Installing an irrigation system out of sight

November 15, 2019 -  By

Location New York City
Company Town & Gardens Ltd.

Installing irrigation on a 14th-floor roof terrace comes with challenges. But Town & Gardens had additional obstacles to face, according to Design Director Brendan Sheehan. “The irrigation system had to be retrofitted under an existing porcelain paving system,” he says.

Along with the low-volume drip irrigation system, Town & Gardens installed landscape planters. Certain pavers were lifted without affecting the leveling. From those locations, polypipe was pulled and directed underneath. Beneath the planters, 1/4-inch drip tubing was installed.

A lower terrace provides water for the system, while two zones help combat the elevation change’s impact on water pressure. Rain Bird valves, a Netafim filter and a Hunter controller make up the system’s components.

Although the design intentionally hides the system, the manifold’s location was chosen with maintenance in mind. Town & Gardens continues to maintain the terrace twice a month, except during the winter.

This project earned the firm a 2018 Silver Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

The client asked Town & Gardens to install a roof terrace after years of maintaining the building’s
entryway plantings. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Planters were installed with appropriate spacing around randomly placed HVAC vents. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

The design was planned with ongoing asbestos removal that required parts of the terrace to be sectioned off with plywood enclosures. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Despite careful planning, the landscape installation was halted by plumbing repairs. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Drainage holes and irrigation and lighting wiring was run through pavers cored using diamond bits. This ensured a neat installation without exposed tubing, and drainage runoff was contained. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Unforeseen excavations of the deck structure were necessary in the middle of the installation process. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

With limited soil volume and high environmental exposure, plantings were selected for hardiness, as well as aesthetic considerations. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

The manifold was located with maintenance and serviceability in mind, and the system was hidden in a purpose-built nondegradable enclosure. Photo: Brendan Sheehan, Town and Gardens, Ltd. staff

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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