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Science Museum of Virginia


Project Details

A Richmond landmark, the Science Museum of Virginia’s IMAX dome roof underwent an environmentally-friendly transformation. Using low impact design practices, the green roof was incorporated as part of a Virginia Tech-led, multi-faceted research study to evaluate the impact of storm water runoff in an urban environment. Now, the roof system mitigates runoff, helps reduce air pollution, and provides a much more appealing view for SMV visitors! In the Science Museum, there is a display that illustrates the benefits of the roof. The live bee exhibit’s tunnel also empties out onto the green roof, and we’d like to think that the bees really enjoy their surroundings out there. You can read more about the myriad benefits of green roofs here.

A green roof assembly is composed of many layers of insulation, drainage board, filter fabric, growing media (specialized soil mix), and vegetation. Under the system, we waterproofed with hot rubberized asphalt waterproofing membrane. HRA (hot rubberized asphalt) has a major advantage as a monolithic membrane. As opposed to other roofing membranes that could also be used under the vegetative system, HRA has no seams. A seamless membrane drastically reduces the chance of water finding a way to sneak through any seams in the membrane and causing a roof leak. HRA also has superior puncture-resistance. In a nutshell, we have a lot of confidence in this type of waterproofing under a green roof.

Typically in our Mid-Atlantic climate zone, a mix of sedums and succulents thrives. They’re incredibly drought- tolerant and hardy plants. They do need water, however, and the best way to accomplish that is through the use of an irrigation system, which we installed also. To cap off the project, we put in an architectural paver system walkway for roof access and traffic.

At a Glance

CLIENT: Science Museum of Virginia LOCATION: Richmond, VA TYPE: Vegetative Roofing