Native Greenroof Sculpture

Executive Summary:

This feasibility study for Native Green Roof Sculpture has been developed in order to acquire site analysis and engineering/architectural consultation for the future development of the native plant (waterwise) green roof architectural structure on the UW campus.

For this study, I will gather pertinent architectural, ecological and artistic consultation for site/project development and approval. I will be working in collaboration with Landscape Architect Kristine Kenney and with campus art administrator Jaclynn Eckhardt. Sound engineering will also be crucial for the success and safety of this living structure. In regards to this, I will seek consultation and design approval from the Campus Engineering Services as well final legal approval of design from an outside firm.

Collaboration and communication, specifically with the School of Art and the College of Built Environment will also be needed in order to represent and market the projects intentions effectively. In regards to this, all pertinent connections will be made in order to complete the final project proposal with design and specs for the September CSF Grant period.

Project Description: Native Green roof sculpture will be a large environmentally driven abstract structure, built with sustainable and integral materials and implemented with a water wise native plant green roof. The bold and colorful outdoor structure will be designed so one can actively engage with it from all aspects. Colorful glazed ceramic, molded concrete, salvaged steel and greenery will be used in an open and dimensional fashion. Structural pillars will be sculpted with integrity and add interest to all sides. Walking under the structure one will see an organic ceramic design molded into the underside of the roof. The unique and free design of the green roof will provide invigorating shape, form, plant life, and texture found nowhere else on campus.

Indigenous climate adapted plants will be incorporated in the roof top garden and in other unexpected areas of the sculpture. A requirement of only a two-year establishment period of summer watering will ensure that the plants can sustain themselves with no supplemental water post establishment. Sedum, grass, native flowers and other low water plants will be selected in partnership with the Center for Urban Horticulture at the University. A plaque will be incorporated to narrate the green roofs innovation and purpose.

As we live in such a digital and formally built world today, this green roof will create a place of relief, providing people with something invigorating, natural and tactile. Walking the line of sculpture, architecture and ecology, this unique living art piece will invite people to see the blended connection that nature, art and education can have in within built environment.

Student Involvement:

As a Seattle native and a graduate Student in the 3D4M program, I care deeply about the innovation and creative representation of Seattle’s urban landscape. With my time at UW I have specifically been developing sculptural design, material studies and research relating to the creation of structures that incorporate sustainable ecology and are designed for the built environment.

To have the opportunity to build this project in a collaborative and foundational university environment would not only be something that fosters professional skills for myself, but will also be something that will inspire other students and faculty to engage in the development of more, present and future innovative projects and ideas within the University setting and the greater city as whole.

With this being said, student participation and faculty involvement is a must. For the final project proposal I plan to create a budget, which allows for two art/built environment undergraduate students to help with the building process, e.g. design, ceramic construction, metal fabrication and or consultation.

Along with project participation, Conversation with the School of Art and College of Built environment will help represent/market the projects mission and development to the student body even more effectively.

Education & Outreach:

Education and project impact will be crucial to visually represent and market through the projects process/development and as well with the completed design of green roof structure.

During the developmental period of the project, I will work with the College of built environment, and programs like Green Futures Lab and Climate Action Plan to establish proper representation of the status of the projects climate goals and innovation. Consultation and collaboration with Landscape Architect, Kristine Kenney will also help facilitate proper outcome and exposure of the piece for the University.

Because the structure will be a permanent public art piece for the UW campus, I will also be consulting with Jaclynn Eckhardt, campus art administrator and with UW School of Art to create a plan, which highlights the projects unique design, site impact, building process, collaboration and overall outcome.

I will be working closely with faculty advisors Amie McNeel, Mark Zirppel and 3D4M chair Doug Jeck, as well working with Jaclynn Eckhardt, campus Art Administrator to set a tactful plan to find an impactful site location for the best representation of the green structure on campus.

With the completion of the project, a budget will be set for the execution of a well designed educational plaque which states the green structures use of native xeriscaped plants, incorporation of repurposed material, and its cultural support for the arts in the UW community.

Environmental Impact:
  • Energy Use
  • Living Systems and Biodiversity
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Environmental Justice
  • Community Development
  • Cultural Representation
Project Longevity:

This feasibility study will take place from now until late August, when the Final project proposal is due in September. With this in mind, I will be taking time to connect with the potential stakeholders in order to gain pertinent information that will ensure the success of the construction of the green roof.

