Tag Archives: Texas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

A visit to El Paso…

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IMG_3268Last week I had the opportunity to visit our new plant in El Paso, TX, meet many of the people we have working there, and see some of our newest products.

They’ve already begun producing many of Tournesol Siteworks’ GFRC products (planters, TWIG and Rune benches, garbage cans, etc.), but there is a full line of Stonewear products that I wanted to learn about.

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Antonio, moldmaker extrordinaire and operations manager of the Juarez facility along with Isaias, operations manager of the El Paso facility.

We have complete mold-making capabilities in the new-to-us facilities, so we’ve been working to coordinate how we exchange information between our California engineering staff and the toolmaker. Because everyone builds their molds differently, we’ve had to get used to their process (and vice-versa). Things are progressing as well as we could hope.

Planter Barrier
A planter barrier, showing the internal barrier mold – just add concrete!

The planter barrier products that Stonewear has offered for the past decade is something we’re looking forward to promoting. While other manufacturers create a barrier by simply pre-casting a massively heavy planter and shipping it cross country, Stonewear figured out a better way. The barrier products are all light weight GFRC and designed to ship anywhere across the country. Each barrier integrates a lightweight internal mold and rebar system that lets the local contractor add the weight using inexpensive premix concrete. For a simple barrier inside a round planter (shown above), the form creates a jersey barrier inside the planter that will stop 4,000 lbs moving at 50mph!

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Stops vehicles in their tracks – a maximum-security planter barrier

For maximum security applications, Stonewear designed a planter barrier to the US government’s DOS K-4 standard. Buried up to the base in the soil and then filled with premix concrete, it can stop 15,000 lbs. moving at 50mph – adequate for most government buildings. There aren’t many easier, more attractive ways for a designer to integrate a maximum security barrier into a project!

Decorative bollards
Typical lightweight concrete bollards

We’ve offered metal bollards and bike racks from our partners at Street & Garden Furniture in the past, but Stonewear bollards introduce a new element into our line. Either as a high security bollard cover over 8″ steel pipe that can stop 5,000lbs moving at 30mph, or simply decorative bollard covers (as seen above) that sit over 6″ steel pipe – we now have an answer for any application.

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Packaging up several Downtown Collection GFRC pots

Of course the largest component of what Tournesol Siteworks does (and what Stonewear did) is make pots and planters. We’ll be producing all of our shapes and sizes, and most of the offering that Stonewear has had over the years. It’s a great fit – a little overlap, but our offering will grow dramatically in GFRC. We’ll also be introducing many of their shapes in FRP fiberglass over time as well.

Stonewear Fountains
Isaias and Raoul trial-fit the seat cap on an 8′ fountain basin. Looks perfect!

And finally, fountains! I spent quite a bit of time working to understand the turnkey fountain products. While somewhat complex with lots of options, Stonewear turnkey fountains offer exceptional value for a complete fountain system. They have hundreds of impressive installations across the country, proving the reliability of the system design.

Stonewear now part of Tournesol Siteworks

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As of June 1, Stonewear Composite Stone Products of El Paso, TX has become part of Tournesol Siteworks. We’re rapidly growing, and acquiring Stonewear gives us the opportunity to take advantage of their maquiladora-based lightweight concrete manufacturing footprint straddling the Texas-Mexico border.  In addition, Tournesol will now be able to offer turnkey fountains, security and barrier products and an even larger selection of site furnishings and planters.

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a turnkey 12′ Stonewear Fountain

Tournesol will be consolidating the full current Stonewear product offering into its existing lineup. Stonewear’s focus on products for urban landscapes fits perfectly with Tournesol’s existing strategic direction. Most exciting is the line of pre-engineered fountains  that Stonewear has been manufacturing for the last 20 years. There are hundreds of  options, and when combined with Stonewear’s installation services, adding a dramatic splash to a project couldn’t be any easier.

Turnkey fountains from 8'-16'
Turnkey fountains from 8′-16′

We’ve been close with Stonewear for nearly a decade, and have always admired the level of craftsmanship of their work. Their focus on operational excellence in GFRC will enhance Tournesol Siteworks’ offering in that material, and we’re looking forward to expanding our sales in lightweight concrete with the improved capacity.

