Omni Wins Two Awards of Excellence from Cities Alive
Omni Ecosystems will accept two awards at the 2017 Cities Alive Conference, hosted by North America’s trade association for living infrastructure professionals. The Awards of Excellence celebrate the most exemplary green roofs across 9 categories, and are chosen by a prestigious multi-disciplinary judging panel that includes architects, landscape architects, engineers, and horticulturists.
Omni's winning projects were selected for their innovations in ecology, rooftop agriculture, and urban living.
You can read more about all award-winning projects in the most-recent issue of Living Architecture Monitor.
“At Omni, we see green roofs as more than a sustainable technology. They are viable spaces for food, fellowship, education, research, and employment, and these two award-winning projects exemplify that ethos. We look forward to developing future groundbreaking projects that elevate the possibilities of living infrastructure systems and that reconnect people with nature.” - Molly Meyer
Rooftop Wheat Prairie
Taking top honors in the Extensive Commercial category is Omni’s Rooftop Wheat Prairie, a unique, picturesque landscape growing atop Studio Gang Architects headquarters in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
In designing this roof, a team of architects and Omni ecologists sowed a crop of red winter wheat into a 4,700-square-foot, 5-inch rooftop prairie. The grain’s purpose was threefold: creating a singular pastoral aesthetic for the client, one that mirrored the Midwestern landscape; providing wind protection for cover crops and wildflowers also growing in the meadow; and determining the extent to which green roofs could address food security issues in urban landscapes vis-a-vis cereal grain production. The proof-of-concept research conducted at this site resulted in the first-known rooftop wheat harvest, which produced 66 pounds of high-grade whole-wheat pastry flour, and provided a working model for urban grain production.
1516 W. Carroll Rooftop Farm
Winning the Intensive Commercial category is Omni’s 1516 West Carroll Rooftop Farm, a fully-functioning, commercial-scale rooftop farm located in Chicago’s West Loop.
The site features three roofs, which are farmed commercially. The 4-8 inch green roofs yield 44 different crops in more than 100 varieties, including green beans, potatoes, radishes, turnips, raspberries, and even apples. The fruits, vegetables, and florals harvested from the farm are purchased by nearby food cooperatives, consumers, and restaurants that use them in locally-sourced dishes and drinks. Harvests are conducted weekly, making the roof a viable and reliable source of hyperlocal food.