ASLA and AIA Oregon EP Greenroof Tour

Greenworker Claire Maulhardt, along with other ASLA and AIA Oregon Emerging Professional (EP) members, organized a great educational event on June 13th, Local Innovation in Greenroofs.  The sold out event was a green roof tour of three Portland buildings, followed by a lecture/discussion lead by Tim Nash of Columbia Green hosted at the Center for Architecture. Speakers on the green roof tour also included Casey Cunningham, City of Portland’s Sustainable Stormwater Division, and Trent Thelen, landscape designer of The Indigo Building green roof. The speakers talked about the plants, wildlife and technology of greenroofs.  The event met ASLA Oregon EP committee’s goal of encouraging professional enhancement.  Participants were given a unique opportunity to further their education and connect with fellow landscape designers and landscape architects. Greenworkers Danae Davison, Derek Sergison, and Azad Sadjadi were among the 25 participants. This tour was ASLA Oregon’s Summer 2012 EP 101 Series event and was sponsored by Willamette Graystone and Columbia Green.

Special THANKS to Christopher Olin, Desirae Williams, and Emily Hull all their efforts in making the event a success! AND to the other EP Committee members for helping us staff the event.

Graham Oaks Nature Park Green Roof Featured in Parks and Rec Magazine!

Metro's Graham Oaks Nature Park, located in Wilsonville, Oregon is loved by neighbors and animal inhabitants alike. GreenWorks always strives to meld built elements and the natural environment together in our designs. A great example of how we've achieved this can be seen in the structures at Graham Oaks Nature Park.

The shelter is a modified prefabricated structure from Western Wood Structures. It was was modified to match the restroom on site as well as incorporate green features like the ecoroof. These multifunctional efforts were developed by a forward thinking team.

  • Waterleaf Architecture worked to match colors, roof lines and green features from prefabricated structures from two different manufacturers.
  • GreenWorks worked to develop an irrigation and ecoroof plan that would flourish in the sites open condition.
  • Metro (as always) pushed the sustainable envelope and was able to support these slight modifications to make the buildings more ‘green’.
The result is seamless, beautiful and functional.

The National Recreation and Park Association recently included the ecoroof in an article entitled 'Green is Gold' in its March 2012 issue.

You can read the full article on the Parks and Recreation Magazine website.

Students Gain Invaluable Professional Insight

GreenWorks hosted two energetic student groups last week, giving them a sneak peek into the profession. Claire Maulhardt, landscape designer, is involved with two students groups that encourage the relationship between students and the Landscape Architecture profession; ACE Mentoring program for high school students (Architecture, Construction Management and Engineering) and ASLA Oregon Student Liaison.

Claire’s enthusiasm for teaching leads to her involvement in the (ACE) Mentoring program designed for high school students interested in pursuing Architecture, Construction Management and Engineering. On January 25th, GreenWorks hosted one of the biweekly meetings exposing students to a range of projects in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design. The students learned about site analysis and site planning  related to drawings for a waterfront café they are designing over the next few months. Crowded around the site plan on the wall, students threw out suggestions for site placement of their café  and discussed the opportunities and constraints as they took turns drawing. At the end of the two-hour session, the students came to an agreement on their building location. To create the most ideal waterfront “atmosphere,” the student team placed their café cantilevered over the river. In the coming weeks, structural engineering mentors will walk them through the exciting challenges that this decision imposes on the process of design and construction.


Claire Maulhardt is also involved with ASLA Oregon as a Student Liaison on the Executive Committee. This role helps facilitates the relationship between the Student ASLA chapter and ASLA Oregon. On January 28th, GreenWorks hosted five college students from the University of Oregon as part of the Eighteenth Annual Shadow Mentor Day, an event organized by the University of Oregon’s Professional Outreach and Development Services (PODS), the Department of Landscape Architecture, Student ASLA and ASLA Oregon. The students spent the day with GreenWorks staffers learning about the day-to-day of being a landscape architect. GreenWorks staff and the students toured a few recent projects, one of which was 1st and Main, a new roof terrace garden closed to the general public. The students learned about the range of green roof types and had ample opportunity to ask LOTS of questions about Landscape Design.



