Category Archives: Uncategorized

Green Walls & Green Roofs Tweet Chat!

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Earlier this week, Tournesol Siteworks was invited by Warren Gorowitz, Vice President of Sustainability at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, to participate in a “TweetChat” that was, more specifically, a “#landscapechat.” Anyone in the Twitter world may participate in TweetChats, by adding a hashtag (#) and the specific topic – this was a landscape chat focused on green walls and green roofs. The #landscapechat is hosted each week by Corona Tools (who was unavailable, so Warren hosted our chat) and happens weekly on Wednesdays, featuring different topics during the year.

botanical-garden
New Orleans Botanical Gardens Green Wall – VGM Living Wall

Prior to the event, we collaborated with Warren on a list of questions and answers. During the hour, Warren tweeted (asked us) specific questions, which we answered and attached a few photos to illustrate. He asked about our company, and about us being a premier solution provider of landscape elements for rooftops, terraces, streetscapes, etc…nationwide. The chat moved to ask some of the trends we see in green walls, which are a boom in amenity space development and large urban public space projects.

Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM
Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM Green Wall

Warren asked a bit about the importance of green walls and some of the challenges. Challenges include the maintenance, access, and understanding the effects of weather (wind, light, heat, etc…) on the plants. There are also different types of green walls, including tray-based and modular systems, trellis-based and interior systems, all at different price points. For green roofs, there are shallow extensive systems, deeper intensive roofs, tray-based or built-in-place systems.

Starbucks 1 Instagram
Starbucks at Downtown Disney, CA

The chat/discussion turned to how green walls/roofs promote sustainability in urban spaces, such as how they promote a healthy environment – plants provide oxygen and pleasant surroundings, and renew and restore the ecosystem. Green roofs filter and moderate stormwater flows, reducing stress on existing drain water systems. Hospitals use green walls to promote healing and peaceful environments for patients. Both green roofs and walls mitigate urban heat island effect, as well.

swedish-hospital
Swedish Hospital, Seattle, WA, TerraScreen Interior Green Wall

Meanwhile, others in the #landscapechat community were also tweeting questions about plants, moisture of soil, whether or not coffee would grow in a green wall (yes, it can) and even the use of media block.

Amazon HQ Green Wall (11)
Amazon Headquarters, Seattle, WA

The #landscapechat ended with questions about the future of green roofs and walls; we see a wave toward proliferation and integration into everyday commercial construction. We’re also seeing a move with green roofs towards integrating amenity spaces – making them more usable. It was the first TweetChat that Tournesol Siteworks has been part of, and it was a great experience. We look forward to participating in another one in the future.

VersiJack Pavers Make a Residence Shine

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

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.

pedestals-5
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.

pedestals-2
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

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

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.

img_4069

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.

img_4073

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.

insta11-2

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.

wall-2

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

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

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.

450 Hayes St. SF Blog capture
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.

IMG_0358
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.

Housing crop
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.

Pocket crop

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.

 

VGP Climbing up the Wall in Houston

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Houston, Texas, is one of the largest cities in the country, with an amazing mix of pro-sports, world-class restaurants, arts, and booming business. In the heart of Houston is the Westchase District, a prime business area known for the wide array of small, medium and large businesses located in the area. One office building with property management company Crimson Services, LLC, is located at 2500 Citywest Boulevard and recently desired a fresh green wall on an exterior section of the 25-story building.

Designer Lisa Taul, and Sales Consultant Jana Swatloski, both with Silversand Services out of Houston, coordinated with Crimson Services on this green wall project design. Our partner from Ewing Irrigation, Luis Andrade, was contacted by Lisa for his technical expertise and product knowledge of Tournesol Siteworks‘ green wall options for design possibilities, and project requirements.

Our VGP Tray-Based Living Wall System was chosen to create the “living art” design for the green wall. The VGP system offered versatility and easy installation, desired by this light commercial application, and a lush, rich-looking living wall at a price significantly lower than our VGM modular living wall.

