Upon Completion…

Share this post:

In January, we highlighted a couple of 2014 installations that we were specifically excited about including a green wall at the new Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices in Antelope Valley.

Kaiser AV

Right on schedule, the wall went up in June, and we are thrilled to show you the final product.

photo 5

EPT Design specified 220 VGM modules to be installed on an outdoor walkway/parking area, and given the grow-in by Instant Jungle, the wall creates immediate and complete coverage of the vertical space.

photo 8

Antelope Valley (named for the herds of Pronghorn that were found here in the 1830′s), is the gateway to the western Mojave Desert.  The average temperature here is 61 deg, but that disguises lows down to 2 deg and highs up to 110 deg. It’s a dry heat, though, with low humidity year round. Due to the weather variance, this was a challenging project and a will prove to be a testament to our 8″ deep VGM3-10 module . With the generous soil profile, root growth isn’t restricted to baffles or pockets, which will mean lower maintenance, less water usage and healthier plants.

 

photo 1

And special thanks to our partners, Valley Crest, who always does a great installation of this product, and, Instant Jungle, for growing in the plant product.

photo 9

The Town of Dedham – Plant, Preserve, Promote

Share this post:

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.

logo-200

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.

image001

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.

image002

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.

image003

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

Dedham Civic Pride- Sue Hicks and Amy Black
Town of Dedham- Jason Mammone and Joe Flanagan

Monthly Blast – June 2014 Vol 2, Issue 6

Share this post:
On A Greening Mission

We’ve been working with  Mission Landscape Architecture  of Irvine, CA recently on several living wall projects. They are on a “mission” to enhance the So. California urban environment with living walls. Their designs resulted in two important Tournesol green walls in San Diego and Los Angeles. As they note in their project information sheets, the walls stand (no pun intended) as a “testament to the creativity of the architecture community and the continuing trend of green walls within the industry.” (emphasis ours!)

As Seen in Living Architecture Monitor
One of these green walls was just highlighted in the most recent issue of Living Architecture Monitor (Summer Health Issue, 2014). The Tournesol VGM living wall was installed at the Irvine Company’s Westwood Gateway 1. In the article (entitled “How Green Roofs & Walls Have Impacted Occupants’ Well-Being”) Sherry Mashadian, manager of operations for the Irvine Company Office Properties, reflected on how their green wall project has affected their tenants.

100_1500-1According to her, the living wall is located in a courtyard with a fountain and soft seating that give customers and staff an opportunity to take breaks, eat lunch and even conduct team meetings in a lushly landscaped environment. “The living wall is definitely one of the greater features of the building and an added value to the project. The visitors and guests are always admiring the living wall. It’s also a tour stop for our leasing team. The living wall is definitely an amenity for the tenants of the property.

100_1502-1

The property owners specifically charged Mission Landscape with enhancing the existing courtyard. They removed an overgrown hedge to create the “canvas” for the new Tournesol living wall. Initial plans proposed covering the entire wall, but eventually they decided upon one wall panel that serves as an art piece to the adjacent cafe seating area. Surrounding the VGM panels and structural frame is a custom metal picture fame to complete the linear design. Multi-textured shade tolerant plants of green ferns, moneywort and grasses accented by plum-colored coral bells create the “living picture.”

100_1501-1

Sherry did touch on maintenance in the article. She mentioned that they have kept a specialized contractor on to maintain the project (our friends at Greenscaped Buildings ), and that other than a few replacements in the initial period, there haven’t been many issues in the year that the wall has been up. 

And, an underground update

We acquired the  Root Solutions root barrier  business from Vespro of California nearly a year ago, and thought we’d give you an update on what’s going on with the product. Large Bay Area contractor and regular customer Jensen Landscape  was recently installing the product at a new Kaiser Permanente Hospital c omplex in Redwood City, CA and invited us in to take some pictures. They were kind enough to leave several trenches open to allow us to photograph the product in its natural environment.

kaiser-root-barrier-6-750x562-1

Root barrier continues to be an important product. The eventual cost of tree roots damaging parking lots, sidewalks, and roads isn’t going down, and has made barrier into a very commonly-specified product for highway departments, municipalities, and commercial properties. We even hear of it being put in for many large residential developments – the minimal cost of the product saves thousands of dollars in headaches over time. Our biggest surprise in entering the market is that its use is more prevalent west of the Mississippi than to the east. It doesn’t seem like trees grow differently on one coast than another – why the discrepancy?

