Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Voice, A Respite, and Green space surrounding it all

Everyone has a voice and opinion in the world, expressed from the beginning of time.  One of the surprising things I picked up in my technical writing minor was how scientists’ centuries ago communicated with each other and the public.   Next time you are in an old science museum, or get a hand on old medical textbook, take a look at how they detail their observations and relate it to causes and effects; and what their recommendations are to fix the problem.  It‘s all very cool stuff!

Mercy West green roof prep. Patient room windows being installed.
With social media, we choose to follow, listen, and share our stories, thoughts, and research with others who may want to know, or who can’t wait to complain about it.  Haha.  Our green roof industry accepts similar praise and criticism especially as Rain Taxes and other fees associated with green building construction tend to bring on the naysayers along with those supporting its successes.  For my business, we find social media as an inexpensive marketing tool that stays very current with trends- although they are not scientifically proven or factually correct.  Just as with my blog here, social media is full of personal opinion sometimes, but not always, driven from personal experience.  If you like it, you’ll read more; If you need green roof service, perhaps you’ll remember my name.

Today, I want to highlight Mercy West Hospital in Cincinnati OH that I just saw pop on Twitter and Facebook that I was actively involved with for many months before leaving Tecta at the end of 2012.   Because I am not currently involved in the project, the best way to stay informed is to follow those who are!  The Mercy West Hospital was bid by Turner Co.  Based from a local relationship and Tecta’s past history with green roofing, I was brought in to the local office to help estimate, offer specification clarification, and ultimately sell the project and Tecta’s expertise.   We won the bid, which
Ariel view of site with green roof soil and berms in place Nov '12
included a 110,000 sf semi-intensive green roof and many other conventional roofed areas.  The hardest sell I found, however, was to the new project manager who was tasked with managing the entire roof job- the idea of his crew installing drainage, soil, and growing plants- was a little overwhelming.   And, with good reason- this was a huge undertaking with a living system full of forbs and succulents! The installation finally happened in late September 2012 and went down as quickly as the roofing was inspected, even though we needed water pressure and just didn't have it where we needed it.   The job remained on time and within the budget I proposed, which I admit to bragging a bit on that.  (I'm allowed to, this is a BLOG- haha)

It was certainly a team effort – not only by the general contractor – but also by the vendors and subs selected for the green roof materials and work.   During the test run of the layout, the Colbond rolls were reasonably spaced out, with instructions located in the ship wrap.  Meeting Meisner Assoc. on site several times to approve various progress points was usually fun, but some times stressful.    I remember seeing RK Hydrovac crews black from head to toe by blowing the soil and barely recognizing them weeks later at a trade show.  The on site communication I
Spring May '13
had with Emory Knoll Farms on the planting progress allowed them to stay on shipping targets during the busy fall.  Green City’s team planting the berms and staying on their target while sharing interesting and local green roof stories. 
A successful installation in fall is a great way to end the year!  The best long term success of a green roof is how well it’s maintained, how the hospital staff appreciate it from all views of the building for years to come and most importantly, how responsive the patients are to having a green roof view.  With the staff already very excited about how quickly the roof greened up and is growing this spring, I am sure the updates from this record breaking design will be keeping us in the know!  For the latest plant blooming and more information, click here:

NOTE: An updated article with new photos and project description is here!