The total dimensions of the living wall measure a whopping 9 feet high by 40 feet long! The green wall consists of over 1,000 VGP-01 trays, with each tray incorporating an anti-lift arm to prevent the trays from being “accidentally” removed, but requiring no other bolts or clips. For the plant sizes and the project budget, 90 of the VGP-1636 Mounting Panels were required to hang the VGP trays at standard 6″ intervals. The generously-sized pot will allow for long term growing, and easy replacement or change-out as desired.

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.

IMG_3010

Silversand Services took great care choosing the appropriate plants for the environment and style of the green wall. Plants types included Bugleweed ‘Burgundy Glow’, Variegated Greater Periwinkle, Holly Fern, Aztec Grass, and Foxtail Fern.

IMG_3013

What an amazing green wall with lush plants that will fully grow in beautifully within a few months! The tenants of 2500 Citywest Blvd. will be able to enjoy the green wall for a long time to come.

Cambridge’s Custom Benches & Planters

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

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.

Image Today 3-39-21 PM

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!

 

 

Fresh, Cool Style at Hotel Zephyr

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

San Francisco is a city that is alive, constantly morphing and changing. The breeze from the bay brings the sounds of the waterfront to the courtyard of the Hotel Zephyr, close to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA. The hotel has recently refurbished the exterior decor and has created a uniquely different environment for hotel guests, including a fire pit and a large, 40 foot periscope with views of the water and Alcatraz.

Zephyr 1

Being close to the bay, Jett Landscape Architecture + Design wanted to bring port and shipping elements of the wharf into the Hotel Zephyr project design. Using large segments of metal shipping containers, they created walls surrounding the courtyard of the hotel. Jett Landscape specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ VGM Modular Living Wall System on one wall of the courtyard, which was installed by Eggli Landscape Contractors, out of Redwood City, CA.

Zephyr VGM

The VGM Living Wall system consists of 100% recycled plastic planting modules attached to stainless steel hanging rails. Each planting module, made of 100% recycled polypropylene, has a generous 4” or 8” soil profile. Because root growth isn’t limited to small cells or baffles like in other systems, plants grow healthier and stronger, which means lower maintenance yet more amazing results. Eggli also installed our stabilized Media Block, an organic base material stabilized into a sponge-like block that fits perfectly in the VGM module. The media block absorbs up to five times its weight in water, but only weighs 40 lbs./pcf, facilitating even irrigation, faster grow in and optimal plant health.

Zephyr 5For a rustic effect, they used steel sheet pilings (also used on the waterfront) for decoration in the northeast corner of the courtyard. Inside the pilings, we created custom trapezoid-shaped Welded Planter Liners that are 34″ wide in back, 15″ wide in front, 48″ tall, and 18″ deep. The welded planter liners were inserted into the steel pilings and used as planters.

Zephyr 4

At the front of the stylish Hotel Zephyr, Patrick Lamar from RHI Construction out of Santa Rosa, installed our Boulevard Wood Decking, which compliments the entrance (as shown in the photo below). Our Boulevard thermally-modified 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 San Francisco’s wind, rain and bay weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

Zephyr 3

We are thrilled to have been part of the redesign of Hotel Zephyr and to be part of this cool stylish, trendy installation – right in our own backyard (well, across the bay at least).

Queen Anne’s Playful Uptown Parklet

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Parklets are popping up all over the country, especially in major cities, and are beginning to change the pedestrian environment. These little “mini parks” have allowed the community to build public spaces for meeting, socializing, and as urban oases. Parklets have become really popular due to PARKing Day, a nation-wide celebration day rivaling the automobile-focused environment. It’s a day where the public takes back urban street parking slots and creates temporary parks filled with designers, artists and people seeking community interaction.

Instagram 3-29-16

Two years ago, the city of Seattle was challenged by PARKing Day and recognized its success in other cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since the city sought to create a number of parklets all over Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced its Pilot Parklet Program. The program opened an application process for communities and neighborhoods to submit for a parklet to be constructed in their urban area.

