“As hard as it may be to imagine green roofs in the arid Arizona climate, this project deploys a blanket of them across half a million square feet, with each of 700 units on the site receiving its own private green terrace. Lower-level clusters of native trees give way to a shallow green roof system filled with low-water, drought-tolerant plants; ground level water features contribute to an oasis-like feel while providing evaporative cooling. The thorough research behind this system and thoughtful integration within the architecture allow it to stand as a future case study for sustainable, multi-level planting within arid environments.”
– 2020 Awards Jury
Optima Camelview is a beautiful case study example of best design practices, where groundbreaking research, integrated design and collective vision came together to create a truly sustainable and immersive landscape experience.
The 700 unit condominium complex, located in downtown Scottsdale, AZ, has over 500,000 SF of green roofs enveloping every layer of the seven-story building. The effect is stunning. Every unit has its own private, desert adapted, garden terrace. The street level public space creates a unique sense of transparency and integration with the surrounding urban environment.
Optima was the first project of its kind to utilize an “extensive” or shallow green roof system in an arid environment. This presented a number of technical and logistical challenges, which the landscape architects addressed through collaborative research and innovative design. The overwhelming success of the project has provided a strong proof of concept and the project has received numerous sustainability awards including LEED Gold Certification.
▲沙漠类型学：概念性的景观规划。该项目的景观概念从大自然中汲取灵感。亚利桑那州拥有葱郁的高地、开阔的冲击平原、原生树林以及深入地下的沙漠棕榈峡谷。这些天然形成的景观类型被用作本项目的组织原则。Desert Typologies: Conceptual Landscape Plan. The landscape concept draws from Nature’s design. In Arizona, we have high verdant mesas, broad alluvial plains with bosques of native trees and recessed desert palm canyons. These naturally occurring landscape typology was adopted as the project’s organizing principal. ©Floor Associates, Inc./ David Hovey
▲每间住房都拥有私人的绿色屋顶平台：与人们普遍的看法不通，干旱环境中的可持续景观也可以是葱郁且多彩的，同时富有视觉上的震撼力。具有突破性的研究和创新性的建造技术正改变着行业和公众对于干旱城市环境下的可持续性的认知。Private Green Roof Terraces at Each Residence: Counter to public perception, sustainable arid landscapes can be lush, colorful and visually stunning. Groundbreaking research and creative construction techniques are changing the industry and public perception of what defines sustainability for urban arid environments. © Timmerman Photography
▲沙漠台地和峡谷：Optima项目反映了附近山脉和峡谷的形态，垂直叠加的私人住宅平台内设有水平的景观层，形成微气候的多样化混合体，并在13英亩的场地上成功地营造出17英亩的景观。Desert Mesas and Canyons: Reflecting the form of nearby mountains and canyons, Optima has horizontally layered landscape strata, within the vertically layered private residence terraces, creating a diverse mixture of microclimates, for a total of 17 acres of landscape on the 13 acre site. © Christopher Brown
▲内部庭院：Optima Camelview是一个颇具美感的设计实践范例，它结合了突破性的研究、创新性的设计解决方案以及协作式的工作方法，创造出一种真正可持续且沉浸式的景观体验。Interior Courtyards: Optima Camelview is a beautiful case study example of design best practices, where groundbreaking research, innovative design solutions and a collaborative process were brought together to create a truly sustainable and immersive landscape experience. © Timmerman Photography
▲随季节变化的植被材料：通过大量的实地研究和测试，项目团队开发出一种动态的植被材料搭配方案，可令植物在浅层（5英寸）的绿色屋顶中茁壮成长——这一点是基于严格的建筑结构设计而实现的。Seasonally Dynamic Plant Materials: Based on extensive field research and testing, a dynamic plant material palette was developed that would thrive in the shallow (5” deep) green roof soil profile, dictated by the strict architectural structure design. © Christopher Brown
