Tag Archives: Green Wall

VGM Greenwall Withstands Force of a Super-Typhoon

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Back in October, the city of Xiamen in Southeast China was hit by super typhoon ‘Meranti,’ one of the strongest typhoons of 2016. The typhoon was at category two as it crossed Taiwan, and weakened slightly as it hit the mainland. Elmich, our partners in greenwall products, had previously installed a VGM greenwall system on JI Hotel Xiamen’s facade  that measures 2, 360 sq. ft.

VGM Greenwall Before the Typhoon

The typhoon had wind speeds of approx. 87 mph recorded as it blasted through Xiamen. After the typhoon, they discovered that the enormous VGM greenwall (including plants!) withstood the typhoon- see the photo below. From Elmich’s blog post:

Super typhoon ‘Meranti’ made landfall in Xiamen City, Fujian with a wind gust speed of around 170 km/h bringing heavy downpours and causing major disruptions to the electricity and water supplies affecting more than 3.2 million homes located in the region.

Elmich VGM mounting system is equipped with anti-lift arms and proprietary anchoring pilaster system, and certified by independent international test authority to withstand wind uplift from various directions up to 110km/h.

In this application, the real test of nature has proven that a product of quality can withstand the strongest typhoon.

 

VGM Greenwall After the Typhoon

The results of the green wall remaining in pristine condition is remarkable and attributes to the durability of the products. The VGM3 is a 100% recycled plastic planting module, attached to stainless steel rails mounted to a wall or structure. Once grown in it provides instant, complete coverage of any vertical surface. With the VGM System, root growth isn’t limited by restricting cells or baffles, thus plants grow healthier and stronger.

For more information regarding the Green Wall at JI Hotel Xiamen, click here.

Green Walls & Green Roofs Tweet Chat!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

New Orleans: ASLA, Botanical Garden & Omni Riverfront Hotel

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

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

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

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Arrival Garden and Event Court at New Orleans Botanical Garden

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

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VGM Green Wall at the Botanical Garden

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

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Wilshire Box Hanging Planters at VA Hospital, New Orleans

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

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

 

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.

 

 

 

Just Like in the Amazon – a Green Wall!

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The South Lake Union district of Seattle, WA, is a popping neighborhood being the “7th most walk-able” in Seattle and housing the headquarters of Amazon. All around the neighborhood there are beautiful spaces, restaurants and areas to build community and just hang out.  About four years ago the Amazon block building at 207 Boren Avenue in Seattle was completed with one of our very early VGM Modular living walls. We revisited the site recently, and thought we’d share what a green wall looks like after a few years.

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Revisit this year

 

Tournesol SiteworksVGM3 Modular Living Wall was specified by Callison RTKL Architects in collaboration with landscape architects from Walter Macy to be installed on an Amazon building wall that faces an open plaza. They created an immense green wall design that was expertly installed by landscape contractors from Teufel Landscape. Teufel was also responsible for pre-growing the plants, and installing the living wall modules once the plants had taken root.

Interestingly, the green wall has been through a few plant replacements, due to the placement of the wall to the sun, and a few plant types that were unhappy with their environment. Due to an irrigation issue, the entire wall needed to be replaced once- the maintenance crew discovered a leak in the irrigation and the building manager turned off the water to the entire green wall. The issue was with one of the modules and not the entire wall. Unfortunately, the wall failed without water to irrigate the plants, and the plants had to be replaced.  The replacements are fairly easy, but maintenance is key to the life of the green wall – after all it is a “living” wall.

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The green wall contains VGM3 modules, 6 rows high by 23 rows wide, with each module requiring two left and two right mounting brackets. The brackets attach the VGM3 system modules to stainless steel hanging rails which require minimal penetrations and mount to the structurally sound wall. Each planting module, made of 100% recycled polypropylene, has a generous 8” (in this project) 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 Google Maps

The green wall on the Amazon block hopefully will continue to be enjoyed by those walking, riding their bikes, resting in this plaza, working near this building, or just strolling by for years to come!

VGP Climbing up the Wall in Houston

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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.

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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.

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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.

Slabtown Comes Alive in Portland

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Slabtown Marketplace in Northwest Portland, Oregon, is part of a larger adaptive reuse project proposed by GBD Architects and Holst Architecture, both of Portland, and adopted by the city in 2012. The Master Plan for the area will include mixed-use development with current office and warehouse buildings, and hopes to be the hub for Portland’s newest neighborhood, the Conway District.

Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM
©2016 David Papazian: David Papazian Photography

Slabtown Marketplace was originally built in 1952 as a 36,000 sq. ft. concrete shipping warehouse that has now been converted into three separate retail spaces.

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GBD and Holst collaborated with Lango Hansen Landscape Architects to create a pedestrian walkway, as well as a beautiful gathering space and focal point to inspire community interaction. On the side of the wall facing the walkway, Lango Hansen utilized Tournesol SiteworksVGM Living Wall System and a series of Cor-Ten steel panels for visual interest.

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Teufel Landscape, out of Hillsboro, Oregon, was responsible for pre-growing the plants and installing the living wall modules. The VGM3 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 spectacular results.

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Modules were shipped broken down to the jobsite, where they were assembled, filled with  VGM media block, and planted by Teufel Landscape. Grow-in was greatly accelerated using the specially engineered media block. The stainless steel rails require minimal penetrations and mount to the structurally sound wall. The installation was a success – and we love it when the designers each use the image on their own webpage!

 

 

 

Favorite Things

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The year wouldn’t be complete without a list of “a few of our favorite things….” from 2014.

• This past March the Disney Corp. and Starbuck’s opened their first location in Downtown Disney and wanted something unique at the location. Architects Orange and LandStudio 360 with David Ling, were tasked to bring a unique element to this specific Starbucks store. Tournesol Siteworks was thrilled to be a player in this high profile installation as our VGM system was the perfect solution.

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• This year also brought a lot of buzz to our Boulevard Wood line. Originally developed for  bench and table site furnishings, Boulevard wood is now available in tiles and decking. In addition to a 25+ year lifespan, 2014 brought it a Class A flame spread rating. It possesses all the performance advantages of ipe and other South American hardwoods, but none of the environmental baggage. We’re especially pleased to be one of the few domestic producers of thermally modified products, keeping production jobs in the U.S.

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• We also took a lot of “look backs” this year to see how our products stand the test of time. While most of our installations exceeded our high expectations, this stood out as one of our favorites – three years laterThe Center for Early Education in West Hollywood, CA.

CEE Living Wall

Thanks to a great maintenance team at Instant Jungle the VGM wall looks even better today than when first installed! Landscape Architects, Rios Clementi Hale Studios.

And, a personal favorite from your blogger, the first installation of our new Harlie Collection planters. This planter comes to us by way of our collaboration with Australian designer,  Luxxbox . The faceted shape draws on gemology and mathematical principles with a playful edge. Can’t wait to see it in more installations in 2015 in a variety of eye-catching colors.

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

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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. 

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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.) 

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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! 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.