Zeroing in on Completion – The National Museum of the United States Army Green Roofs

The first construction phase of the landscape at the National Museum of the United States Army (NMUSA) nears completion, after crews from Chapel Valley Landscape Company and Riverbend Greenroofs were hard at work during the last week of April.

Working at breakneck speed, six flatbed tractor trailers with loads of 3,262 MAXX modules made the 250-mile drive from the southwestern town of Riner, Virginia to the northeastern Fort Belvoir Base. LPDA had worked with the Army Historical Foundation to develop a plan for intensive green roofs at the Medal of Honor Garden and Café Terrace. Because the building has been at a level of interior completion since mid-2019, the complications of building a conventional green roof and waiting for a grow in period had already passed.

“This project demanded attention to detail to be executed properly and is one of the larger patterned projects that we have completed at Riverbend Greenroofs. The amount of prep work that is needed to efficiently label and pull a job like this is substantial, however it is all worth it to see the project come together for the client. We are very pleased with the way that it has turned out and are looking forward to seeing the finished product on the roof, to be enjoyed by the visitors of the museum.” Jennifer Guinta – Director of Sales, Riverbend Greenroofs.

In order to develop interest across large areas, LPDA designers worked to develop contouring of both the bed mass and plant forms.

“We have been impressed by the LiveRoof product since we were introduced to it. This installation is in one of the highest profile areas of the building, so we didn’t want to chance an unsuccessful grow in, we needed an immediate pop.” – Aaron Schwartz, LPDA Project Manager.

Propagation began in September 2019, including 849 pounds of sedum cuttings and 1,048 accent plants. Additionally, plants of 43 different species were utilized to complete the design.

Riverbend executed the LPDA plans by drawing the designs in the plant media in the field, ensuring that the patterns were matched. During the installation, LPDA worked extensively with Chapel Valley representatives to ensure that the patterns, which were executed at grow in, were conveyed accurately to the installation.

“NMUSA is one of the most exciting projects that we have done. When you walk in the building, you see the attention to detail, the history and the names of the people involved. It’s hard not to get goosebumps. It’s a very proud feeling.” – Zac Lette, LPDA Principal.

Although the facility was originally slated to open in the Summer of 2020, the opening has been delayed due to COVID-19. LPDA’s construction of the grounds, Memorial Garden and Parade Field Plaza will continue once restrictions are lifted.