American Hydrotech Garden Roof® Assemblies Support Growing Trend of Edible Urban Landscapes

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Landscape architects, architects take green roof projects to the next level to offer opportunities for education, food production and other sustainable benefits.

In Kentucky, the Louisville Scholar House boasts a 3600 SF Garden Roof Assembly for increased environmental awareness and food production

American Hydrotech, a recognized leader in the development and distribution of premium waterproofing and roofing products, today announced it has provided Garden Roof Assemblies and technologies to support structures that are leveraging underutilized roof space as opportunities for achieving the greatest level of sustainability – food production, horticultural learning and environmental awareness.

One example of a recreation of the urban ecosystem is the Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC), located in Chicago, IL. The GCYC offers extracurricular alternatives for young people to learn and study, in an effort to provide the needed support for students to graduate from high school, pursue college and careers. Boasting award-winning architecture in 2006, the landscape architect and architect closely collaborated to elevate a traditional Garden Roof Assembly plan into a working flower and vegetable garden. Today, the GCYC Roof Garden offers after-school learning space with structured curriculum for both youth and seniors in a typically unsafe neighborhood environment. In 2009 alone, children planted and dug their way through 18-24 inches of soil to produce more than 1,000 pounds of vegetables which was used in GCYC culinary classes, sold to the community and purchased by prominent local Chicago chefs for use in award-winning restaurant concepts.

“The rooftop garden is both an oasis from urban stress and also a stepping stone to future careers. In 2010, 85 youth ages 13-18 participated in a ‘seed-to-table’ program in which they learned all aspects of urban agriculture and other environmentally friendly careers,” says Marji Hess, GCYC garden manager. “The rooftop really shows the sky is the limit when youth and gardening are brought together.”

In Kentucky, the Louisville Scholar House is a 56-unit development providing housing for low-income single parents and children while the parents earn a college degree attending local colleges and universities. Residents regularly attend workshops on health maintenance, parenting skills, management of family resources, nutritional knowledge, problem solving, work skills and job-search techniques to reach their ultimate life goals. The campus also includes a child development center that serves 167 children ages 6 weeks through 4 years old. On top of the structure is a 3,800 square-foot Garden Roof Assembly in which residents and children can further their education in environmental awareness and food production, growing vegetables as a community to supplement their food stamps. The family environment and learnings are then extended into cooking and nutrition, as these vegetables are used to prepare nutritious meals for residing families.

“Our children have eaten many vegetables that they had not even seen before,” said Cathe Dykstra, president and chief executive officer of Family Scholar House, the parent organization of Louisville Scholar House. “They tried them because they grew them and cooked them with their parent. Our programs are about learning new things to break the cycle of poverty. Nutrition and environmentally-friendly living are integral to the future for our families and our community.”

“We are proud to offer a versatile range of Garden Roof Assemblies and other technology to support these and other outstanding roof projects,” said Edward Jarger, general sales and marketing manager, American Hydrotech. “At the core of our company is a commitment to the environment and sustainability, however, these associations and institutions, along with their landscape architects and other project members should be commended on how they leveraged technology and offered unique design perspectives for the greater good.”

About American Hydrotech
Headquartered in Chicago, American Hydrotech, Inc.® is a recognized leader in the development, production and distribution of premium waterproofing and roofing products. For more than 45 years, the company’s flagship waterproofing membrane product, Monolithic Membrane 6125®, has provided waterproofing to almost two billion square feet of roof decks, plazas, vertical foundations, reflecting pools and other structures in 36 countries worldwide. American Hydrotech also offers a variety of drainage, insulation and protection materials for single source assemblies such as The Ultimate Assembly® for plazas and roof terraces as well as the Garden Roof® Assembly, a unique, lightweight assembly for transforming underutilized roofs and plazas into beautiful landscaped and recreational environments. For more information, please call 800-877-6125, visit or follow us on Twitter @Hydrotech6125

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