▲LEED黄金级认证，绿色与可持续：高架平台上的蔓生植物营造出层层叠叠的观感，让原本宽阔而开放的建筑群看上去更具亲切感。在维持葱郁外观的同时，Optima项目也实现了高度的可持续性，获得了包括LEED黄金级认证在内的多项环保认证。LEED Gold: Verdant and Sustainable: Trailing groundcovers on the elevated terraces create a cascading planting effect, bringing an intimate feeling to the otherwise large and open complex. Although lush in appearance, Optima is highly sustainable and has received numerous environmental accreditations including LEED Gold certification. © Christopher Brown
▲“沙漠棕榈峡谷庭院”位于地面之下，反映了亚利桑那州南部索诺兰沙漠中天然形成的棕榈峡谷内的河岸绿洲。该庭院对公众开放。Central “Desert Palm Canyon” Typology: The Central Palm Canyon Courtyard is located below grade and reflects riparian typology of the natural palm canyons found throughout the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona. The courtyard is open to public access. © Timmerman Photography
▲度假酒店风格的泳池展现出现代建筑设计的审美。两个简单的水池反映了现代建筑的形式、材料以及克制的语言特征。Resort Style Pools Reflect Modern Architectural Design Aesthetic: Two simple pools were designed to reflect the form, materiality and restraint of the modern architectural forms. © Timmerman Photography
▲取消地面停车场，与城市边界相融：项目中没有设置任何地上停车位，为的是尽可能地提高土地利用率、减少城市热岛效应并加强项目与附近城市步行环境之间的互动。Integrated Urban Edge with no Surface Parking: The site is designed with no surface parking, in order to maximize land utilization, minimize urban heat island effects and to fully engage the project within the adjacent urban pedestrian context. © Christopher Brown
▲场地中分布着具有纪念意义的公共艺术作品。作为斯科茨代尔公共艺术区的北部终端，Optima的整个街道层都向公众保持开放。Monumental Public Art Throughout 10 Care Public Open Space: Monumental Public Art pieces are integrated throughout the public open spaces. Optima serves as the northern terminus of Scottsdale’s Public Art District and the entire street level has open public access. © Christopher Brown
▲花丛中的桥：在Optima Camelview项目之前，在沙漠气候中建造浅层的绿色屋顶系统是具有风险且未经验证的做法，它涉及到技术和管理等方面的巨大挑战，包括维持热量、湿度和长期维护的问题。Bridge in Bloom: Prior to Optima Camelview, shallow depth (5” soil profile) green roof systems were a risky and unproven option for desert projects, because of serious technical and logistical challenges, including heat, moisture and long term maintenance concerns. © Christopher Brown
▲广泛的实地研究/测试种植床示意：为了解决这些问题，景观设计团队开发了一系列种植床原型，用于测试各种系统组成部分的可行性，从而确定出能够适应亚利桑那极端沙漠环境的最佳系统。Extensive Field Research / Test Bed Diagram: To address these concerns, the landscape architect developed a series of prototype planting beds to test the viability of the various system components to determine the optimum system for Arizona’s harsh desert environment. © Floor Associates, Inc.
▲MSWN绿色屋顶系统测试：项目团队地面层上方建造了一系列测试种植床，并对构成绿色屋顶系统的每个部分进行不同的组合，包括植物、土壤、表层覆盖物和灌溉方式等。在最终设计和施工前，这些测试床经过了18个月的监测期。Green Roof System Testing at MSWN: An extensive series of above ground test beds were established with varying combinations of each component of the greenroof system including plants, soils, topdressings and irrigation protocols. The tests were monitored for 18 months prior to final design and construction. © Christopher Brown
▲绿色和可持续：距绿色屋顶平台的首次安装已过去了十年。Optima作为斯科茨代尔市的地标性建筑将继续发展和成长，并激励整个地区的大批开发项目将可持续战略作为其设计中不可或缺的一部分。Green and Sustainable: It has been ten years since the initial installation of Optima’s green roof terraces. The project continues to thrive as a Scottsdale landmark and has inspired numerous other developments throughout the region to integrate sustainable strategies into their designs. © Christopher Brown
Vertical Oasis: Verdant Sustainability in an Arid Climate
Optima Camelview is a shining example of design best practices. The landscape architects combined research, aesthetics, functionality and sustainability to create a stunning landscape in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, Arizona. In a city known for its natural beauty and commitment to environmental awareness, this project fits right in and immediately stands out.
