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Why Do a Green Roof? Davis Street & Broadway Apartments – Project Feature

This month we’re featuring an exciting 2-buillding project from San Francisco by Florasource, Ltd., and its co-owner Tom Hawkins.

This project has an interesting Why, or in this case series of Whys.

In the bustling Embarcadero district of San Francisco, two adjacent apartment building developments include remarkable roof-greening transformations. Installed between November 2020 and February 2021, these green roofs hail from the city’s commitment to sustainability, encapsulated in its 2017 Better Roofs Ordinance. The Better Roofs Ordinance mandates that new construction projects allocate 15-30% of their roof space for solar and/or green roofs. The LiveRoof® installations at the Davis St. and Broadway Apartments were fostered by the need to meet this ordinance—but, maybe more importantly, to appease neighbors and residents.

On these two buildings, the LiveRoof® areas were strategically designed to address concerns raised by residents in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood regarding potential obstruction or degradation of views. By integrating green roofs into the architectural plan, project approval was secured with community support, demonstrating the value of having a harmonious blend of nature, sustainability, and community engagement. In addition, portions of the green roofs provide for amenity spaces, allowing residents access to these roof top gardens and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. This integration of nature into urban living spaces enhances the quality of life for residents, while fostering habitat proliferation and biodiversity in the heart of Embarcadero.

Davis Street & Broadway Apartments – Project Feature in San Francisco, California, by Florasource, Ltd.

In addition to infusing nature into the built environment, these LiveRoof® installations help manage stormwater. They efficiently capture much of the rainwater, which is treated and stored in underground cisterns then used to irrigate the green roofs and surrounding landscape. Water conservation and stormwater control are important to the municipality, and save on infrastructure investment, but there is also financial gain for the property owner; green roofs can reduce the cooling requirements of a single-story building by as much as 50 percent.

The plant selections for these LiveRoof® areas include a thoughtful mix of grasses, succulents, and California native or native cultivar plants. These species not only thrive in the local climate but also contribute to the ecological balance of the area, supporting native wildlife and enhancing the overall ecosystem health. In total, the combined green roof size across both buildings spans an impressive 5,542 square feet, underscoring the impact of sustainability codes.

Led by Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, based in San Francisco, the Davis St. and Broadway Apartments project epitomizes a holistic approach to sustainable urban development. By integrating LiveRoof® technology, the project sets a precedent for future developments seeking to balance environmental responsibility with community needs, ultimately cultivating a greener, more resilient urban landscape.

Tom Hawkins, President and Co-owner of Florasource Ltd., has been at the forefront of horticultural innovation since 2008, when the company first became the LiveRoof® representative for California. Over the years, this role has expanded to cover Nevada and Arizona, cementing Florasource’s influence across the Southwest in green roofing solutions. Tom is a professional’s professional and has over 30 years of experience collaborating with commercial growers and propagation nurseries, the company has cultivated a strong service orientation. This ethos not only benefits its relationships with design and engineering firms within the LiveRoof® scope but also ensures unmatched customer satisfaction.

The team dynamic at Florasource revolves around “dedication to excellence”. Tom provides technical and sales support in Southern California, while Lindsey Jones does the same in Northern California. Ricky Tax and Nancy Hawkins, based in the main office, ensure effective support and project coordination.

We at LiveRoof Global, LLC are thankful for Tom’s involvement in this and hundreds of other wonderful LiveRoof® projects.

About this Piece:
This is the fourth article in the series: Why do a Green Roof? We hope you enjoy the series throughout this year. I’m Jodi Griffin, Business Development Manager for LiveRoof® Global. I can be reached via email at [email protected].

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