55,000 sq ft green roof

This  55ksf  extensive  green  roof  serves  multiple  functions.  While  the  local  environment  benefits from  a  reduction  of  the  heat  island  effect,  minimized  storm  runoff  and  added  protection  to  the roof  membrane,  this  sedum  green  roof  transforms  a  series  of  bare,  unattractive  spaces  into  a vibrant,  lush  amenity  for  the  residents  of  this  new  development.  The  green  roof  is  perhaps  the most  visible  element  of  the  suite  of  high  end  amenities  and  finishes  envisioned  by  the  developer,  and  emblematic  of  the  continuing  evolution  of  this  historic  neighborhood.

Aesthetic Values (Beauty and Visibility)  One of the most visible exterior elements of the brand new Skyview Parc development, the multi-level green roof melds seamlessly with the ground level park and amenity directly to the East. This harmony is one of the key functions of the green roof, achieving a cohesion with the surrounding area and transforming a series of bare rooftops into a broad, cascading waterfall of vibrant green.

The  green  roof,  perhaps  the  most  visible  exterior  feature  of  this  gleaming  new  luxury  development,  is  symbolic  of  the  improvements  to  the  neighborhood.  The  success  of  this  project  has  already  led  to  further  investment  in  the  surrounding  area,  with  new  construction  and  infrastructure  plans  pointing  toward  a  bright  new  future  for Flushing.  The  relationship  between  the  glitzy,  upscale  amenities  like  the  green  roof  and  the  records  in  sales  is  impossible  to  miss-  the  green  roof  is  a  benefit  not  only  to  the  residents  and  the  environment  at  large,  but  as  an  effective  sales  tool  for  developers  and  marketers  as  well.

Kips Bay Showhouse

Each year, celebrated interior designers transform a luxury Manhattan home into an elegant exhibition of fine furnishings, art and technology. Blondie’s is proud to participate in this year’s showhouse by providing the botanical decor including an exterior moss wall, water feature accents and greenery.
The Show House receives as many as 15,000 guests annually from across the nation. Since its inception, the Show House has raised over $21,000,000 for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which currently reaches over 10,000 young people at nine locations throughout the Bronx. Today, the club is proudly one of the most prominent and responsive youth development agencies in New York City and a flagship of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

To purchase tickets to this unique event:
http://www.kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org/planyourvisit

Smarter, faster and cheaper – Crane beats freight everyday

Safe craning in NYC is hard work but your budget will thank you: Planning and preparation are key to a safe, efficient craning operation. The details are important- lives are at stake.

Any urban roof deck installation is an elaborate and complex undertaking, especially when the fastest, most cost-effective way to deliver soil, planters, trees and decking to the roof is by crane. Reliably delivering tons of material to a site six, twelve, twenty or more stories up can take weeks with a freight elevator- or be completed in a single day with the right piece of craning equipment. These projects typically require street closures, which mean coordinating with city agencies, obtaining permits, prepping the site, scheduling deliveries and managing teams of workers and crowds of onlookers and passersby. And all that before anything is being craned- Large scale roof deck installs are not for the inexperienced.

Choose the right company and the right equipment-

When planning a project that requires a crane of any size, it’s critical to choose an experienced, professional company. From small residential projects to very large new developments, there are many variables involved, and lives are literally at stake. Finding a knowledgeable and dependable supplier is absolutely critical.

Cranes can be a big ticket item and can prompt sticker shock even on big-budget projects. Lifting equipment can cost between $10,000 and $70,000 for a single day of craning. This is another reason to work with a qualified and experienced crane operator- they’ll help to select the right equipment for the project, avoiding the mistake of paying for equipment that is larger than necessary. There are some techniques to help squeeze the most from a budget, including sharing the cost with other contractors who need their own material brought to the roof or debris removed to street level.