kaiser-root-barrier-7-500x375

We’ve had to learn a lot about extrusion and manufacturing the product, as you might have guessed. Despite a few hiccups, we’re in control of the process, sourcing the 100% recycled polyethylene (mostly post-consumer), and keeping production line running. One of the important things that we’ve mastered is the blend of high density and low density polyethylene. It’s critical to make the material supple enough to be easy to install, yet strong enough to resist tree roots.   The contractors we work with tell us it slips together easy, holds well, and flexes when it needs to. In general, they tell us that they like the material better than other direct competitor’s – it’s easier to work with and less time-consuming to install. With the creatively sourced recycled material, we’ve also made sure that the pricing is highly competitive!

kaiser-root-barrier-18-500x375

Architectural Record & the AIA convention

Congratulations are in order! Our continuing education course, ” Green Walls: Integrating Nature into Buildings ” has won the Audience Engagement Award  as one of the top five most popular courses offered through Architectural Record’s Continuing Education Center .  More than 150,000 CEU tests were taken in the past year through their portal, and the popularity of the course shows the high level of interest that architects have with living walls. We are pleased to be able to offer it to the AIA community.

TournesolSiteworksARJulyWe wish the best to all the AIA members who will be attending the upcoming annual convention in Chicago. We won’t be there to collect our award, but don’t miss our Australian product advertisement in the most recent issue of Arch Record!

 

 

 

 

 

A lightning-fast upgrade: First Street, Downtown Phoenix

Share this post:

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.

IMG_2686

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.

562647_374696652644154_1396650732_n

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!

IMG_2732

Root Solutions, Revisited

Share this post:

kaiser root barrier 6We acquired the Root Solutions root barrier business from Vespro of California nearly a year ago, and thought we’d give you an update on what’s going on with the business. A large Bay Area contractor, Jensen Landscape, was recently installing the product at the new Kaiser Permanente Hospital complex in Redwood City, and invited us in to take some pictures. They were kind enough to leave several trenches open to allow us to photograph the product in its natural environment.

kaiser root barrier 18

Root barrier continues to be an important product. The eventual cost of tree roots damaging parking lots, sidewalks, and roads has made it universally-specified product for highway departments, municipalities, and commercial properties. We even hear of it being put in for many large residential developments – the minimal cost of the product saves thousands of dollars in headaches over time. Our biggest surprise in entering the market is that its use is more prevalent west of the Mississippi than to the east.

kaiser root barrier 7

We’ve learned a lot about extrusion and manufacturing the product, as you might have guessed. Despite a few hiccups, we’re in control of the process, sourcing the 100% recycled polyethylene, and keeping production line running. One of the important things that we’ve mastered is the blend of high density and low density polyethylene. It’s critical to make the material supple enough to be easy to install, yet strong enough to resist tree roots.

kaiser root barrier 16

Nearly all the contractors we work with tell us that it is easier to work with than other comparable products – it slips together easier, holds better, and flexes when it needs to. Not only is it the best product out there, we’ve been working on making sure that it is highly competitive as well. We’ve been able to creatively source the recycled material, and can make the product as affordably as anyone.

kaiser root barrier 1Two distributors that came on board along with the Vespro purchase, Universal Enterprises Supply of Pompano Beach, Florida and Exacta Sales of Hawaii have continued to do very well with the product. We’ve been pleased that we’re also selling now through two local Northern California stocking distributors, Imperial Sprinkler Supply (Livermore and Santa Clara) and Horizon (9 locations). We’re adding more distribution points all the time- our distributors find it easy (and inexpensive) to bring in pallets of root barrier along with their planter orders. Ask your Tournesol Siteworks distributor today – you’ll find the best product at the best price in the market!

 

In case you missed our May email – Tournesol in the News

Share this post:

May 2014 – Vol. 2 Issue 6

VGM Living Wall Spotted in San Diego Magazine

San Digeo Magazine recently focused in on our green wall at PureFitness Westgate Hotel in San Diego. The full design is a world-class sports complex with four levels, 37,000 square feet and a panoramic Sky-Deck. This state of the art facility offers a Jr. Olympic sized pool, lounge, basketball court, rubberized surface running track, and outdoor workout area. 

pure fitness

 

The design by the Hollander Design Group was created to add visual impact and separate the lounging area from the sports deck. Our good friend, Jim Mumford at Good Earth Plant Company and GreenScaped Buildings used 1300 plants to give the living wall texture. “The composition features four types of grasses including Mexican feather grass and blue fescue, and seven types of succulents.” Our VGM Green Wall system is uniquely engineered to handle these types of installations. The generous planting profile (4-8″) encourages healthier plant growth with lower maintenance issues. The recycled plastic planting modules can be grown in prior to mounting and then provide instant, complete coverage of any vertical surface.purefitness

