Atlanta moving ahead with restoration of greenroof atop Atlanta City Hall

By David Pendered

Atlanta is poised to hire a Marietta-based green roofing company to renovate the 14-year-old greenroof that’s on the fifth floor of the Atlanta City Hall. The cost is not to exceed $135,000.

Atlanta in poised to hire a company for up to $135,000 to restore the greenroof at Atlanta City Hall, add seatin, get weeds under control and add an appropriate irrigation system. File/Credit: greenroofs.com

Atlanta in poised to hire a company for up to $135,000 to restore the greenroof at Atlanta City Hall, add seatin, get weeds under control and add an appropriate irrigation system. File/Credit: greenroofs.com

The hiring and expenditure were approved Tuesday by the Atlanta City Council’s Utilities Committee. Because the paper was approved unanimously, it will be included in a basket of legislation the council intends to approve by a single vote at its Feb. 20 meeting.

The existing roof has simply fallen into disrepair, according to Todd Hill’s comments to the Utilities Committee. Hill serves as Atlanta’s director of environmental management for the Department of Watershed.

“It’s in a state of lacking maintenance,” Hill said. “It’s aged over time and needs to be upgraded.”

Hill said the area will be more appealing to city hall employees and visitors when it is restored. Committee Chairperson Alex Wan added that sustainability is another expected outcome of the project.

According to the legislation, the city intends to renovate the greenroof and then make arrangements for a long-term maintenance program.

The Marietta company was the only one that bid on the job, Hill said. Hill said the price of the contract is so small that it didn’t garner a lot of attention within the industry.

Nashville Music City Center, greenroof

Atlanta intends to hire to restore the greenroof atop Atlanta City Hall the same company that installed and maintains about 191,000 square feet of greenroof atop the Nashville City Music Center. The Atlanta roof measures about 3,100 square feet. Credit: greenrisetech.com

Still, Hill said Roof Technology Partners, LLC has installed and maintained some of the larger greenroofs in the country. Projects include the Nashville City Music Center, which is 191,000 square foot project, he said. The greenroof at Atlanta City Hall measures about 3,100 square feet, according to city records.

The Nashville City Music Hall is an activity center that contains a host of sustainable concepts including:

  • A greenroof that was designed to mimic the hills of Tennessee and offer 14 different types of vegetation;
  • An array of bee hives that support more than 100,000 bees on the greenroof. The honey bees produce about 360 pounds of honey a year, which is shared equally by MCC chefs and the promotional department, which jars it for distribution;
  • Solar panels that can provide 200 kilowatts through 845 panels;
  • A rain water collection tank that captures 360,000 gallons to provide water to more than 500 toilets and urinals, and outdoor irrigation systems.
Atlanta green roof

The once-luxurious landscaping on the greenroof atop Atlanta City Hall has given way to weeds and debris. File/Credit: greenroofs.com

Atlanta intends to update city hall’s greenroof through the installation of more seating, the removal of invasive weeds, and the installation of plants with a vibrant mix of colors and bloom times.

The initial pilot green roof opened in December 2003. The project covered 3,000 square feet and was intended to provide reliable technical data on the benefits and detriments of installing gardens atop roofs, according to a report by greenroofs.com.

The green roof has been altered in the intervening years and specific plans of those alterations are not available, according to the city’s request for proposals.

As for seating, the city intends to replace the existing furniture with a “modern” design that complements the style used in the nearby cafeteria. The furniture is to be anchored or of a weight sufficient to prevent it from being blown off the roof.

The current paved areas aren’t to be altered. However, additional seating or bench pads could be installed on the west wing.

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

2 replies
  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    The roof garden is in its present poor condition after 13 years of City “maintenance”, and it seems the City will again be “maintaining” it after the restoration contract is complete. Be prepared to repeat the process again in a few years.
    If you want it to remain nice, have the restoration contractor maintain it.Report

    Reply
  2. Joei Taylor says:

    Wow! And I can’t get the City to remove these dilapidated houses out of my community that’s been here for over 15 years. No one in the community owns these homes. Owners live in Buckhead. But the City can do a garden! Sounds about right.Report

    Reply

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