three feet above the ground to total 21 feet in height! The green wall consists of over 1,100 VGP-01 trays, made of recycled polypropylene. For the plant sizes 148 of the VGP-1636 Mounting Panels were required to hang the VGP trays at standard 6″ intervals. The generously-sized pots will allow for long term growing, and easy replacement or change-out as desired. The trays drain overflow from a reservoir (sub-irrigation) allowing the plant water to drain to a specific point. This two-sided wall features about 7,500 Dianthus plants, which flower heavily and will cover the wall beautifully.

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Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGP Living Wall System  – click here to watch the video. The Cane Island living wall is a sight to see and we can’t wait to revisit in a year or two and take a look at how well it has fully grown.

Roof Deck Planters with Cast-in Accessory Pockets

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Many commercial, retail and even residential building owners in San Francisco are desiring rooftop decks and amenity spaces. The roof deck rage may be attributed to a brilliant use of space (which is a luxury in SF), possible city views, and the social aspect. Developers at DDG Partners agree with the modern inspiration of the roof deck and have collaborated with Marta Fry Landscape Associates (MFLA) on a few projects in recent years. Marta Fry has specified Tournesol Siteworks products on these projects – located at 8 Octavia St., 400 Grove St. and another at 450 Hayes St. in SF.

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450 Hayes St., SF; Photo courtesy of DDG Partners

Hayes St. is situated in Hayes Valley, a small, popular neighborhood in San Francisco styled with modern eateries, dog parks, and hip shopping boutiques. We’re highlighting the project at 450 Hayes to present our Cast-In Accessory Pockets, one of our Planter Options.

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Wilshire Collection rectangular planters on 450 Hayes St. roof deck

While designing the landscape of the rooftop of this luxury condominium complex, MFLA wanted to include lighting accessories inside planters but was uninterested in the look of the standard cast-in concrete pockets available. Knowing our Cast-In Accessory Pocket capabilities, MFLA specified our planters for the project due to the success of previous installations.

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Exterior accessory housing

MFLA collaborated with landscape contractors from Native Sons Landscaping, out of San Ramon, who completed the installation. Tournesol Siteworks customized the Wilshire Collection planters with pockets to hold lighting/electrical boxes since MFLA wanted the lighting to be hidden – our accessory pockets were a great solution.

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Prior to the installation, our engineers required the housing (back) of the lighting fixture/electrical outlet, so they could obtain the exact measurement of the cast-in pocket size required. MFLA requested specific placement of the pockets (on either long edge or short edge of the rectangle), by determining the height of the pocket from the planter sides as well as the top and bottom of the planter. A total of 48 planters were made of FRP Fiberglass,  in a smooth T-0 texture and in one of our standard colors “Puddle.” Each planter measured 96″L x 30″W x 30″H, and was fitted with light pockets per specifications.

This is an outstanding roof deck installation and is widely used by the condominium tenants for a smart, social gathering place.

 

Boulevard decking at home…

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A recent trip so SoCal found us at the LA Expo in Long Beach, not far from one of our early installations of Boulevard Wood decking. It’s a private residence that belongs to friends of Grace Sullano of Place. The sustainability of Boulevard decking was a real draw for Grace and her friends.  Because we were close, we stopped by the owner’s home to find out whether we could take a few pictures of their home. While at first surprised to find us on their doorstep, the owners (and their children) graciously invited us in to see the results.

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Boulevard Wood decking is made thermally-modified, domestically harvested  and processed ash. It’s treated with high-temperature and steam – no chemicals or plastics – to create a 100% natural product with a 25+ year life span and Class A fire rating.  Through the process it takes on a natural, rich dark color, making it directly comparable with tropical hardwoods like Ipe or Teak, without the environmental baggage. The decking here has been sealed, so doesn’t show the typical gray patina that develops when exposed to the elements.