LA Times features Tournesol collaborator, Luxxbox

Congratulations to our partner, Luxxbox! They had a great showing at WantedDesign in NYC, and got a fantastic response including the front page of the LA Times Home Section (read their story here.) 

la-lh-la-home-decor-firms-go-to-nycxdesign-201-001

At this up and coming event, Jason Bird showcased his new designs; The k-base from his cafe collection (above, coming soon to Tournesol Siteworks), The South Chair (below), Pillow Stool and the ever popular Buzz Bike Bench. The South Chair has made it through to the Top 5 in New York’s The Battery Conservancy’s ‘Draw Up a Chair’ Competition. Bird designed the chair to be a unique, contemporary form of outdoor movable seating. Featured in the New York Times, the South Chair is formed from an infinite tube look that seems to defy gravity. The chair has cleanliness with a study steel frame – versatile and lightweight. When not in use the chairs can stack (with a physical stop to prevent wedging.). The overall winner will be announced this fall and will be installed throughout Battery Park, and we look forward to providing this well-honored piece to our customers as well! 

South-Chair-4-320x234

Tournesol’s ever-widening range of site furnishings offers a variety options that including benches cast in GFRC concrete, polyethylene and our new thermally modified North American hardwood called Boulevard Wood. We also are advancing our line of trash receptacles, bike bollards and furniture with the help of our design collaborators Street and Garden Furniture and Luxxbox.

And one of our favorites this month…

Azalea Regional Shopping Center is a 32-acre property located in South Gate, CA. The center features modern architecture with amenities such as a pop-jet fountain, recessed amphitheater and reflection pool. Almost completed, the project includes national anchor tenants, local retail, restaurants and several living walls! Specified by Conceptual Design & Planning Company , the project is being installed in phases by KPRS Builders. 

100_1873

The vertical green walls were designed to create ‘living art elements’ and are located on four of seven buildings throughout the plaza area.  These ‘living art walls’ were designed to wrap the buildings in several locations creating visual cues which lead users through a variety of spaces. The planting palette was selected to create consistency in the planting concept regardless of sun exposure.  The planting design consists of horizontal bands of succulents and grasses to create interest with color and texture. The green walls are complemented by the use reclaimed barnwood and corten steel elements on the architecture. The design team worked closely with the Primestor Development, Nadel Architects, Tournesol Siteworks and Instant Jungle to ensure seamless integration of the panels with the architecture.

20140519_130311

The 32-acre project replaces a current vacant site with a modern shopping center. In totality, this development includes water features, an open plaza for community gatherings, wi-fi, and incorporates green initiatives and environmentally-friendly products. It is intended to be LEED certified.

100_1874xx

Notes from our Production Staff

With the building season upon us, things are heating up at our manufacturing facility in Hayward. While we’re happy with the amount of business, it has put added pressure on our manufacturing team to meet our standard lead times. We have added staff, begun working two shifts and Saturdays, yet still our production times have crept out out by a week or two on many orders. Please make sure you check with your salesperson if you have a critical order approaching. We appreciate your deadlines and will do everything we can to make sure you get the same quality and service you have come to expect from Tournesol Siteworks.

index-5.php

Want more information on Tournesol Siteworks?

 Please send us an email info@tournesolsiteworks.com   

Alternately, you can download a copy of our catalog at:

tournesolsiteworks.com/uploads/cmsfiles/Tournesol_Siteworks_2014.pdf.

 

 

 

Checking in on the Miracle Mile

Share this post:

In 2010, we gave you a first-look at 5550 Wilshire Blvd., in the heart of Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile. With over 180 pots, in both GFRC and FRP fiberglass, as well as container irrigation it was one of our largest projects at that time.

100_0602It is a mixed use project, with retail on the bottom floor and condominiums above. The designer had originally called for our FRP fiberglass pots throughout the entire job; however, since we could offer the same container with the same finish in multiple materials, it was decided that the pots on the streetscape would be the more durable lightweight concrete, and the interior and on-structure pots would remain fiberglass. Our regional salesperson Jon Willingham visited the project recently and took a few photos. Four years later, both types of pots are still looking great!

100_1858

Many of the spectacular tree plantings in the photos used palms in 48″ squares, as shown below. The finishes in both FRP and GFRC were painted, so they would be easy to touch up and repair as necessary. So far additional maintenance as been kept to a minimum, and the planters have stood up well to the high-traffic street side abuse!

