Gaines Group Architects

57. Fenway Park Farm #105architecturalinspirations

57. Fenway Park Farm #105architecturalinspirations

New for the 2015 season, the Boston Red Sox have a 5,000 sf rooftop farm in Fenway Park! Fenway Park is located in Boston, Massachusetts and is the oldest ballpark in the MLB. The park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been renovated many times over the years and has featured areas such as the Green Monster, The Triangle, and Williamsburg. It now has Fenway Farms.


This year, a vegetative roof was added to the stadium. The rooftop features vegetables and herbs and a drip irrigation system. This farm is giving life to a previously unused rooftop and enhances the beauty of the space. In addition, it filters storm water, reduces heat island effect, and provides habitat for insects and birds in the city.

Fenway Farms

Photo Credit: Chris Hendricks

#105architecturalinspirations is a collection of architectural details, buildings, and spaces that inspire me. I am taking on the challenge of finding two projects to spotlight each week in 2015. Hopefully I will be able to keep up and this process of discovery will push me to create better design solutions for my clients as I research and learn more about those projects I enjoy most. I challenge you to add your comments below about this project and to post your own inspirations for all to enjoy.  Full List of previous #105architecturalinspiration posts 1 – 20. First 20 architectural inspirations here21. Michael Graves 22. St. Augustine 23. Guggenheim Museum24. Ocho House25.Bjarke Ingels 26. WG Clark 27. John F. Kennedy Space Center 28.Akademie Mont-Cenis 29. Sustainability Treehouse 30. Porch Rail 31.Martin Lurther King Jr. Memorial 32. Warehouse Renvoation33.Architectural Salvage Warehouse 34. Thorncrown Chapel 35.Gabion Wall 36.Rectorat de Guyane Library  37. North Bay House 38.Old Ranch Road Barn 39.Eagle Rock Residence 40.Pratt Street Power Plant 41.United Therapeutics Field House 42. Porch House 43. Headwaters 44. Ben’s Barn 45. Kevin Mundy Memorial Bridge 46.  Thrupp + Summers House 47. Madrona Residence 48. Pixel Building 49. National Constitution Center 50. Falling Water 51. Wainwright Building 52. Merle’s Drive-In53. Green Office Building 54. Edgeland House 55. Kansas City Public Library  56. Villa Savoye

Green Term Defined: Stormwater

Those living in the Chesapeake Bay Water Shed are going to start hearing a LOT about Stormwater over the next few months. Stormwater is water that comes from precipitation (rain, snow, sleet…) and does not soak into the ground. Stormwater runoff is the concern that is now being addressed in a proactive manner in our area. This surface runoff, which can flow directly into a stream or creek or through storm sewers and eventually becomes surface waters.


The two main concerns of stormwater are flooding and water pollution. We have found ways to battle the flooding issues over the years by building higher, channeling streams to avoid flooding in inhabited areas, and by building detention ponds. Now we are addressing the water pollution aspect of stormwater as we see the negative impacts on our fresh water resources. Runoff from impervious surfaces (roads, buildings, driveways, gravel parking lots) does not soak into the ground and collects chemicals such as oil, engine coolant, and degreasers which ends up in our surface water. Heavy rains on our front yards wash off the excess fertilizers and weed killers we use to keep the lawn green into our watershed. Agriculture uses heavy pesticides and fertilizers to amp up crop growth which also seeps into our streams. Erosion along stream edges and livestock being allowed into streams is also a major problem with our watershed issues. Of course industry has also played a part in the problem over the years as many businesses were developed along waterways to take advantage of the supply of fresh water.


Things that can be done in the building industry to protect our watershed include vegetative roofs, raingardens, cisterns, pervious pavement, and LID (low impact development). Charlottesville, Staunton, and Harrisonburg are MS4s. This requires the city to develop and implement and enforce a stormwater management program. This includes 6 minimum control measures:

1. public education and outreach

2. public participation and involvement

3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination

4. construction site stormwater runoff management

5. post construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment on prior developed land

6. pollution prevention for municipal operations

Why you should want a vegetated roof for your home and business.

263878_10150252705649932_76986384931_7060298_6065340_nGreen roof, vegetative roof, intensive, extensive, sedums – there are many terms and phrases you will  learn in the world of growing vegetation on your roof. This is a niche market, it is new and innovative. Or rather, this is a technology that was developed in Germany in the 1960s. It is not really new at all, just new to our area. A vegetative roof protects runoff, air quality, increases energy savings, and service life, creates habitat, and is beautiful. Used in the appropriate places, a vegetated roof is an excellent investment for your building. Here are some advantages:

Storm-water control – The vegetated roof system, including engineered soil, reduces the run-off, the peak volume-rate for drainage systems, and contaminants – all which reduce the demand on storm-water drainage and treatment systems.

Air Quality – Increasing the amount of plantings in any area allows for natural air treatment, reduces airborne contaminants.

Energy Savings – The planting system provides a buffer between ambient temperature and roof insulation, reducing the fluctuation in high and low daily temperatures, as well as the rate of temperature change. Both of these result in reduced load on the building’s mechanical heating and cooling systems. The added mass (plants and soil) provides some increased thermal value.

Service Life – Assuming a reliable installation, vegetative roof-membrane systems have increased service life over conventional membranes because they are protected from UV Rays.

Aesthetics and health – a visible and accessible vegetative roof increases productivity and general health of those with access.

Habitat – A vegetative area in a built environment provides a place for birds to build nests and insects to thrive.