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Boulevard decking is 50% lighter and far easy to modify and work with on site than tropical hardwoods. All Boulevard wood is 100% free of the arsenic, copper, chrome and other hazardous metals present in pressure-treated wood.  It’s available in 1×4, 1×6, 5/4×4 and 5/4×6 conventional decking planks, as well as in dimensional lumber sizes.

Mobile upload from Jon Willingham at 31315, 311 PM

To see the full story of where our wood comes from, click here: http://tournesolsiteworks.com/wordpress/index.php/2015/01/where-boulevard-wood-starts/

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The Final Few of our Favorite things… 2014

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The Rooftop garden at The Pennsylvania Bldg, 1275 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C. 

1275 Penn Ave--103114 1The owners of the property needed to hide some mechanical units on their roof. Architect Hickok Cole suggested our VGM green wall to create a decorative “screen.” Gregory Long of Capitol Greenroofs worked with James Davis Construction to create this 42′ x 8′ free standing vegetated wall that was built and grown in with vegetation designed to thrive in both the hot summers and cold DC winters.

• 1200 W Madison project, Chicago, IL •

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A brand new, high end apartment building in Chicago’s West Loop area was looking to go upscale with their roof top amenity space. Otherwise knows as the Rotunda, this space greatly benefited from our large Wilshire Rounds as a way in which to “green” this most definitely urban environment. Our thanks to Site Design Group in Chicago and Intrinsic Landscape for including us in this project.

• The Village at Chandler Fashion Center, Chandler, AZ

If you’ve seen our recent ads, you know that this installation is truly one of our favorites. Not only a showstopper due to the great colors, but also a showcase of how pots can add life and landscape to any hardscape. Mike Faulkner, of SmithGroupJJR, took on this project to revitalize the underperforming outdoor courtyard space. “Designing in raised planters and usage of the huge Tournesol Downtown collection pots allowed us to add landscape, shade and a modern look and feel without disruption to the facility. The pots were a great way to add landscape to any space that would typically require tearing out and replacing hardscape.”

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 • And, Celebrating 20! •

The year wouldn’t be complete without recognizing, once again, that April brought us to the 20th anniversary of Tournesol Siteworks and the 35th anniversary of our predecessor, Planter Technology.

From our President…  I am delighted that I found myself in this business. We enhance the public good. We work at the intersection of landscape and architecture, making green possible for buildings and urban settings. We can be satisfied that we soften the constructed environment, and bring a piece of nature to city dwellers. I never have to apologize for the products we manufacture, or their effect on the environment.

I’ve really enjoyed the many people who’ve shared in the experience of growing this company. My greatest challenge is continuing to offer them an environment where they can make the most of their talents, and earn a good living while doing it. When I think back over 20 years, i recognize the impact they have made on this business, and it wouldn’t be the same without them. Thank you to them and to our customers.

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A Fashionable & Efficient Vertical Garden

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The remodel need was obvious: Build a new fence that would screen the neighboring property. In addition, it needed to be a useful and aesthetic part of the back garden landscape while providing a water efficient and low maintenance place to grow fresh veggies and herbs.
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The solution from James Davidge at Davidge Design Studio: Install a Tournesol VGP living wall just in front of the fence. The wall was installed by setting three 6×6 redwood posts in concrete and then creating a frame of 2×4 & 2×6 redwood upon which the plastic grid was attached.
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“We installed separate posts and frame instead of just mounting to the new fence posts to make sure we avoided overloading the fence with the weight of the green wall.  We also ordered an extra plastic grid that we cut up and used on a diagonal to fill the gap between the green wall frame and the fence and hung the VGP from it.  We felt that this custom bit made a big impact on the way the wall ended up looking.”
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 The wall faces due south so it gets lots of sun throughout the day.  They found that the top rows were the first to dry out so they added emitters to the rows below to better control overall watering. Allowing for the differences, the pots were filled with a variety of succulents, tender herbs, veggies, and a variety of greens – such as red leaf, butter, romaine and other lettuces and fancy salad greens. Also, planted were 3 varieties of Kale and dwarf golden celery.
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In addition to the final visual effect, the VGP wall is it is easy to garden and installation is straightforward. Flexibility in layout and sizing for custom installations, easily removable pots and complete coverage once the plants grow in creates an eye-catching green wall that fits in well to the overall landscape composition. According to James, “It has become the focal point of the garden.”
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Imagine & Innovate 2014

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From our December email blast…tournesolsiteworks_jan_13

Nobody is innovating greenwall like Tournesol Siteworks! This year we’ve watched the living wall market’s continued growth – but recognized we’re still in the early days. We’ve knitted together a network of reliable installing contractors that know and understand our systems, and got tremendous feedback that has continued to drive our development efforts. Looking forward to 2014, we are excited about the new products that enhance our already market-leading VGM modular living wall, and expanding the opportunities to put greenwall in places where it wasn’t practical before. With the start of a new year, this is the time to explore your options regarding green wall installations.

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Our new sponge-like stabilized media block for VGM living wall modules answers many of the questions that customer ask. The stabilized media simplifies irrigation and leads to a more uniform moisture level as well as minimizes falling soil (even without the media bag). The unique structure ensures aeration at the plant ‘s roots, which speeds grow-in and keeps plants at their healthiest. We work with one of the leading horticulturalists working with this type of material – it’s a great fit.

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The VGP is our inventive tray-based green wall system. It’s a cost-efficient solution for small to medium size walls. The installation above, at a private residence in Marin County, was set up last week and will be planted this week. VGP is perfect for residential and light commercial installations. Look for our advertisements in the most upcoming issues of LAM and Architectural Record. Explore your options!

AND, FINALLY…

Our new full-line catalog is coming!! This year’s book will be 112 pages of applications, images, product information and technical data.  We’re anticipating that it will be mailed mid-January.  If you feel like you haven’t been on our mailing list for catalogs in a while (and would like a mailed copy), please send your contact information to catalog@tournesolsiteworks.com.

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This year we’re approaching the organization of the catalog somewhat differently. In the past we’ve usually put the “newer” product groups towards the front, and put the pots & planters (still our biggest single category) towards the back. We’re now dividing things between “product you can see” (site furnishings, pots & planters, our new Boulevard wood tiles) towards the front, and the “stuff you don’t” (deck & paver pedestalsgreenwallcontainer irrigationroot barrier & drainage control) towards the back. With products grouped in six categories, it’s a lot to organize!  We hope that it will be easier to use, and would appreciate your feedback.

 

 

Green Walls create the space

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10 wall completed

This residential Green Wall installation belongs on the cover of any home and garden magazine. Designed by April Philips of April Philips Design Works and installed by Kurt Heitmeyer of JKT Associates, it is truly a work of art. The client was looking for a dramatic backdrop to the spa and sitting area.  The team’s solution: a spectacular 200 sq. ft. living wall!

The richly planted freestanding wall is highlighted by a fountain that cascades into the spa on one face and an outdoor shower on the other side.

8 plants finished

Continue reading Green Walls create the space

Great new musical video tour of VGM Living Walls in SoCal

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Our friends at Greenscaped Buildings in San Diego recently put together a terrific video of several installations they’ve done in Los Angeles. Some we’ve previously featured in our blogs, others are seen here for the first time.

Continue reading Great new musical video tour of VGM Living Walls in SoCal

Farewell, Flower Framers!

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Flower Framer windowboxes at Elephant & Castle restaurant
Flower Framer windowboxes at Elephant & Castle restaurant

It feels like an era is over at Tournesol Siteworks.  We signed the paperwork on a deal with Viapul Corporation of Oakwood Village, OH (near Cleveland), selling them the assets of the Flower Framer product line. We purchased the product line in 2004 from the original owner and founder. The addition of windowboxes back then helped us grow rapidly through the mid-2000’s. As we’ve grown, however, our product line has continued to evolve toward commercial landscape products, and away from residential/retail. The windowbox product just doesn’t fit well in our sales channel anymore. Continue reading Farewell, Flower Framers!