Optima Camelview boasts 17 acres of landscaped terraces, exceeding the total 13-acre site area.
The overall landscape concept is inspired by the natural ecology of the surrounding region. Rooftops are planted with the type of arid plants found on the surrounding mountains such as palo verde and cacti. The environment transitions into lusher plantings at the lower levels with ‘bosques’ of native mesquite and ironwood trees. The canyon-like feeling is reinforced by the linear form of the recessed central courtyard and includes pools & reflecting ponds reminiscent of a riparian oasis with the added benefit of providing natural cooling effects.
Integrated Urban Context
This highly technical over-structure community consists of eleven interconnected residential garden towers, which incorporate more than 500,000 square feet of green roof across all levels of the complex providing a welcome respite in the local environment.
Surface parking was eliminated to provide more landscaped open space and promote stronger neighborhood connections. This is an innovative move in an urban environment where parking lots claim large of amounts of square footage.
A series of public courtyards link the project together to create a park-like environment. The central promenade of the complex forms the northern terminus of Scottsdale’s Art District and dramatic pieces of sculptural art are integrated throughout the public realm which encompasses the entire street level and central sunken courtyard.
Optima has received numerous sustainability awards including LEED Gold Certification.
The environmental and sustainability benefits of green roofs are well documented, particularly in a dense urban setting –
– provides evaporative cooling
– re-oxygenates the air
– reduces airborne particulate matter
– dramatically reduces stormwater runoff
– mitigates the heat island effect
– reduces urban noise
– creates habitat for wildlife
– provides a 20% reduction in overall energy costs
– increases the life cycle of the overall roofing system,
– lowers long-term operating and maintenance costs
– reduces infrastructure requirements
Additionally, every unit has its own private green roof terrace providing physical and psychological benefits to residents.
Optima was the first project of this scale to utilize an ‘extensive’ or shallow green roof system in a truly arid environment. The available 5” soil profile presented a number of serious technical and logistical challenges for the design team. While this approach has been successfully employed in cooler climates, there were no comparable precedents in the desert southwest where it’s typical to have at least 24” of soil depth in order to maintain adequate soil moisture and temperature for plants to survive harsh conditions.
To address these concerns, the landscape architect organized a collaborative research team including graduate students from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability along with regional horticulturists to develop prototype test beds to determine a best system approach to ensure successful design.
A series of elevated test beds were established to systematically test the viability of each component of the green roof system including –
– various plant types (native, desert adapted, ornamental, attractors, succulents)
– soil type (organic, sandy, silt)
– topdressings (desert pavement, decomposed granite, organic mulch)
– irrigation systems (drip, spray, subterranean) as well as irrigation protocols (frequency, duration, time of day)
Test beds were elevated and glass panels were placed to replicate the proposed rooftop conditions. Structures were mocked up to replicate shade conditions for the north, east and lower interior exposures. Soil probes and monitors recorded the environmental variables for each combination of the system components, including water application and drainage, soil moisture and temperature and ambient conditions. Plant growth and health was closely monitored over an 18-month period.
The results of this research were used to determine the right balance between form and function in the final design as well as the ongoing operations and maintenance of the project. This approach was groundbreaking for this application in an arid environment and led to a highly water efficient, low maintenance and aesthetically beautiful design.
The remarkable success of Optima Camelview has provided a beautiful proof of concept case study for the integration of green roof technologies into an arid urban environment.
The project has been widely published and the research and technologies developed by the design team continue to inform similar projects throughout the world.