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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Remodel: End of Day 8 & Building Berms

The roof redesign is starting to take shape - literally!  Today's project was to install the first of the berms that the new roof will showcase. 

Building a hill seems easy enough, doesn't it?  But when you're creating a hill on a ROOF, it's a totally different game.  The Berry Center was intentionally designed and constructed to hold a green roof, so there are unusually heavy-duty supports in the infrastructure beneath the Berry Prairie.  Even so, it can hold only so much weight (hence the need for soil-less growing medium which is lighter and drains water faster than real soil) and piling a bunch of "dirt" in a hill would exceed that.

To solve this issue while meeting the Biodiversity Institute's desire for more topography and vertical interest on the roof, the designers came up with the plan to excavate the growing medium to a certain depth, add Geofoam (which is essentially landscape-grade styrofoam), and pile the medium back on top of it so the depth is still 8-12" but at a higher elevation.  Make sense?  Very clever.

Photos of the process:

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Remodel: end of day 2

Almost half way done removing the plants from the roof:

The plant pile is getting large!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Remodel: End of Day 1

The signs of progress:

But still a LOT to do:

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute

The Remodel Begins!

Today is the first day of the Berry Prairie remodel!  We are disposing of all of the dead plants that didn't survive the Roofing Fiasco of 2012, taking the live plants off the roof and putting them into a nursery in the meantime, and then changing the landscape of the roof.  

We're working with the fabulous Allison Fleury of Inside Out Landscape Architecture in Jackson for the design.  UW Facilities Planning, the building architects at Malone Belton Abel, and the contractor, Arcon, are big players in this game too.

The new roof will have 2 berms to add some height and interest, as well as a larger plant list that includes plants native within a 200 mile radius (rather than a 25 mile radius as before).  We'll have three distinct zones showing different ecosystems: prairie, foothills and alpine.  And we're changing our irrigation system to be pop-up smart-sprinklers (that can gauge wind speed, recent rainfall, humidity, etc. and change their sprinkling accordingly).  

A few photos of the initial steps:

1.  Remove all dead plants (leaving little craters that make it look like we play polo on the green roof)

2. Pot up tiny seedlings that might get trampled in the process

3. Pot up the rest of the plants for safe keeping during the remodel

Stay tuned for more updates!

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute