New green roof garden tops off Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
The Rockford Park District is adding a 4,300-square-foot green roof garden to the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. Second St.
The LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof System from LiveRoof, LLC (Spring Lake, Mich.) was selected for the project.
Christiansen Roofing, Inc., of Rockford — owned by Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R) — is installing the green roof, which was made possible by the financial support of Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc. (Loves Park).
Ruth Miller, manager at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, said: “The green roof decreases stormwater runoff, reduces energy use by insulating the rooftop, and extends the service life of the building’s structural roof by shielding it. In addition, the green roof will allow us to enhance educational opportunities by teaching visitors about sustainability during select times when the green roof is available for tours.”
Situated along the banks of the Rock River in Rockford Park District’s Sinnissippi Gardens, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens brings the tropics to the Midwest. The facility is the third-largest conservatory in Illinois, with a total of 22,000 square feet, and includes an 11,000-square-foot plant exhibition area complete with water features, seating areas and sculptures.
The 4,300-square-foot green roof, scheduled for completion by Aug. 3, includes 4,190 square feet of LiveRoof Standard Modules (4.25 inches deep), supplemented by 128 square feet of LiveRoof Deep Modules (6 inches deep).
Jason Ney, landscape architect for the Rockford Park District, said: “We selected LiveRoof because it is the system that establishes a green roof as a naturally functioning, living system with a continuous surface of soil. Since LiveRoof is delivered with modules abundantly vegetated with full-grown plants, it gives us a complete and immediately beautiful green roof.”
Dave MacKenzie, horticulturalist and president of LiveRoof, LLC, said: “With 6 inches of growing medium, the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens green roof features taller accent plants in several native species. These plants enhance the beauty and biodiversity of the roof, recreating a natural habitat that attracts butterflies and other beneficial insects, in addition to birds such as hummingbirds.”
Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens is an LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facility. The new green roof system will increase the conservatory’s LEED points. A viewing deck, which can accommodate 20 to 30 people, will be open to the public during select hours starting Aug. 3.
LiveRoof modules feature the Soil Elevator and Moisture Portal, patent-pending innovations that establish a LiveRoof green roof as a unified, naturally functioning ecosystem. Plant roots are free to grow in a natural way from one module to the next. This ecological integration between and above the modules maximizes the cohesiveness of the soil and plant roots to optimize plant health, long-term green roof sustainability, and green roof benefits while minimizing maintenance requirements.
From the Aug. 1-7, 2012, issue
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