Security planter barriers and bollards
Security planter barriers and bollards

Stonewear has a been a leader in lightweight concrete with a history going back over 30 years. Their craftsmen are some of the best when it comes to GFRC, and will be also manufacturing much of our concrete product in the El Paso and Juarez locations. This will free up space and labor for more FRP fabrication in Northern California. We’ll explore more of their product options and features on future blog postings.

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Aventine urns, with base

Former Stonewear owner Ben Vandenbossche commented that “Tournesol will be a great home for the Stonewear product line. They understand selling and marketing to designers, and we’re looking forward to them continuing the Stonewear tradtion”  Ben will remain active in a consulting role for several months. The rest of the employees will join Tournesol Siteworks as Stonewear’s operations in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez will be expanded as volume increases.

A Historic Renovation

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Founded in 1881, Pearl Brewery of San Antonio, Texas, was one of the largest breweries in the state. Adjacent to the old stables where the brewery housed its draft horses is a new 22-acre multi-use complex with restaurants, shops and park space developed by Lake/Flato.

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Tournesol Siteworks worked extensively on the project in conjunction with landscape architect Rialto Studio, installation contractor, LMI, and our distributor partner Ewing Irrigation. In addition to the previously installed Wilshire Boxes on the parking garage (above), the final phase included an array of metal infused fiberglass planters.

The Pearl Brewery renovation chose the Urban Collection in our metal-infused finishes- Sleek, simple, and elegantly proportioned, they work with most modern designs.

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While the design might be simple, their choice of using T-0 texture on some portions of the project (above) and T-2 texture on others (below) was unusual. When using metal-infused colors (bronze above, aluminum below), clients tend to order a T-0 (smooth) finish. The decision ended up being a great solution as the color looks rich, and the texture offers a more durable finish. In this case the texture hid any staining that occurs on the metal as well.

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Architectural Record recently showcased this amazing re-purposing project that took an asphalt-covered site and turned it into a thriving multi-use complex. Beyond restaurants, this lively urban district includes a branch of the Culinary Institute of America, a farmer’s market, residential units and an outdoor amphitheatre.

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We are proud to be part of such a comprehensive sustainability project. Now completed, the site has planted over 660 trees and the rest of the landscape is comprised of native and adapted plants that requiring less water. In addition, the old brewing vats hold recycled rainwater. The final plans involve renovation of the brewhouse back into a microbrewery!

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Gables Uptown Trail, Dallas, TX

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Downtown Collection Planters at the Gables Uptown Trail complex, Dallas - photos courtesy of Ewing Irrigation
Downtown Collection Planters at the Gables Uptown Trail apartment complex, Dallas – photos courtesy of Ewing Irrigation

The Downtown Collection is officially the hottest shape of the season. Just based upon  recent installations (the Westport Plaza in St. Louis) and one soon to come (the City of Norwalk, CT), we’re having trouble keeping them in stock!!

Continue reading Gables Uptown Trail, Dallas, TX

Hanging planters at Highland Village, Houston, TX

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Wilshire Box hanging planters – photos courtesy of Luis Andrade, Ewing Irrigation

There are certain projects that slip under the radar around here.  This project, sold by our friends at Ewing Irrigation in Houston, came as a complete surprise to our salesperson Jon Willingham when out travelling with Luis Andrade, Ewing’s Water Management Specialist in the Houston area. Continue reading Hanging planters at Highland Village, Houston, TX

The Urban Tall

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Mi Dia restaurant patio, Dallas, TX

In 2008 we fabricated a custom Urban planter for a retail mall project in Florida. The planter was designed to hide bollards, so was designed specifically to be the same size as our 24″ square, but 48″ tall.  Once that project was complete, we adapted the tool for our own use – and the Urban Tall planter was born.

The pot is something of a “red-headed stepchild”.  It is has different proportions than the rest of the Urban Collection, and so only garners one line in our marketing materials. Nevertheless, it has become one of our more popular planters.  Although it doesn’t get much attention, we felt it deserves it’s own post.

The planters in the image above and below were specified & installed by GHA Architecture/Development of Dallas, TX. The Mi Dia From Scratch restaurant, and the neighboring Winewood Restaurant (both located in Grapevine) used the URT-2400 with our CWC-R1850 container irrigation self-watering insert.  All the containers were delivered in the T-0 texture in black.

Continue reading The Urban Tall