New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s New Plaza to Feature Canopy of Large Trees, Thanks to DeepRoot

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Landscape innovator will install soil structure system that will grow long-living trees as part of the plaza transformation.

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One of the industry’s thought-leaders in soil management, DeepRoot developed the first modular suspended pavement product designed specifically for tree growth and stormwater management.

DeepRoot, a landscape innovator with projects all over the globe, is installing a soil structure system to grow long-living trees as part of the transformation of the newly-named David H. Koch Plaza. The four-block-long outdoor plaza that runs in front of the landmark Fifth Avenue facade, from 80th to 84th Streets in Manhattan, will now offer more than six million pedestrians and museum-goers a place to mingle, meet and rest under large mature trees.

One of the industry’s thought-leaders in soil management, DeepRoot developed the first modular suspended pavement product designed specifically for tree growth and stormwater management. The company has been working on projects like this for over 30 years. Previous installations include the Barclay Capital Grove at Lincoln Center in New York and the Olympic Village in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Museum will plant approximately 100 new trees, more than doubling the former number. According to information from the Museum, the 44 London Plane trees previously on the plaza were planted in inadequate soil conditions, which impeded their health and limited their environmental benefits. These trees were deemed viable for relocation and were transplanted to other areas of the City chosen by the Department of Parks & Recreation. New London Plane and Linden trees will be planted in Silva Cells -- large tree pits that collect rainwater run-off and allow for healthy root growth, thereby maximizing the life span and environmental benefits of large trees.

The Museum estimates the annual stormwater reduction will be 845 to 1390 gallons per tree. OLIN designed the plaza proposing a solution that merges the physical need for a large area of paved plaza with the desire to engage sustainable strategies in stormwater management and to mitigate the urban heat island effect. The proposed trees will significantly increase the square footage of shade in the plaza and will reduce the surface temperature of the paving by as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Silva Cell is a modular suspended pavement system that uses soil volumes to provide two forms of green infrastructure: first, to support mature, long-term tree growth in urban environments, and second, to provide powerful on-site stormwater management through absorption, evapotranspiration, and interception. The new plaza has been designed to capture any excess stormwater that is not absorbed and will be collected and directed into underground areas and will be slowly released into the City’s stormwater system.

Trees often have limited rooting space in urban environments because soil is heavily compacted in order to support paving, making it impenetrable to roots. When tree roots run out of space, the tree stops growing and eventually dies or is removed. DeepRoot’s systems create long-term solutions that have been designed at the planning stage, with demonstrated ROI in stormwater infrastructure and maintenance cost savings.

DeepRoot was selected because of its extensive experience as a thought leader in green infrastructure, with over thirty years of experience and multiple patents. Governments, universities, and renowned designers have all specified DeepRoot Silva Cell solutions in over 375 projects worldwide.

More information about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Plaza renovation can be found at: http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/press-room/news/2012/plaza-renovation-plans

About DeepRoot
DeepRoot, a landscape innovator, develops solutions to enhance urban forests and surrounding watersheds in city streets, parking lots, campuses, and other heavily-paved areas. Silva Cell, its flagship product, is an underground framework for containing lightly compacted soil that supports large trees and soaks up storm water runoff, increasing air quality, reducing energy loads and mitigating heat island effect. Headquartered in San Francisco, California with locations in Vancouver, Canada, and London, UK, DeepRoot has more than thirty years experience in helping trees thrive in cities, nurturing over 500 blocks of urban treescape in the built environment. http://www.deeproot.com

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Erika Schuetze
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