Last week marked the grand opening of the Hacienda Futsal Court in Northeast Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. Jason King of Terra Fluxus worked with Hacienda and the design team to provide site plan, stormwater management, and green roof design for this covered, open-air structure. Check out a pick of project partner Verde‘s Alan Hipolito saying a few words at the event.
The Hacienda Futsal Court is completed in Northeast Portland, and a major addition to a park deficient area of Portland. The community-funded project was designed by Scott Edwards Architecture, the simple weather-proof open structure provides a safe spot for young ones in a park-deficient area to burn off some extra energy. The building also features some limited green roof bands, installed by Green Above Ground partners Snyder Roofing of Oregon, Teufel Landscape, and Verde. Parts of the roof (still to be planted), which should be visible at times along the edges from Killingsworth while further aiding in stormwater reduction.
The structure is tucked next to an the existing Hacienda building, so site access is limited, but offered room for a couple of simple and inexpensive moves give some sustainability and usability to the court. To save money, the goal was to have zero net runoff, so the site areas on the main entrance is a simple walkway of permeable pavers, to avoid the need for additional stormwater management by reduction of impervious surfaces.
And while there isn’t a lot of extra room inside the court, this is remedied by a simple vegetated berm with columnar trees along the edge provides a comfortable seat for folks to take in a game, and will be a comfortable buffer between a proposed building to the west (left side of the view below).
Terra Fluxus was in the news again, with a DJC Oregon piece by Lee Fehrenbacher on the green roof industry quoting owner and Principal Landscape Architect on some of the challenges of getting green roofs built in Portland. The industry has a positive outlook overall – which bodes well for the firm, which focuses on green roofs in addition to other ecological design and planning strategies.
As mentioned in the article:
“Jason King, principal of TERRA.fluxus, a Portland design firm specializing in eco-technology, launched his business in
2008. (2010) It endured the recession with the help of several large green roof projects at OHSU and the Bonneville Power Administration headquarters in the Lloyd District. King said the public sector has been the biggest market for green roofs, because the long-term return on investment pencils out easily. According to a 2008 cost benefit analysis by the city, the net benefit to a private owner of a green roof after 40 years is $404,000. After just five years, however, the net benefit is minus $129,000.
That latter number makes a green roof a hard sell to a developer who builds and sells in the short term, and King said other systems like bio-swales and impervious pavers become alternatives. He questions what would happen if the city’s $5-per-square-foot incentive were to expire. Burlin said the program has enough money to offer incentives through mid-2013.
“I don’t think we’ve gotten there yet,” King said as to whether green roofs can pencil out without incentives. “I don’t think we’ve looked at the life cycle costs and made the financial case to owners, particularly those … developing in the short term.”
To elaborate a bit, there’s a direct financial incentive for public owners (such as the GSA, which owns the BPA building shown above) because they can absorb a longer return-on-investment and reap significant gains. This isn’t to say it doesn’t make sense to others, but it’s a more difficult sell to add to re-roofing or structural upgrades, when the remaining financial incentives (reduced stormwater fees) are relatively small. We may see more of the externalities start to have some specific price tags, such as incentives for habitat, heat island reduction, or aesthetics – but that’s definitely My concern isn’t whether the $5 / square foot incentive will mean the death of green roofs in Portland. I think the industry and the types of developers, along with some of the other incentives such as FAR bonus, will continue to install green roofs.
We need, as an industry, to get real about some of the costs and the appropriate types of installation – rather than a standard ‘product’ applied any project as a commodity, the idea of designing for the specific needs of a project makes sense for two reasons. The first, is that you are designing for the specific needs of a client – and for the configuration of the roof, which eliminates unnecessary edging, layers, plastic trays, and other items that folks use to generate money at the expense of the building owner. This should mean less cost (and less waste), and inevitably more green roofs.