Seattle’s VIA Architecture, on behalf of VIA’s Community Design Studio, worked with a civic organization called The Uptown Alliance (which represents the Uptown Urban Center) to submit an application for the Queen Anne district. The “Uptown Parklet” was selected as one of 10 parklets and was fortunate enough to be one of the first constructed as part of the pilot program. Slater Construction, out of Seattle, worked with the team of designers, community volunteers and architects to build this parklet, completed in February 2015.

IMG_8360-1

We revisited this cool parklet this month (March 15), which features Tournesol Siteworks’ Boulevard Wood for the decking, benches and planter cladding. Our Boulevard thermally-modified 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.

Weathering reveals the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color (as shown in the photo above). The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Seattle’s occasionally wet weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

IMG_8362-1

Th Uptown Parklet is the perfect place for our Boulevard wood, with the public interaction, environmental exposure and continual community use. The wood has withstood wonderfully! We’re so glad that the Queen Anne district is enjoying their Uptown Parklet…go Seattle!

We Love Custom Planters & Projects!

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

In Southern California, Irvine Company® is a privately held real-estate investment company respected for its stewardship and master planning. Among their various properties is Irvine Spectrum Center, which is known as Orange County’s epicenter for cultural entertainment, dining and shopping. Other projects involve properties all over Southern California, including development of a parking structure at 350 Spectrum Center Drive near Irvine Spectrum Center.

100_2245
Wilshire Collection Fiberglass Rectangular Planters

 

For this parking structure, LPA, architects out of Irvine, CA, collaborated with landscape architects Burton Landscape Architecture Studio, from Solano Beach. Burton created the parking area which is large and wide-open, yet the design layout required custom-sized planters. Recently. Burton contacted Tournesol Siteworks and requested 21 of our Wilshire Collection rectangular planters custom ordered to eight feet in length by five feet wide and 30″ height.

100_2244

Wilshire Collection rectangular planters divide and organize space with their clean, simple style and no bottom reveal. The planters bring greenery and life to the urban parking structure. Valley Crest, out of Irvine, CA, installed the planters and filled the pots with lush greenery to bring life to the urban parking structure.

100_2250

The Wilshire planters were manufactured in our lightweight FRP fiberglass specified in the custom color “Balboa Mist”. For the texture, Burton chose the smooth, conventional finish of T-0.  This project was well-done and allows the customers of the parking structure to enjoy more than a place to park, but a greener urban space.

Key for the Quarry – Northlakes Bench

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

As part of a city revitalization strategy, Quarry Park is rising from the former Quinn granite quarry in Rocklin, California. Located next to Rocklin City Hall, Quarry Park will continue a transformation, through phases, as part of the city’s plan for the seventeen acre plot of land. The park will create the city’s downtown area for community events and activities in the outdoor environment, since Rocklin does not have an official downtown.

IMG_0113

Fuhrman Leamy Land Group, landscape architects out of Roseville, CA, specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ Northlakes Collection benches. The benches were installed in February ’16 by Sierra Valley Construction, Inc., out of Loomis, CA. Our Northlakes Collection backed benches, designed by our Aussie partners at Street & Garden Furniture, are a robust site furnishing solution suited to high impact environments.

IMG_0114

The Northlakes Collection benches feature thermally-modified Boulevard wood slats. The thermal-modification process enhances domestic hardwoods with a 25-year resistance to rot and decay, similar to South American hardwoods. The cell structure of the wood changes during the process, preventing moisture absorption and helping to make Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. The wood is harvested, processed, and finished entirely in the U.S.  Boulevard Wood is lighter and easier to work than ipe’, and free of the arsenic, copper, chrome or other hazardous metals present in pressure treated wood.

IMG_0116

The benches’ frame, arms and ends are powder-coated cast aluminum and are durable enough to withstand intense weight and high traffic. Benches are complete with surface-mounted feet (shown in the photo above) which are designed to be used with conventional expansion or epoxy anchor systems.

We were happy to be specified for the Quarry Park project and cannot wait to see the park completed in the next couple of years.