100_1863

Additionally, each of the pots was outfitted with a CWM Modular container irrigation reservoir for minimal maintenance – the plants are thriving!

100_1865

We love to be able to revisit projects like this, and find out that our product is still looking great. We strive for a superior results for our customers – that’s what keeps them coming back to us. Thanks to ParkWest Landscape who installed the project, designed by Valleycrest Design Group of Orange County for Legacy Partners. It is tribute to all involved that this projects continues to shine in L.A.

 

Customize it!

Share this post:

Wilshire Collection Rectangles, made in FRP fiberglass, are our most popular planter. They are most commonly used in applications like the one shown at 120 Howard St. in San Francisco below. This installation, owned by the Shorenstein Company and installed by our good friends at Allbay Landscape, was completed in 2012 when the building, originally constructed in 1972, underwent a major facelift.

IMG_4214

One of the biggest benefits to our customers is that we always have a lot of rectangles in inventory. The owner decided to add these as a component of LEED certification, and there wasn’t a lot of time to get them delivered. We had most of the material in inventory, and could produce the order quickly – which, in this case, meant 40 planters (8′, 4′ and 36″ square) on site in 3-4 weeks. We will always do our best to meet your deadline!

IMG_4216Our ability to customize product for our clients is another of the exceptional advantages of working with us that doesn’t get much “press.” To us, it’s just part of working with the specifier community, but to our customers it can be the best possible answer to a vexing concern.

We ran into that situation at the Joseph Arnold Lofts in Seattle, a premium, modern loft apartment building situated in one of the city’s most desirable residential locations; boasting unobstructed water and city views with sophisticated apartment living. 

IMG_4325

You can see from the image above that they used our Wilshire Collection rectangles to add landscape to the entrance of the building, a very common usage. The challenge here, as designed by The Berger Partnership and installed by Green Effects, was that it was on a dramatic slope and had irregular access.  They wanted a planter to define the diagonal walkway from the driveway. We had to create a custom FRP planter with a 46° angle wall. Because we were pressed on time for this project, our tooling team figured out how to create both parts from one somewhat complicated tool.  It was a creative solution that saved a few extra days in tooling and casting!

IMG_4327

Unusual, but still pretty straight forward.

We’re in the process of fabricating a custom solution for the multi-family residential building at 2300 Harrison St. in San Francisco, designed by landscape architects Van Dorn Abed. In addition to a number of our standard Aquarian Collection planters, designer Whitney Miller came up with a “wave planter” design, which features 5 different pots to create a highly unique element. Again, what could have been a leadtime nightmare was turned into a huge save by our tooling group, who were able to modify each mold after the necessary parts were cast. Here are the elements, waiting to be painted yesterday.

photo 1

We joke around here that we’ve never seen an architect design the same building twice – which is why we see so many customizations. Seriously, we consider custom capabilities a core strength, and will continue to suggest creative ways to allow the designer to express their vision.

Cincinnati Home & Garden

Share this post:

Spring is here and so are the Home & Garden shows! Our friends at Green Streets Environmental Services were excited to be involved in this year’s Cincinnati Home & Garden Show.  As a founding partner in The Sustainability Partnership of Cincinnati (TSPC), they are a leader in green build and construction – from LEED and Passive Architecture through finished construction.

For his year’s conference, Green Streets and TSPC worked up a full sustainably-minded garden and eco house. The “Milky Way Garden and Star Powered Home” name given by partner Lohre & Associates of Cincinnati, was designed with input from all of the partners. “This has really helped spark imagination” said Tre Sheldon, one of the principles at Green Streets. 

P1090298.JPG

Filled with sustainable materials, and unique idea’s, the visitors could see solar panels, raised planters, green roofs, and living walls. The living wall used our VGM modular wall unit, and was designed and installed by Green Streets Environmental Services with special help from the West Hills Green Houses also of Cincinnati. “The versatility, durability, and design of Tournsol’s products are truly the very best on the market today” said Benjamin Haggerty of Green Streets. He went on to say “be it an interior or exterior application, we won’t work with any other supplier then Tournsol for Living Walls, there just isn’t anything better”. Thanks, Benjamin, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

P1090354.JPG

Since 1969, Cincinnati has welcomed Hart Productions Home & Garden show as a right of spring and a unique oasis that help’s shake off those winter blues. Tens of thousands come through annually to tour unique gardens and see the latest offerings and most innovative products from all over the world. Thanks to Green Streets for including Tournesol Siteworks this year!

P1090376.JPG