Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2009 - (Page 21)

NATURE IN THE CITY he Gary Comer Youth Center is a shining new youth center located in one of Chicago’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. It provides a constructive environment for area youths aged eight to 18 to spend their hours away from school. Educational and recreational programs focus on health and nutrition, performing arts, technology, physical fitness, civic engagement and leadership development. A central element of the center is its green roof: located over the gymnasium and cafeteria and encircled by the broad windows of the third floor, this courtyard garden provides students who have little access to safe outdoor space the opportunity to interact with the natural world freely. Covering 8,160square-feet with a growing media depth of 18-to-24 inches, the garden is a safe, inspiring and beautiful education space. Poverty, and the lack of access to fresh foods it all-too-often results in, creates an education gap when it comes to knowing about food and how it comes to the table. CHICAGO’S VISIONARY GARY COMER YOUTH CENTER IS A MAGNIFICENT EXAMPLE OF A SAFE, INSPIRING AND BEAUTIFUL EDUCATION SPACE CATEGORY INTENSIVE INSTITUTIONAL T This green roof’s 24-inch growing media depth enables children and teens alike to plant and harvest vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs and grasses as part of a comprehensive educational program developed by the center’s garden manager. As kids learn about the seed-to-harvest cycle, they also learn about environmental issues, the green roof, botany, cooking and the processes of nurturing growth in a garden. The garden collects rainwater and serves to reduce the urban heat island effect in a way that simultaneously reinforces the educational mission of the youth center. Our judges admired the center’s mission and focus on education. They were also quick to recognize that the center was an excellent piece of design work, in and of itself – never being forced to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality. The center is not only practical and accessible, it is also elegant and attractive – a superlative example of an institutional application for an intensive green roof. D SPECS PROJECT: Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago, Illinois AWARD RECIPIENT: John Ronan Architects LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects GARDEN MANAGER: Gary Comer Youth Center Firm STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: ARUP MEMBRANE & GREEN ROOF COMPONENTS: American Hydrotech Inc. Images courtesy of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and John Ronan Architects “The youth center growingmedium depth ranges from approximately 18-to-24 inches. We did this so that we were not limited in what we could plant. About 800 pounds of food is harvested each year from the roof, even though not all of the plants are food plants.” John Ronan, John Ronan Architects, Chicago, Illinois

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2009

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2009
The Case for Mandated Green Roofs
Student Sustainable Design Competition
GIF Road Show
U.S. Green Roof Industry Grew By 35 Percent in 2008
Part 1 of 2: Risk-Reduction Tools
On the Roof With . . .
The World's First Accredited Green Roof Professionals (GRPs)
A Haven for Butterflies
A Green Roof at Sea
A Biophilic Oasis
A Green Roof for Every Angle
Community Focal Point
Nature in the City
Growing Lives
A Green Roof with Wings
A Policy Pioneer
A Dedicated Researcher
Designing a Better Future
Fire & Wind Standards
GHRC Professional Development Calendar
Welcome New Corporate Members
Green Wall Research
Standing the Test of Time

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2009