The study will be broken into 3 different stages.

Stage 1: Initial design and consultation. $25/hr + 20.9%, 25 hours, total $755

Stage 2: Adapted design, working with consultants to create professional licensed plans.   $25/hr + 20.9%, 40 hours, total $1,210

Stage 3: Drafting and attainment of documents and implementation strategy.

$25/hr + 20.9%, 25 hours, total $755

Engineering: (structural consultation) review of design and feasibility.  $3,000.

Environmental Problem:

Because of the structure’s multifaceted design, holding purpose as a green roof and a public art structure, I the project accomplishes both environmental sustainability and the sustainability and innovation of arts and culture within the UW community and as well Seattle.

With the Green roof having a xeriscaped (zero water) design, meaning that after a two-year establishment plan, it will need no supplemental water, it will be making a clear statement in support for both low water simple green roof designs, xeriscaping and native planting.

As for the two-year establishment plan, live planting will be done in the fall, bulbs will establish with winter water, and all seeds will be set in early spring. Plants included will be all native to Western Washington, selected for their supreme drought tolerance and success in green roof implementation.

In regards to site location, it will be important to bring the large sculpture to a place where the green roof can be implemented in a place that will truly benefit from having greenery and art. Through site analysis and research, a location that answers to both environmental need and design need, will be found. ADA requirements will be considered and executed ensuring that the piece meets proper engineering, safety, and accessibility requirements.

As for material sustainability, UW Sculpture faculty and Sculpture Tech Andy Fallet will ensure that longevity is set in the overall design not only that, repurposed steel will be used for aesthetic and integral integration.

Sustainability will also be meet within an artistic and socially impactful way. The colorful green roof sculpture will be built with community in mind hoping to create an uplifting piece for students to engage with and commune around. Young artists, builders, students, athletes, environmentalists and arts appreciators will not only be shown a beautiful art piece, but will experience a unique and new green sculpture, in which showcases the connection that ecology and art can have within the built environment.

Explain how the impacts will be measured:

Compared to technical systems in which showcase green designs, i.e. green walls with pumps and circuit sensors, the use of a xeriscaped green roof is not only low cost and low tech, but once established is designed to have minimal, if not any upkeep. From research of other designs, especially from urban green roof structures I have seen tremendous results with simple xeriscaped plantings, which support plants without irrigation.

Through research and analysis with Landscape Architect Kristine Kenney and with plant consultation from the Center for Urban Horticulture, I will work to make sure that a functional and proper design of the structure is met ensuring that the green roof successfully functions as a xeriscaped garden.

Sustainability will also be measured through quality of design and structural integrity. This is why it is beneficial to receive proper guidance from engineers, sculpture faculty and technicians.

The green roof will also highlight the much-needed use for softscaping (planting areas) in the city environment. The implementation of the green structure in a concrete environment will benefit the city environment not only by preventing dirty rainwater from entering the sewer, but also will provide an innovative and creative application of plant integration and greenery to an otherwise concrete (hardscaped) site.

Total amount requested from the CSF: $5,720
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:


ItemCost per itemAmountTotal cost
stage 1 initial design and consultation.$25/hr plus 20.9% benefits25 hrs$755
Engineering (structural consultation) review of design and feasibility.$3,0001$3,000
stage 2 adapted design, consultantion on creation with professional licensed plans.$25/hr plus 20.9% benefits25 hrs$755
Stage 3 drafting of documents for implementation strategy.$25/hr plus 20.9% benefits40hrs$1,210

Non-CSF Sources:

Design Consultation from Kristine Kenneyin kind
Artistic and site consultation Jaclynn Eckhardtin kind
Faculty Guideance and support Amie McNeel, Mark Zirpel and Doug Jeckin kind
Consultation from University of Washington Engineering Servicesin kind
Artist Trust: Grants for Artists Projects$1,500
Project Completion Total: $5,720


stage 1 initial design and consultation.May-AugustJune/July
stage 2 adapted design, consultantion on creation with professional licensed plans.May-AugustJune/July
Stage 3 drafting of documents for implementation strategy.May-AugustJuly/August
Engineering (structural consultation) review of design and feasibility.May-AugustAugust