Logistical ballet

Once we’ve gotten through city agency alphabet soup of DOB, DOT, landmarks and parks, and a job has received the necessary permits with approved dates, it’s critical to move swiftly to choose and contract the crane, coordinate deliveries from all your suppliers, ( a challenge deserving of it’s very own article), prepare the site and make arrangements for backup plans and equipment to manage any contingencies.

We always have a forklift on site- truckers aren’t always fond of NYC and like to unload and turn around as quickly as possible. A forklift allows pallets to be moved quickly and efficiently from wherever they’ve been unloaded to exactly where the crane operator needs them to be.

Two to three days in advance of craning, we visit the site to walk through the space and make sure everything is ready for the big day. Blondie’s Treehouse’s Vice President of Operations Ian Dana prepares a rooftop to ensure that once material is being craned, it can be staged and moved efficiently to avoid any logjams. Clearing the rooftop landing site of any material and sometimes preparing a path with high density styrofoam and plywood ensures a smooth path for our material once the crane delivers it.

While on site, we also take measurements and begin planning where the crane will be set up. This is critical- the center pin of the crane is the precise location from which all calculations must be made- 50’ out at 110’ up requires previous coordination with our suppliers to ensure deliveries are below the maximum weight for each pallet to be craned at that distance. Everything must line up perfectly with landing point. Safety always always always comes first- New York City wisely requires that when winds are over 10 mph, loads must be reduced by half. If gusts exceed 20 mph, craning is prohibited and must be rescheduled. A backup plan is absolutely essential.

We prefer all inclusive companies that handle many of these elements- we love Empire Erectors, a longtime master rigger, specializing in facilitating and overseeing craning in New York City. They  provide the crane, the operator, riggers, oilman, engineer, expediter and pedestrian control. From regulations on when cranes may use bridges (before 7 am) to rerouting pedestrian traffic around a worksite, master riggers expertly navigate the regulations and challenges involved in an efficient, safe installation.

Most people aren’t aware of the hundreds of hours spent preparing and supervising the installation of a modern terrace or roof deck. Those of us who spend our days planning logistics and managing installations have a unique perspective on these relaxing spaces- And an appreciation of what’s required for everything to come together as planned.

If you’re planning a roof deck, terrace or other landscape project, we can help to answer questions you don’t even know you have- Our team of experienced Project Managers and Designers is happy to talk, anytime.

9,500 sq ft of Dumbo rooftop…

On the Brooklyn waterfront nestled between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges is 45 Main Street, a 475,000 square-foot office building and one of the signature properties of the neighborhood known as DUMBO. Here, developer Two Trees Management has converted the former factory building to create a mix of private and co-working spaces with incredible views a short walk to the waterfront. With the ground floor dedicated to retailers and the arts, the rooftop is a 9,500 square-foot shared space designed by Landscape Architect James Corner Field Operations and built by Blondie’s Treehouse Inc. We retrofitted the rooftop on this historic building with a mix of stone and wood surfaces. A herringbone pattern of grey and white granite creates a distinct area for blue bistro tables. In the south section of the rooftop an elevated ipe platform introduces an additional level for more casual lounging. Large planters of weathered Corten Steel feature Gleditsia, Amalenchier, Dogwood and Witchhazel as well as perennials and grasses. Custom ipe benches create privacy seating and serve as space dividers along the north and east walls. To install this project on time, Blondie’s brought in a 140-ton crane and secured permits allowing the closure of Washington Street. In a single morning, we lifted 250 cubic yards of soil and drainage stone, twenty-five 15’ trees, each with 30” root balls, 1,600 one gallon perennials as well as pavers and a variety of construction materials. Without the crane, this material would have required the freight elevators for a solid week, a difficult prospect in a busy building at full occupancy. Over a period of nearly four weeks, Blondie’s craftsmen and gardeners fabricated custom woodwork and planters and carefully planted thousands of perennials, shrubs and trees, transforming this rooftop from an empty and unutilized space into a fully realized, functional and quite gorgeous urban landscape.