environmental packaging international, Jamestown R.I.

Environmental Packaging International, Jamestown R.I.

Apex Greenroof Design & Installation Year: 2010
Building Type:
System: 6" systems

Architect: S. Barzin Architects
Greenroof System:
Waterproofing Manufacturer: Kemper
Waterproofing Membrane Contractor:

Situated in the beautiful community of Jamestown, RI this vegetated roof is part of the new LEED certified administrative building for Environmental Packaging International (EPI). EPI was interested in creating a usable space that provided views of the harbor while having a positive environmental influence. Apex Green Roofs applied these design objectives into a space that has a more natural garden feel. The patio is built with irregular bluestone pavers providing a contrast to the clean lines of the building. Furthermore, the 6” system has what appears as topography, an illusion created with insulation. This space has been a favorite among employees at EPI looking for a break from the computer screens.


Undulating rooftop landscape takes root in Jamestown

May 12, 2010 Jamestown, Rhode Island. Apex Green Roofs, Inc. installed a 1000 square foot green roof at Environmental Packaging International in Jamestown, Rhode Island. This green roof combines innovative design with high-performing, low maintenance plants to create a beautiful, functional landscape atop the building. The project team was led by S. Barzin Architects and the green roof was designed by Apex Green Roofs, Inc. The roof has two levels, both of which are accessible to building occupants. On the lower level is an irregular blue stone patio and a large table where building occupants can hold meetings or eat lunch. The remainder of the area is planted with a mix of Sedum species and herbaceous perennials. A gently undulating landscape was created using layers of insulation installed underneath the growing media. This design provides three-dimensional interest without the additional weight load of deeper growing media. A spiral staircase leads to the upper level of the roof. A blue stone pathway meanders through the garden, leading to a bench where building occupants can have a quiet moment during a hectic work day, overlooking historic Jamestown, Rhode Island and the ocean beyond. 

The roof is planted with a mix of Sedum and herbaceous perennials, all of which were specially chosen to thrive in the harsh environment of a rooftop. The following Sedum species were planted as plugs: Sedum albumSedum floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’, Sedum rupestreSedum rupestre 'Angelina', Sedum sexangulareSedum sichotenseSedum spurium 'Fuldaglut', and Sedum ternatum 'Larinem Park'. Herbaceous perennials were planted as plugs: Agastache rupestrisAster 'Snow Flurry', Dianthus allwoodii 'Frosty Fire', Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Bath's Pink', Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue', Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire', Phlox carolina var. angusta, Sporobolus heterolepisTradescantia ohiensis 'Mrs. Loewer'. After initial establishment period, the green roof will not require any irrigation. Instead, all the water the plants need will come from natural rainfall. The plants are expected to fill in within the coming year--some sedum species will even continue to grow throughout the cold New England winter!

Kemper waterproofing was fluid-applied and flood tested before the installation of the vegetated system. The first layer of the vegetated is capillary fabric, which retains a small volume of water that plants can access between rain events. On top of the capillary fabric is a combined drainage layer and separation fabric, made of recycled plastics. The separation fabric prevents growing media from clogging the drainage layer and the drainage layer wicks away excess water from the growing media. Above the drainage layer is 4-6 inches of engineered growing media (consistent with FLL standards). The engineered growing media is lightweight, provides good drainage, has a very low organic content, and will not become compacted. These qualities maximize the health of the plants and minimize nutrient runoff into the surrounding environment. 

In addition to serving as an amenity for the building occupants, the green roof will reduce the volume of stormwater runoff from the building and provide a cooling effect in the summer. Apex Green Roofs, Inc. will perform regular maintenance visits during the first two years to ensure the success of the green roof system.