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Over-Structure Landscape Design

Many of today’s commercial real estate developments, particularly those in urban areas, are programming exterior spaces atop structures, as viewable green spaces, and as beautiful gathering areas perched high above the ground plane.  These amenities are increasingly affecting the success of projects across many market sectors – multifamily, for sure, but also office, hospitality, healthcare, education, and more.  These on-structure landscapes (also commonly referred to as just green roofs, or on-structure amenities) can provide many benefits beyond a relaxing place to gather, play, dine, and sit; they can improve building systems’ efficiencies, address critical project open-space requirements, and incorporate stormwater management strategies.  Most and design you may envision at grade can be constructed over-structure. For example:

  • Ponce City Market, Eberly Team integrated landscape and hardscape almost fully constructed over-structure. In addition, design and detailing went above ground with an extensive green roof and bridged connection to the Atlanta BeltLine trail.
  • The majority of landscape and hardscape for 725 Ponce are over-structure with multiple amenity decks, including a 30,000 SF green roof. Engaged dynamically with the Atlanta Beltline, the design includes an inviting bosque and multiple gathering opportunities.

With proper planning, coordination, and cooperation, these amenities can be constructed efficiently and economically.   Planting and designing landscape and hardscape above structure presents a number of challenges, that, if understood and addressed early in design, can save time and money. Coordination among the full design and construction team – owner, architect, structural engineer, M/E/P, waterproofing consultant, and contractor, with the landscape architect – are all critical to the proper design.  Depending on the design scope, other specialty contractors and suppliers may be necessary including pool or fountain design, lighting design, and signage design.   There are considerations of materials and transitions; elevation changes; site structures, such as pergolas, site features, such as a fireplace, and outdoor kitchen.  How do we construct all of these items efficiently, and have them present seamlessly?

Our on-structure design specialists can provide information on concept design and detailing considerations during a lunch and learn.  Click here to request a lunch & learn on design-considerations for over-structure amenity spaces.

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