Second, it breeds innovation, and allows for constant refinement of process, to improve every time – rather than continually churning out the same product over and over. Using our shared knowledge and appropriate experimentation, we can improve through innovating new details, materials, and methods. And innovation, inevitably, it was makes the industry thrive.
Link to a full PDF of the article here.
Lots of activity at the Cully Community Garden, with pathways, kiosk, and . A work party on August 21st, a group of community members, including lots of kids, worked hard in establishing pathways. An image from the work party, from the Let Us Build Cully Park facebook page, looks like a lot of fun!
The results are establishment of pathways and 20×20′ beds, which will be available to future gardeners. These pathways will be filled with wood chips for access to the plots.
Work has also started on the entry kiosk, which is being built by a group of Green Team members from Groundwork Portland, with some assistance from Verde Energy, working on the basic structure and the roof. Further assistance from Ecoroofs Everywhere will include some roof membrane installation for the future green roof.
More to come!
A garden is emerging from the grass and blackberry at Cully Park, with fill material installed, compost and water connections, and the beginnings of a kiosk. A few photos of in process garden construction, with a great team effort so far, including partners Colas Construction, Verde, Groundwork Portland, Portland Parks & Recreation, and Oregon Tradeswomen. More to come in the next month as pathways, shed, raised beds, fencing, and more take shape.
A year in the works, the green roof atop the Metro Household Hazardous Waste (H2W) Facility (see details here and here) is getting close to being finished. Snyder Roofing has completed the roofing, and Enviroscapes NW is installing the vegetated portions this week. The multi-roof project has over 2,500 square feet of with the green roof assembly in place, irrigation heads and growing media, along with pavers. Plants and project wrap up should happen by end of July.
In addition, a large informational sign, developed by Metro, TERRA.fluxus, and Orangewall Studios will greet visitors to the facility, while they are dropping off their hazardous materials. Approximately 25,000 people annually visit the facility, and while they can’t see the project – they can look up and envision the stormwater management in action.
We do a lot of large projects, whether that be housing, medical facilities, green roofs, or landscape remediation. It’s fun sometimes to focus on the small-scale, such as this residential example of rooftop greening on a home garage at SE Stephens Street in Portland. The owners Staci and Carol were excited about the idea of transforming their garage rooftop into a lush amenity, seeing as this was the view from their dining and kitchen area – a black epdm roof and white flashing.
TERRA.fluxus sketched a quick plan for the 260 square foot roof, incorporating a number of features, including trailing plants on the edges, mounds built up with boulders, birdbath. The clients wanted a semblance of order, but also to provide habitat for birds, particularly hummingbirds, and the more rare over-wintering, non-migratory Anna’s Hummingbird – which likes a range of flowering species and local insect populations. A range of perennials were provided on the berms, complemented by some grasses and sedum cuttings on the lower areas. The project scope also included submission of the Ecoroof Incentive from the City of Portland, a $5/square foot incentive to promote green roofs of varying types, sizes, and conditions throughout Portland.
We enlisted Ecoroofs Everywhere to install the project, and Dan Manning and crew provided full-service, including a new roof membrane, augmented flashing, and the full installation of soil, boulders, plants, and other amenities. In addition, they provided structural upgrades for the garage, adding more bracing and plywood on the interior to accommodate the additional green roof weight. A few photos of the installation of soil, layout and berming, and initial planting, show their progress.
The newly planted roof looks great – seen here from the dining area – you see the birdbath – with access pavers, mounds, and featherstone boulders, as well as some simple solar lighting.
The back around newly planted as well… Happy clients, and the roof will just look better with age.
A recent pro-bono project has started to be implemented. Working with Groundwork Portland and the Muslim Community Center of Portland, TERRA.fluxus helped to expand the community garden – the Seeds of Understanding Garden – which is located at N. Killingsworth and N. Vancouver in Portland. A site plan of the garden shows the range of elements including food production, native planting, and stormwater management.