First & Main Building Grand Opening

Earlier this month developer Shorenstein Properties unveiled Portland's newest downtown office building, First & Main.  GreenWorks took part in this $100 million, 15-story office tower in the downtown Portland core with views of the waterfront as well as downtown open spaces.  Slated for LEED-Gold, this tower offers unique amenities, including a large- bike hub, as well a 13,000 s.f. of extensive ecoroof and a 15,000 square foot rooftop terrace.  Both of these amenities work to achieve the stormwater management strategies, as well as provide habitat, reduce heat island effect, and provide a pleasant place to relax for office workers.  Included in the terrace is a large open plaza zone, looping pathway for exercise, and large planters with a range of lush vegetation.  Acting as an oasis in the city, these spaces add to the sustainability and marketability of this high-profile project which includes highly-efficient irrigation, quality materials, and innovative design.

Eco-roof helps solve high-rise height problem

Based on a history of sustainable sucessful private development projects and knowledge of regional ecoroof incentives, GreenWorks PC was hired to provide landscape architecture services for The Beacon, a mixed use development in downtown Portland.  Services include ecoroof and rooftop terrace concepts for multiple building levels, including design, detailing & specifications.  This required working closely with the client and team to provide and submit information for review directly with Bureau of Environmental Services - ensuring the project was in compliance for the specific FAR Density Bonus requirements. GreenWorks was also responsible for developing exterior space designs, including outdoor entry plazas, pavement, water features, integrated stormwater planters, public art, exterior lighting and vegetated walls to provide additional amenity to local inhabitants and future residents. A recent Daily Journal of Commerce article highlighted the Beacon and it's community impact: 

Eco-roof helps solve high-rise height problem

POSTED: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 10:28 AM PT BY: Eli Segall 
Jerry Eekhoff, above, represents the developers of The Beacon, a proposed mixed-use building on Southwest Sixth Avenue, near Portland State University. The city’s Design Commission is scheduled to vote on the project on Thursday. (Photo by Dan Carter/DJC)Jerry Eekhoff represents the developers of The Beacon, a proposed mixed-use building on Southwest Sixth Avenue, near Portland State University. The city’s Design Commission is scheduled to vote on the project on Thursday. (Photo by Dan Carter/DJC)

The developers of a Portland high-rise last year sought to build higher than allowed by transferring development rights from a downtown historic building. A city panel suggested another approach, sending the builders back to the drawing board.

Now they’re proposing to build an eco-roof in order to gain extra building height.

The mixed-use project, known as The Beacon, is on Southwest Sixth Avenue near Portland State University. The rooftops of the building’s 13-story and nine-story towers, along with a small portion of a second-floor roof, will be covered by a combined 6,668 square feet of eco-roof, more than 60 percent of the total footprint, according to a cityBureau of Development Services report.

A vote by the city’s Design Commission on the project, formerly known as College Station, is scheduled for Thursday.

Meanwhile, at least two other planned high-rises in downtown could gain height by including eco-roofs, said Christine Caruso, the Portland city planner overseeing The Beacon. She declined to identify the projects because, she said, plans have not been finalized.

Brent Grubb, an architect with Skylab Architecture, said the company’s planned Weave Building, at the corner of West Burnside Street and Southwest 13th Avenue, will have an eco-roof. He said this will earn the building an extra two floors of space, allowing it to be a maximum of 12 stories.

As for The Beacon, “they ended up doing the eco-roof as one of the only ways to get what they needed,” Caruso said.

The bonus, which provides up to 3 square feet of extra floor area for every square foot of eco-roof , is not new. According to Troy Doss, a senior planner with the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the option has been available for roughly eight years. He could not immediately confirm how many buildings have received the bonus.

But in the past five years, he said, eco-roofs have become increasingly popular, especially in the Pearl District and in the South Waterfront District, where, he said, “just about all” new projects have it.

The Beacon, a proposed mixed-used building on Southwest Sixth Avenue, near Portland State University, will have 6,668 square feet of eco-roofing spread among three rooftops. The building, a rendering of which is above, was supposed to be a maximum 125 feet tall, but the eco-roofing will let its developers add an extra 45 feet of height. They’re choosing to add 18.5 feet. (Photo courtesy Jerry Eekhoff)The Beacon, a proposed mixed-used building near Portland State University, was supposed to be a maximum 125 feet tall, but by adding eco-roofing, its developers can add up to an extra 45 feet of height. (Photo courtesy Jerry Eekhoff)

And, he said, many new eco-roofs are built not to earn height extensions, but to help projects achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

When the bonus was introduced, Doss noted, green roofs were not the industry standard, and builders were afraid of leaks or roofs burdened by excessive weight.

“It’s less bonus-driven at this point than general practice by a lot of people,” Doss said.

