Tag Archives: California

Transbay Transit Center – VersiCell in SF’s Upcoming Park

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We were thrilled to see the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper on April 12 (online April 11), featuring the Transbay Transit Center currently being built in busy downtown San Francisco. The Transbay Transit Center is more than just a rooftop park, it will be a huge city park at 5.4 acres and a quarter of a mile long, within one of the busiest city sections on the West Coast.

Tournesol Siteworks is thoroughly involved in this high profile project, as 192, 000 sq. ft  our VersiCell sub-surface drainage panels were specified by PWP Landscape Architecture. In the SF Chronicle article titled “Transbay Transit Center rooftop turning into 5.4-acre City Park,” writer J.K. Dineen states,

The Transbay Transit Center is set to open late this year and will serve numerous bus lines, including AC Transit, Muni, Golden Gate Transit and Greyhound. It’s still unknown when it might connect to high-speed rail or Caltrain, which will operate the station, how much it will cost to operate, or what shops and restaurants will occupy the 100,000 square feet of retail space.

…But what is known is this: Tree by tree, San Francisco’s next significant public open space, a 5.4-acre green rooftop boxed in by towers of glass, is taking shape atop the transit center. And amid all the questions about the future of the transit center, it is the park — with its carefully curated collection of flora — that has the potential to make the project an attraction in the years before the trains arrive.

Our Versicell drainage panels were installed by contractors from McGuire and Hester out of Alameda, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco. VersiCell is a sub-surface drainage panel that provides the ultimate combination of strength and water flow capacity. The modular, connectable panels are frequently used in a variety of installations where fast, high-volume water flow is critical. In addition to sub-surface drainage, VersiCell is frequently used in place of heavy gravel aggregates for waterproofing membrane protection, for heat and sound insulation on structures, as a drainage channel, and on subterranean walls to prevent hydrostatic pressure buildup.

To read the entire SF Chronicle, Transbay Transit Center article, please click here. It is exciting to know that our VersiCell is highly inert, and won’t break down or crush over the life of this application, and that we are part of a project that will be enjoyed by people for decades.

 

 

 

Taking care of (someone else’s) business…

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One of the most important things that Tournesol Siteworks offers is the promise to make sure that things are correct. Recently a project came to our attention that demonstrated that commitment.

The project in question was a mixed-use development in Oakland, completed in the Summer of 2016. Our Wilshire Collection planters had been specified both on a second-floor terrace area as well as along the corners of the main structure.

Wilshire Collection Square and Rectangular Planters

Northern California has had quite a rainy season so far. Shortly after it started, our regional sales manager Troy Nottingham received a call from the landscape contractor on the project, complaining about leaking and deforming pots. We quickly contacted our local distributor to figure out exactly what we sold on the project.

Before we got the information from the distributor, the general contractor escalated the issue by emailing us, the specifying landscape architect, owner, and everyone else. Troy adjusted his schedule and visited the project the next day to assess the situation.

Wilshire Collection Rectangular and Square Planters

It was a fairly simple answer – there were 60″L x 18″W x 36″H planters at the corners of the project, and the ones facing west had nothing to block the rain. The pots were plumbed for irrigation, but not drainage, and were filling up with water. As they filled, the walls flexed out significantly, something that won’t typically happen with our containers. In addition, the caulk seal around the irrigation penetration wasn’t holding, and water was leaking out.

Troy followed up the site visit with a full report to the landscape architect, general contractor, and landscape contractor. He gave an analysis of the problem, and provided several suggestions to relieve the stress on the containers and solve the problem.

The next week he called the project manager for the landscape contractor, and asked about the next steps. Sheepishly, the contractor admitted that Tournesol had provided the pots for the second-floor terrace (which were doing just fine), but that they had gone to another manufacturer for the ones on the ground floor(!). He hadn’t realized it initially when calling us, only finding out after speaking with their purchaser.

We were of course relieved to know that it wasn’t our product that was the issue. It’s also good to know that when contractors feel that something is wrong, they can count on us to make it right. However, we’d prefer not to have to troubleshoot someone else’s problem!

 

San Francisco Shipyard Coming to Life

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The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard area in San Francisco, CA, is being transformed and will eventually be a residential extension of the Bayview neighborhood. This part of the city is up and coming, and is part of the city that outsiders see most rarely. The first phase of construction began in 2014, and first completed was a beautiful park for the community to enjoy. There will be residential housing that encompasses 800 units, and 20 acres of parks. Five residential units have been completed so far in this construction zone, and three more are underway, designed by four different architectural firms.

Block 51, Wilshire BOx Hanging Planters

One of the firms, Ian Birchall and Associates, specified Tournesol Siteworks products for the four-story condo building they designed. We referred to the project as Block 51 which has a large courtyard, accessible from the street. Inside the courtyard, IBA designed a modern wall of green vegetation beginning with our Wilshire Box Hanging Planters. Landscape contractors Shooter & Butts, Inc. installed the hanging planters on a metal wall with metal trellises where vines grow/climb up the wall.

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Courtyard of Block 51, Wilshire Box Hanging Planters

We design the hanging planters so that the product doesn’t take center stage – we prefer the plants steal the show. The hanging brackets are powder coated with stainless mounting studs. The brackets tuck into the back of the box, so the planter can snug up next to the wall.

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The plants quickly grow and expand onto the trellis screens. Using our WB-1218 (12″W x 18″H in, 72″L and 96″L) boxes maximizes the room the plants can grow. Typically, the more soil there is in a pot, the bigger the plant will get (the roots expand as much as the upper part of the plant will). IBA also chose various sizes of our lightweight FRP Fiberglass planters from our Wilshire Collection now located around the perimeter of the building.

The installation looks amazing and we’re sure the tenants will enjoy their surroundings full of warmth and color.

 

 

Tournesol Nominated for Local “Outstanding Growth Company” Award

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The Association for Corporate Growth is a national business group that promotes itself as the “pre-eminent organization dedicated to helping middle-market companies grow.” Tournesol Siteworks was recently nominated for their “Outstanding Growth Awards” as one of the standouts in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a recognition of the business we’ve worked hard to build over the past 20+ years, as well as a reflection of the construction market climate that we’re enjoying right now.
This from the ACG-San Francisco website:
SF-ACG seeks to identify, understand and disseminate those qualities that lead to superior growth and overall performance in Middle Market Companies. Each year we recognize the company or organization that exemplifies these superlatives with our Outstanding Growth Award.
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We’re honored to be included in this group of impressive companies. We’ve been able to grow at a 30% rate over the past few years, thanks to the hard work of the entire Tournesol Siteworks team. This recognition is one that we can all be proud of – and one that we hope to continue to build on!

Thermally-Modified Wood Planters Presentation

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In Concord, CA, the Willows Shopping Center has been receiving a remodel for the past few years. Many architects, contractors, and landscape architects have been called to help beautify specific sections of this sleepy shopping center, and modernize the area for the community of shoppers and diners. One project in particular involved upgrading the exterior of Fuddruckers restaurant. Johnson Lyman Architects, out of Walnut Creek, specified our Boulevard Wood Planters for the front entrance of the restaurant.

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Tournesol Siteworks’ wood planters were installed by Lenzi Incorporated, out of Stockton, and arranged as a decorative barrier along the length of the dining area (shown in the photo below). Each planter is 48″L x 18″W x 36″H and has been beautifully planted with various succulents.

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Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood Planters

Our wood planters are produced from Boulevard thermally-modified wood which goes through a process that changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly.

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The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. Over time, weathering will reveal the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color.

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As the Willows Shopping Center continues to be remodeled and renovated, we look forward to seeing the outstanding results.

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.

 

TerraScreen Green at Herringbone Santa Monica

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Beautiful Santa Monica, CA, draws travelers to well-known places such as the Santa Monica Pier, Muscle Beach and Pacific Palisades. This beach-front city, West of Los Angeles, has something for everyone from shopping and beaches, to entertainment and amazing restaurants. One such restaurant is the trendy Herringbone with the tagline “Where Fish Meets Field.” Herringbone strives to create an atmospheric experience, rather than just a meal. The ambiance reflects nature with indoor trees, plants and greenery, and serves the “best of the sea” and the “best of the land.”

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Entrance to Herringbone’s Santa Monica location

Our partners at Instant Jungle International were contacted by Herringbone, which was looking to build a living wall inside the restaurant. Greg Wallace from Instant Jungle collaborated with their designers to design an amazing living wall. Greg was instrumental in the design phase and chose Tournesol SiteworksTerraScreen Interior Green Wall. Greg described how the TerraScreen offers more flexibility than any other green wall system. It is designed so that the planting may be easily updated and maintained which helps to ensure the installation remains appropriate to each project’s environment and style.

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TerraScreen Interior Green Wall in Herringbone

Instant Jungle installed 16 TerraScreen Interior Green Wall panels 49″W x 49″H x 4 5/8″D and 9 panels 70″W x 49″H x 4 5/8″D – planting a whopping total of 715 plants! Greg recommended the best greenery and a beautiful plant pallet including Spider Plants, Wandering Jew, Gold, Green and Neon Pothos, Bromeliads,  Red Maranta, Calathea, and Kangaroo Ferns.