A couple of work-parties in April and early May expanded the garden and included construction of raised beds, new community garden areas, access ramp, and native plantings. A visible element started during the May work party was the ecoroof kiosk, which was placed near the street for a future informational signage and kiosk. TERRA.fluxus went to the Green Roof Information Think-tank to get some volunteers to complete the kiosk over Memorial day weekend – and found the eager assistance of Portland State University Environmental Science students Bonnie and Wes. Thanks to Dave at Pro-Gro Mixes for donation of growing media, Holly Huntley from Environs PDX for the preliminary construction, and Ecoroofs Everywhere for putting a roof membrane on the structure. Much appreciated!
Photos of this weekend installation are below:
The completed structure – the newest 16 square feet of green roof in Portland.
A follow-up visit of some OHSU green roofs show them filling in nicely – which is pretty good progress for projects after a full season and a winter or two. We had difficulty with some early plantings, a quick deep freeze killed some of the plants, and summer issues including fine-tuning the irrigation, some construction traffic, and other issues kept the roof from getting established quickly. What happens with sedum cuttings (and sedum species in general) is to shift from green to red. While some species are always reddish in color – others are green and shift to red when stressed (which is why many roofs look more red in the late summer). At some point, and typically with cuttings, addition of more water won’t shift back to a healthy green. The evolution over the past year and a half for the CDRC is telling – as the evolution roof to go from newly planted to red, sparse, and through irrigation, fertilization and some supplemental cuttings, back to healthy.
The issue with CDRC has been found at a number of local roofs, and leads many roofs established with cuttings to move towards a more ‘stressed’ condition of red foliage, and some plant sparseness. The C-Wing project at OHSU, now in its second season, is going through a similar issue, and will benefit from some early spring fertilization, which should make the sedums pop while still maintaining the color bands and texture difference.
The HRC Project has a somewhat different issue… as it is shady and hasn’t had the amount of stress. The roof is looking really nice even with the lack of sunlight during winter months, and ferns, strawberry, and other shade-loving plants are thriving. There are a few sedum species that tolerate shade, and these are doing ok, but are slow to fill in. The plan is to take some of the plants that are doing better and supplement other areas to provide more soil and to allow areas to fill in more. This amount of shade was definitely a challenge, but overall has been a success.
Strawberry and ferns are lush in contrast with the blue glass ‘stream’ meandering throughout the roof.
At the upcoming Ecoroof Symposium, OHSUs Chad Sorber will be presenting lesson’s learned on maintenance of rooftop projects at OHSU, which will include many of these projects. As we have shown, the learning curve and accumulation of knowledge on all of these projects is on-going, and requires good communication between designers, manufacturers, contractors, owners, and maintenance staff to keep projects looking good and functioning correctly. The fine-tuning and course corrections on projects doesn’t happen by merely planting and walking away – but by continual study and adjustments using everyone’s collective knowledge. The results, however, speak for themselves.
There’s been a lot of buzz about the new Futsal Court planned by Hacienda Community Development Corporation, located in Northeast Portland. TERRA.fluxus, as part of the Green Above Ground collaborative, is designing the green roof portion, and incorporating stormwater management strategies along with Cushing Civil Engineers. We are working with the rest of the design team, including Hacienda, Scott | Edwards Architecture, and general contractor LMC Construction, along with a range of other partners.
The Oregonian mentioned the project as well, along with a mention in the Daily Journal of Commerce, along with a recent announcement of donations from both Adidas and the Portland Timbers. A view from Killingsworth shows the configuration of the roof, which will include 4,000 square feet of vegetation along the south side.
The project will be funded by the City of Portland Ecoroof Incentive as part of the contract with the Green Above Ground team that includes Snyder Roofing of Oregon, Teufel Landscape, and Verde. A major component of our project will include mentoring and workforce development for green roof construction and roofing through project partners to give minority workers additional skills in the sustainable industries.
KPTV Channel 12 also had a longer story about the court, showing the need in the neighborhood. Stay tuned for more buzz as the project continues to take shape.