Nevertheless, The Beacon, without any bonuses, is allowed to be 125 feet tall. According to the development services report, its planned eco-roof and art exhibit have earned the project an extra 45 feet of height.

The developers, though, are asking for only an additional 18.5 feet. Their representative,Jerry Eekhoff, principal of Portland-based W.E. Develop, did not say why they aren’t using the full bonus.

The developers originally sought to build a student housing complex at the site and, to earn more height, transfer development rights from the historic Henry Building.

But this transfer would have required City Council approval, which, according to Caruso, would have required the project include some kind of public benefit, like a park.

The development apparently lacked that.

“Just building a new building is not necessarily a public benefit,” Caruso said. “It’s bigger than that.”

According to the city, eco-roofs - often comprised of grass, plants and other vegetation - reduce storm water run-off and provide habitat for birds, among other benefits.

“It was better for the project,” Eekhoff said of the eco-roof. “It’s a green building.”

The Beacon’s ground-breaking is at least eight months away, he said.

Meanwhile, the city offers other incentive programs to add eco-roofs, such as grants of $5 for every square foot of green roof built.

The grant program, which started in July 2008, has had three funding cycles, the most recent of which ended this month.

According to Alice Meyers, environmental specialist with Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, the city has approved $700,000 in funding, all of which is contingent upon the roofs being built.

“And we inspect,” said Amy Chomowicz, the city’s eco-roof program administrator. “We even confirm the final square footage.”

Regenerative Design in Urban Land


The August 2009 issue of Urban Land (the publication of the Urban Land Institute - ULI) featured an article on 'Regenerative Design' authored by GreenWorks Senior Associate Jason King, along with Ankrom Moisan Principal Scott Thayer.  The article discussed our transition from sustainability to regeneration of communities, and included projects such as Independence Station, Tanner Springs Park, and the Headwaters at Tryon Creek.


Images copyright (ULI) - Click here to read the entire issue online (and jump to pg. 48 for the specific article).

A Hopeful Rooftop Harvest

The Multnomah County Hope Garden installed in mid-June as a GreenWorks pro-bono project with a host of other partners, continues to thrive.  On August 19th hosted a crowd to continue the harvest.  Commissioner Judy Shiprack, Sustainability Coordinator Kat West, and many others celebrated with a brief  'harvest' ceremony to celebrate the donations of time, labor, and materials from a wide range of people and local businesses.

mc_hope_garden 011

The produce will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank to combat hunger issues in our region, and if you have surplus veggies from your garden, these can be donated to OFB through the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign.  Over 4000 pounds of produce so far this year has been donated from local gardeners - over 50 of which came for this very productive 150 square feet of rooftop.

mc_hope_garden 003
commissioner shiprack addresses the crowd
the bounty grows
the bounty grows
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the plaque showing donations and volunteers

Cool Roofs

A reprint of a recent editorial in The Oregonian, from Sunday, August 16, 2009

The coolest roofs in the world

by The Oregonian Editorial Board, Sunday August 16, 2009, 10:32 AM


Jason King, a landscape architect who designed the green space on the fifth floor of the Multnomah Building, says most folks don't even know the green roof exists.

"Portland helped pioneer a growing movement in green roofs, but the city must look to Chicago, Toronto and Tokyo for more inspiration

Portland's history with green roofs traces back to a rainy day in 1996 when Tom Liptan stood in his driveway, soaking wet, watching to see whether if his new garage roof, a combination of soil and plants, would hold water.

It did.

Thirteen years later, Portland boasts 165 green roofs, and counting. And Liptan, a landscape architect for the city's Bureau of Environmental Services, has become a nationally known expert in vegetative roofs. And every year, scores of Portland homeowners and builders now seek grants from the city to develop more green roofs.

Green roofs have become a nice little environmental success story in Portland. But they are emerging as much more in places such as Chicago, Toronto and Tokyo that have taken green roofs to a whole new scale. In Tokyo, for example, atop the towering high rises in the Mori Building complex you can find rice paddies, vegetables and trees amid a stunning rooftop garden. In Chicago, a strong push by city officials and private contractors have led to more than 600 green roofs covering more than 3 million square feet.

These roofs are cool, in every sense of the word. Tokyo, Chicago and others are emphasizing green roofs as a way to cool the "heat islands" created by the concrete, asphalt and metal of modern cities. The Mori Building complex, for example, has helped cut temperatures by several degrees in Tokyo's Roppongi Hills district.

Liptan and others pioneered green roofs in Portland as stormwater collectors, designed to catch and hold heavy rains and reduce pressure on the city's often overwhelmed combined sewer system. But during the recent string of days in the high 90s and 100s, for example, the thick, naturally insulating roofs did double duty, keeping buildings cool.

"Green roof" is a catch-all term. It covers "eco-roofs," which are thin layers of soil and simple vegetation, such as grasses, and "garden roofs," which are more elaborate and intensive green roofs. Portland now has about 9.5 acres of ecoroofs, and about 11.5 acres of garden roofs. The city has set an ambitious goal of more than doubling the acreage of green roofs by 2013.

It's an ambitious but realistic goal, even for a city that has no plans to emulate Toronto, Tokyo and others that require some green roofs in large new urban developments. Portland uses a range in incentives, from grants to expanded development rights, to coax more builders into incorporating green roofs.

That's getting easier and more feasible all the time. There's a fledging green roof industry in Portland and the Northwest that is developing best practices and new materials, and identifying plants able to best withstand the heat and wind of the roof environment. It's also helping dispel some of the myths and misconceptions, such as the worry that green roofs are especially vulnerable to leaks. In fact, well built green roofs have an anticipated life span of 40 years -- twice that of many conventional roofs.

When you spend time on some of the world's most impressive green roofs, as one of our Editorial Board members writers did during a recent trip to Tokyo, you see the tremendous potential of green roofs, not just to cool heat islands, but to create far more usable, beautiful space in a city. In one Tokyo neighborhood a high-rise was covered with a "kitchen garden," covered with olive trees and grapevines. In another, the "Vertical Garden City" of Roppongi, a rice paddy and vegetable garden stood more than 130 feet above a development that lined with thousands of cherry trees.

That's a long way from Tom Liptan's humble goal of capturing stormwater runoff on his garage roof. But smart, creative people in Portland are doing great things with their roofs, too, such as growing heirloom tomatoes and vegetables.

Yet there's still an enormous opportunity with green roofs in Portland. Yes, doubling the total area of green roofs here to 40-plus acres by 2013 is an ambitious goal. But next time you fly into Portland International Airport, or look down from a Portland high rise, look down at all the roofs. There are 12,500 acres of conventional roofs in Portland. This city has only begun to go green."

Summer Sustainability...

GreenWorks is excited to be involved again in 2009 with the 2nd iteration of the Summer Sustainability Series program on 'Sustainability in the Built Environment.

From the Website:

"The Summer Sustainability Series offers unique professional programs based on the ground-breaking work of Oregon’s businesses, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and policy makers. We visit experts and practitioners in the field as they bring their experiences to life. Participants will join other thought leaders from a range of professions, pushing beyond the current thinking to find better solutions."



Again this year, GreenWorks Principal Jim Figurski gave an overview of the process of creating Tanner Springs Park (a collaboration between GreenWorks and Atelier Dreisietl, seen above). And Doug Shapiro of Hoyt Street Properties gave everyone the opportunity to get a birds eye view of the park atop the penthouse of the Metropolitan Condominiums. Not a bad perspective.


Day 2 Featured a presentation by Jason King, Senior Associate, giving a tour of the Multnomah County Building Green Roof (in full bloom below) and the newly planted rooftop urban agriculture demonstration, the Hope Garden.


Gardening for Hope

GreenWorks has been honored to help orchestrate the transformation of the rooftop planters on the Multnomah County Green Roof into a 'Hope Garden' ... From Multnomah County website:

"Multnomah County and the City of Portland are partnering to plant organic vegetable gardens at their respective headquarters to recognize the growing community interest in local food systems and to inspire residents to plant their own edible gardens.  “Growing food is a great way for a family to reduce food costs, spend time together, and to assist hungry families,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack.   “Multnomah County recognizes that our local food system has a significant impact on the economy, health, and environment of our community,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen. “And this demonstration project fits one of the county’s core missions to promote healthy people and healthy communities.”

Volunteers from a number of organizations and firms contributed their time and effort into making the garden a reality.  A list of donations includes:

:: GreenWorks Landscape Architects :: Teufel Landscape :: Tremco Roofing :: Anderson Roofing :: Phillips Soil Products :: HD Fowler :: Oregon Wire :: Territorial Seeds :: Plant Health :: Portland Nursery :: Parr Lumber  


Food will be cared for by the Multnomah County Green Team, and donated to local food banks via the Share your Harvest program.  The roof is publically accessible at 501 SE Hawthorne, and open during regular business hours.  Plus the view of downtown is stunning. CIMG5383