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Plant selection close-up

TerraScreen panels are made of powder-coated galvanized steel wire, with removable brackets to fasten the panel to the wall. Plants are placed in their 6” nursery pots directly into the black no-hole cachepot, rather than plants directly grown in soil media. This allows a light, easy-to-mount support system, which disappears behind the plants as they are set into cachepots on the frame. It is the solution to the challenge of installing a living wall that is instantly lush, A controlled sub-irrigation system prevents run-off or spills, and allows for easy replacement of plants as wished, and is easy to refresh and maintain.

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The lush green wall at Herringbone is stunning and we are thrilled that their clients are as pleased with the living wall as they are! In fact, there have been a number of Herringbone’s clientele that have inquired about the green wall build and installation. Their clients also want a TerraScreen living wall installed at other locations around southern California.

 

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.

Immense 50 Foot Living Wall in Irvine

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A few months ago, our partners at Instant Jungle International received a visit from the new owner of the building at 2082 Michelson Drive in Irvine, CA. The owner was looking at the plant selection at Instant Jungle, and noticed their display of our VGM Modular Living Wall. He became interested in creating a living wall on his new property. Landscape Contractor, Greg Wallace, from Instant Jungle invited our salesperson to meet with the owner to discuss the dimensions, location and installation of a “spectacular” living wall, as well as the plant pallet for the plant growth and maintenance. After the discussion, we collaborated with Greg to create an enormous exterior green wall for the customer.

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VGM Living Wall After Installation

The wall measures approximately 50′ H by 10’W, incorporating 120 of our VGM system modules; they attach to stainless steel hanging rails and when mounted to a structurally sound wall (shown in the photo below), require minimal penetrations .

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Instant Jungle was responsible for pre-growing the succulents and plants in the VGM trays (about 2-3 months in advance), and installing the living wall modules. 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 spectacular results.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGM Modular Living Wall System – click here to watch the video.
20160420_172311Instant Jungle 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. Instant Jungle is also maintaining this living wall, as maintenance is key to ensure the plants continue to grow and thrive.

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Before and After

This immense, gorgeous living wall can be seen at a distance or up close, allowing many onlookers to enjoy the plant colors, layout and design. We are thankful to Instant Jungle for being a wonderful partner and for inviting us into this project. Can’t wait to check back in a few months for a second look!

 

 

 

It’s a Jungle out There!

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A few weeks ago, Tournesol Siteworks was invited to an open house hosted by our partners Instant Jungle International out of Santa Ana, California. Instant Jungle invited many architects and landscape architects to gather, and to present our green wall and living wall products. A couple of our sales people attended and had a great time!

Instant Jungle Open House
Photos courtesy of Instant Jungle

After enjoying an amazing BBQ lunch from TK Burgers, Greg Wallace (IJ) showed the attendees the displays their team created featuring our VGM Modular Living Wall, with plant growth in process. IJ also showed examples of our VGP Tray-based Living Wall System and TerraScreen Interior GreenWall.

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Our VGM system modules attach to stainless steel hanging rails and when mounted to a structurally sound wall, require minimal penetrations. 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 spectacular results.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGM Modular Living Wall System – click here to watch the video.

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Photo courtesy of Instant Jungle

They explained how the VGP system offers versatility and easy installation desired by light commercial applications. The trays may be hung on a VGP mounting panel, standard 2″ x 3″ welded mesh or wire, or along rods or stainless steel rope. Each tray incorporates an anti-lift arm to prevent unwanted removal, but requires no other bolts or clips. Trays are hung at either 6″ or 9″ intervals, depending on the plant size and the project budget.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation also produced a video displaying the mounting and installation of our VGP Living Wall System – click here to watch the video.

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Instant Jungle also presented the attendees with our TerraScreen Green wall, describing how it offers more flexibility than any other green wall system; designed so that the planting may be easily updated so the installation is appropriate to the style, season and environment. TerraScreen panels are made of powder-coated galvanized steel wire, with removable brackets to fasten the panel to the wall. Plants are placed in their 6” grow pot directly into the black no-hole cachepot. It is the solution to the challenge of installing a living wall that is instantly lush, and easy to refresh and maintain.

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Thank you, Instant Jungle International, for the open house and for inviting key players in the industry to show how magically to use our products to beautify their applications and projects. We are thrilled to be working with such a fabulous company and great partners.