Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - 16

HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL
MCARTHUR/MCCOLLUM
BUILDING ROOFTOP MEADOW
BOSTON, MA
RECOVER GREEN ROOFS & OMNI ECOSYSTEMS

T

he seven sections of a
multi-tiered roof on
Harvard Business School's
McArthur Hall and McCollum Hall feature a structurally complex extensive meadow,
designed to be self-regenerating
throughout the years.
An ultra-light media blend,
developed by Omni Ecosystems
as part of its 'comprehensive
green roof' system mimics the
physical, chemical, and biological
aspects of soil. This allows for
a diverse plant palette capable
of growing a huge variety of
wildflowers and native species,
while being extremely lightweight, suitable for a retrofit of

an existing building with limited
structural loading capacity.
The plant design takes inspiration from the adjacent Charles
River ecosystem in Boston;
milkweed, aster, rudbeckia, and
other native perennials blend
into a seeded mix of quickly
germinating cover crops including flowering buckwheat, daikon
radish, and clover. The meadow
seed mix unifies the seven roofs
while distinct clusters of herbaceous and woody perennials
create a distinctive patterning.
Honeybee hives, managed by
The Best Bees Company, are
monitored for data on bee
foraging preferences. A creative

LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / WINTER 2019 / 16

irrigation plan secured the seeded media during establishment and
efficiently transferred water to plants, uninterrupted between all
levels on the multi-tiered roof.
The project engages the school community and alumni in many
ways: serving rooftop-foraged daikon radishes in the Dining Hall,
giving away rooftop honey to alumni, and potting and distributing
plants from the previous sedum green roof to staff and faculty. During installation, extreme care was given to salvaging and reusing
building materials to maintain the existing heritage structure.
The project scored well in the Habitat and Biodiversity category,
achieving credits for Species Variety, Plant Families, Native/Locally
Adapted Plants, and Pollinator Support. It also scored well in the PostConstruction category, receiving credit for its robust maintenance plan,
monitoring, and plans for community education and engagement.
The McArthur/McCollum rooftop meadow is the first of its
kind in the region, and was the recipient of a 2018 Green Roofs
for Healthy Cities Award of Excellence in the Extensive Institutional category.

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Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019

Table of Contents
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - IP
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - Cover1
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - Cover2
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - Table of Contents
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - AD1
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - 1
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Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - Cover3
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - Cover4
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - 42
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - 43
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