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VCU students plant a vegetated garden on Pollak Building

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VCUarts Department of Interior Design students planted a vegetated garden on the rooftop of VCU’s Pollak Building on Oct. 7. Photos by Mike Porter, VCU Office of Communications and Public Relations.

The rooftop on Virginia Commonwealth University’s Pollak Building is much more environmentally friendly, thanks to the work of 15 students from the VCUarts Department of Interior Design, who spent much of last Friday planting a vegetated garden.

The students planted a range of perennials, grasses and succulents, requiring varying degrees of care.

The succulents are drought resistant and low maintenance. The perennials and grasses require a bit more maintenance. The intent is to have a demonstration roof that will show the range of possibilities in a vegetated roof installation.

“This is a project that has been in the works for about 18 months, beginning with $20,000 in support from the Monroe Park Student Government Association in March 2009,” said Jacek Ghosh, director of sustainability at VCU.

Capitol Greenroofs was the green roof installer. Prestige Construction Group is the general contractor for the project.

Camden Whitehead, associate professor of interior design, has been the VCUarts liaison since the project’s inception.

“I became involved at the invitation of former VCUarts Dean Rick Toscan who had a shared interest in making the Pollak Building and the School of the Arts more environmentally responsive,” Whitehead said. “I am interested in how older buildings can continue to be ‘built’ over their life span, thus allowing them to become more responsive to their users and their site over time.”

Capitol Green Roofs installed the green roof. Prestige Construction served as general contractor for the project.

VCUarts Department of Interior Design students planted a vegetated garden on the rooftop of VCU’s Pollak Building on Oct. 7. Photos by Mike Porter, VCU Office of Communications and Public Relations.
VCUarts Department of Interior Design students planted a vegetated garden on the rooftop of VCU’s Pollak Building on Oct. 7. Photos by Mike Porter, VCU Office of Communications and Public Relations.
A variety of species were planted. The students worked with Capitol Greenroofs and the Prestige Construction Group on the project.
A variety of species were planted. The students worked with Capitol Greenroofs and the Prestige Construction Group on the project.